“Growth Hacking” is quite a new and interesting concept. Have you ever thought about how your user count could go from just a few dozens to a few hundred, thousands, or even millions in just a short period of time? This sounds unbelievable, yet entirely possible with “Growth Hacking”. The fact that various businesses had shot to fame using this technology like Facebook, Dropbox, Quora, and Pinterest, stands true to this.
So what is “Growth Hacking”?
“Growth Hacking” is the mixture of Marketing and Coding, and those who work on “Growth Hacking” are called “Growth Hacker”.
In Matten Griffel’s article, “What is Growth Hacking?”, “Hacker” is understood as a person who pays more attention to achieving goals rather than how to achieve them. These people are not tied to one known method, so they will attempt various creative ways in order to achieve their goals. In many ways, “Growth Hacker” is the same. But instead of gaining illegal access to a system, “Growth Hackers”’ aim is to increase the number of users for a particular product.
According to Sean Ellis, the main objective of a “Growth Hacker” is to focus on stable growth for the company through analyzing and understanding the market trend, as well as the customers’ mentality.
A “growth hacker” is often assumed to be the same as a “marketer”, but this is not entirely true. “Marketers” are those who usually focus on using traditional methods to convince customers to buy the products through direct sales, television, radio, emails, printed advertising mediums (such as magazines, voucher books, billboards,…), and printed advertising materials like catalogs. Although a lot of “marketers” may become “growth hackers” in the future, a “marketer” now still needs to polish more skills in order to satisfy the criteria to being a “Growth Hacker”.
“Growth Hackers” are creative people that constantly find new methods to attract customers’ attention, as well as to sustain and increase customer number in order to generate profit. (Per the AARRR framework).
In general, they are disciplined workers who always require experimenting in order to make decisions on what to do and what to avoid. They understand clearly that the product is the most effective marketing tool, and they also have the technical knowledge to optimize the existing Internet platform, helping startups to quickly be accessible to billions of potential customers.
Innovation born from experimenting
In facing with a real project, instead of just making assumptions and building strategies based on those assumptions, “Growth Hackers” will propose feasible strategies, experiment them on a small scale, then compare the achieved results.
Small scale experimenting will only provide a partial assessment of the experimented strategies. However, whether these strategies will still be effective when applied to a larger scale is what’s important to startups. Therefore, “Growth Hacker” needs to use assessment methods such as A/B testing or cohort analyses in order to know which ideas are possible and which are not.
The proposed ideas aren’t always effective, so “Growth Hackers” need to pay great attention to the application speed of the experiments, as well as to do various tests in a short time in order to get results as quickly as possible.
Using the product to promote itself
Whenever viral marketing is mentioned, most marketers only think about the attractive content of an advertisement and its viral level. However, with the development of the Internet, there is a much more trustworthy way to viral marketing, which is to incorporate information into the products.
Here are a couple of examples:
- Hotmail attached the words “Get your free email at Hotmail” at the end of the sent emails’ content.
- YouTube and Vimeo allow easy embedding of their videos onto other websites.
- Dropbox encourages its users to refer the service to their friends by gifting them increased storage capacity per reference – a strategy that has contributed 60% to the company’s development.
In the company, product building and marketing are often done by two separate departments. While one only focuses on developing functions for more completed products, the other only focus on promoting that product without knowing all of its functions. A growth hacker is a link between these two groups.
Understanding the platforms
Nowadays, the link between the company and users are getting wider and wider, thanks to the development of new platforms, especially social networks sites. With these sites, millions of users can gain access to products with just a click, as well as easily share the products’ information. Therefore, building a marketing campaign through social media is of great importance, and the job of “Growth Hackers” is to know how to utilize these advantages.
As time goes by, the current platforms’ benefits will dwindle, like other companies with eventually join. Therefore, being the first one to utilize the functions of new platforms will serve as a great advantage to the company.
At the same time, such strategies require an in-depth understanding of the platforms’ API, a feat that most traditional marketers struggle to do.
Where to research on “Growth Hacking”?
Some trusted sites to research on “Growth Hacking” are the blogs of some of the field’s top specialists such as:
- Andrew Chen: A businessman that focuses on cellphone’s products. His job is to analyze statistics and increase user count. He is the advising specialist of AngelList, AppSumo, Cardpool (later bought by Safeway), Frankly, Grovo, Kiva, Mocospace, Qik (later bought by Skype), Wanelo, and WeeWorld in their beginning phrases, as well as the advisor of 500 Startups.
- Noah Kagan: An American businessman and the founder of AppSumo. He used to work at Facebook, Gambit Payments, Intel, and more.
- Danielle Morrill: Chief Executive and co-founder of Refer.ly. She was also the first employee of Twilio – a cloud computing communication company based in San Francisco. She has always supported and advised businesses through Startup Weekend, the Twilio fund, and the advisory expert for 500 Startups.
- Aaron Ginn: a growth hacker, used to work for Lockheed Martin, VMG Health, Simplee, Mittromney,…
- Quora’s growth hacker board.
In previous years, innovative “Growth Hackers” had invented truly different and highly realistic methods. People such as Noah Kagan (AppSumo, Mint, Facebook), Mike Greenfield (Circle of Moms, LinkedIn), Dave McClure (500 Startups, Paypal), and various others are the pioneers to placing focus on the viral level, email, as well as searching for optimized methods and marketing.
Via blog.siliconstraits.vnRelated posts: