Individuals, startups, established companies are all competing for your attention and your dollar. So why do some appear to virtually grow overnight while others can’t get out of the starting gate? Because they growth hack their way into your life and once there, you can’t live without them.
But, let’s start with what growth hacking is not. Put simply, if your product sux, no amount of growth hacking will save it. It is not a silver bullet. There is no magic wand to 10 times your revenue or database.
The use of the word hacking can also incite caution. We all know software hackers take advantage of system vulnerabilities most often to cause havoc. But, to hack in the world of growth hacking is interpreted as a clever way to solve a problem using limited resources. Or it can mean using tactics to exploit an opportunity. In this case the problem/opportunity is growth.
Growth hacking has also become somewhat of a misused term, often used interchangeably with digital marketing or growth marketing. Some also link it to the role of a Product Owner.
And therein lies the problem. It IS all of these things...and yet it is none.
Not any clearer, I know.
So WTF is Growth Hacking?
Broadly speaking it is a fail fast, scale-successes quickly approach to growth through low-cost rapid experimentation. By identifying opportunities in key areas that drive growth, measurable tests are run to determine what tactics work.
More specifically though, growth hacking is a process. Systematic and repeatable. Using creativity, strategy, technology and especially data, experiments are run on each area of the growth funnel resulting in a series of small compounding wins.
Where a marketer is focused mostly on awareness and acquisition strategies (the top end of the funnel), growth hacking goes deeper into the funnel. A growth hacker has an aptitude towards retention, referral and revenue (the bottom of the funnel).
Growth hacking strategies can also be implemented through the product development phase. Where a product owner oversees the product life cycle, a growth hacker may build features into the product itself where the value of the product becomes greater through sharing and social interaction.
Therefore the growth hacking process is cross-functional overarching product management, development and marketing, but the sole purpose is to drive growth based on data-driven decisions. For it to be successful, your product can’t suck. Product-market-fit is essential before implementing growth hacking strategies. Following this, a combination of a hustle mindset, a fail-fast culture, a clearly defined process, and a process owner with the right skill-set (a growth hacker), is necessary to accelerate growth in revenue, customer base or anything else.
Sunday, 10 May 2020