Most marketers might tell you that growth hacking isn’t new, that it’s been around for years and that maybe even they themselves practice some form of it.
They’re probably not wrong, but it wasn’t until recently that the term “growth hacker” was actually created.
Since a label has officially surfaced, it’s important to define it so there are no misconceptions about what it is and what it isn’t.
What is a Growth Hacker?
Sean Ellis, Founder and CEO of Qualaroo, says that “growth hackers have a track record of building truly innovative, rule-changing programs for driving growth.” They have multiple superpowers in analytics, marketing, engineering, and science. They invest their energy on the user/customer experience specifically. Moreover, they are driven, self-motivated, and constantly experiment with existing data to optimize key areas until they find something that works. They are the shining stars of businesses right now.
3 Ways Why Growth Hackers Will Save Your Business in 2015
- They find out what attracts customers.
Growth hackers combine traditional marketing efforts and their superpowers outlines above to figure out what attracts customers. Sean Ellis describes this group as focusing on understanding users, their behaviors, and how they discover and adopt products. With this type of research, you can acquire more users instead of using aggressive techniques to blow the marketing budget without little return.
- They encourage them to return.
Josh Elman, Partner at Greylock, talks about helping build retention through growth hacking, while working at Twitter. In most instances, organizations might have thrown money at a retention project with ads or re-marketing. Josh describes how at Twitter they looked at user patterns and behaviors and analyzed what made Twitter users want to stay on. They tweaked the features that people enjoyed using and saw retention numbers dramatically rise.
- They keep the organization on its “A” game.
Ken Zi Wang, the Founder and Growth Engineer of Fandrop, puts it best as “growth hacking is a key to company’s success. Those who have ignored it generally get out competed even by weaker competitors that have embraced it.”
Organizations need to realize that the sales and marketing landscape has changed, and that the techniques and strategies used five years ago no longer get the response they used to. Customers are looking for value, information, and accessibility. If organizations can tap into the true customer benefits, they’ll win over market share in a heartbeat.
Embracing the Growth Hacker Mindset to Dominate the Food Chain
To be #1 in the marketplace is harder to achieve these days, and growth is imperative for businesses to thrive. To succeed today, organizations need to start embracing different ways of thinking and coming up with fresh ideas. However, don’t start torching traditional marketing just yet.
Find a good balance of traditional and customer-focused marketing. Forget about the old ways of doing things and tune into customer behaviors and patterns. Most importantly, start putting the “intel” in marketing intelligence through data and analytics.