What Is Growth Hacking?
Businesses have always been obsessed with growth. But since the onset of technology, growth took on a whole new meaning. And then came Growth Hacking.
Internet and digital technologies changed the way we connect, shop, live and do business in ways we never thought possible. As ground-breaking and exciting as this has been in creating seemingly limitless opportunities, it did one other thing – open the door to a pool of global competition, where companies of all sizes need to adapt to stay viable. Or in the words of Lou Holtz:
“In this world, you’re either growing or you’re dying, so get in motion and grow.”Lou Holtz
But growing your business is easier said than done.
So what do you do when faced with countless marketing strategies and digital products that each promise to be the Holy Grail of business growth?
Growth Hacking may very well be the answer to the riddle.
By now, you’re bound to have come across the term at least half a dozen times in trendy news pieces and authoritative blogs online. In fact, everyone who is someone in the digital field seems to be talking about it. And similarly to Big Data, Growth Hacking is something everyone is talking about. Something everyone is convinced everyone else is doing. And something no one seems to fully understand.
So what is Growth Hacking? Why should you care about it? And how do you begin to go about practising it within your own business?
Let’s dive deeper down the rabbit hole…
Growth Hacking 101
Put simply, Growth Hacking is a way of creating and implementing successful, sustainable, and scalable advertising campaigns. Some people think of it as a tool but it’s more of a process that comprises traditional marketing, product development, and analytical skills and tools to acquire and engage users.
Growth Hacking is about synergising activities that were at odds in the past. It’s a new way to look at the whole by aligning parts like marketing and product development.
The concept of ‘Growth Hacking’ is a recognition that when you focus on understanding your users and how they discover and respond to your products, you can develop features that help you acquire and retain more users. Rather than just spend money on marketing campaigns that get you nowhere.
Sure, everyone dreams of achieving the success of Slack, Netflix, Airbnb, Dropbox, Facebook, and Spotify. But it’s Growth Hacking that does the tedious work of making a company grow and scale. In a faster world, where thousands of digital products appear and disappear, being agile is a matter of survival. And Growth Hacking is the single most useful way of maximising data, resources, metrics, and know-how at each stage to move your company to the next level.
It would be fair to summarise the Growth Hacking methodology with the well-known Roman proverb “E pluribus unum” (Out of many – one). The Romans may have known nothing about digital technology but they understood the power of the collective and applied it well.
Now, centuries later, we’re rebranding this simple truth with a cool new name: ‘Growth Hacking’. In essence, what we’re trying to do is emphasise the importance of working as a team with in-depth knowledge of the strategy, and of the business objectives.
Because it’s the team’s collective technical knowledge that enables them to make changes in design and functionality. It’s their expertise in marketing and data analysis, and their innovative problem-solving skills that will help a business find the right trick or ‘hack’ that allows for accelerated and accumulative growth.
Growth Hacking is a team sport.
Ways to Grow
Now that you have a basic idea of what Growth Hacking is and why it’s important, the next step is to implement it.
If you already have a product and want to put it in front of your target audience, pause and examine if it’s really a ‘must-have’. There’s no point in focusing on the growth of a product that doesn’t answer a consumer need. Think about it this way – your product can’t be all things to all people. More importantly, it shouldn’t try to be.
It’s much more effective to narrow down your niche depending on the type of product you’re developing. A location-based app, for example, will likely attract a following and word-of-mouth from all the people in a specific area. Just think of Tinder and Hinge. Tinder may be an app for every fun-loving singleton, but Hinge narrows down on the segment by introducing an element of safety, letting people hook up with the best matches in their extended network. Effectively, connecting them with friends of friends.
When you’re Growth Hacking, you need to cover all bases. That means increasing customer loyalty, improving stakeholder relationships, building brand recognition, and enhancing communication. If that seems confusing and overwhelming, think of it this way: be specific, be social, and be memorable.
Part of Growth Hacking is targeting every channel you can and not be afraid to mix it up. Think outside of the digital domain as well. Anything that can generate attention towards your product will make a huge difference in the long run.
A perfect example is Sprig and the way they went around their local pier (and all around the city) passing out flyers. They targeted a specific location full of strangers, followed up with them on reviews, and requested referrals, drawing more users back into the retention loop.
Let’s face it, the market is flooded with products and services, some good, some amazing, and some less than average. Growth Hacking starts with getting noticed. And that starts with on- and off-page app optimisation. Everything from your product title to the description, keyword list, reviews, and ratings matter. And if you get these right, you can provide a major boost to your brand’s visibility.
Today’s ultra-competitive online arena will continue to evolve and with it. The way Growth Hacking combines previous marketing concepts and ideas with cutting-edge analytics and tools for running successful online campaigns.
But above everything else, Growth Hacking is about disruption and change.
So, you can either adopt this new way of thinking and propel your business to the next level or fall behind.
Which will it be?
Schedule a free consultation. We have the tools, the knowledge, the experience, and the team to help you grow.