As a marketer, I've always been interested in keeping up with the latest trends in marketing. I came across growth hacking a few years ago. Since then it has become not only a buzz word, but also used by many as a job title. I've seen many people naming themselves Growth Hackers. Some of you that are new to growth hacking, you might wonder what that really is?
Growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across different marketing channels and product development to identify the most effective, efficient ways to grow a business. Growth hackers use analytical thinking, product engineering and creativity to significantly increase their company’s core KPIs.
So what's the difference between a Growth Hacker and a Marketer? As Gagan Biyani said in his article: "A growth hacker really is just a marketer, but one with a different set of challenges to tackle and tools to work with." Gagan goes into even more details, explaining the channels a Growth Hacker uses and much more. You can read up more, here.
I came to the conclusion that any marketer can apply growth hacking ideas. And they don't have to work in a startup environment. One growth hacking technique that worked very well for a startup might not work as well for another business. But the beautiful side of things is that any marketer can apply what they learned and use their own imagination, intuition and analytic skills.
So where do you start and what are the best sources to get yourself ahead on growth hacking.
Number 1. Keep yourself informed. The best site to get ideas and read up on growth stories is growthhackers.com. They've built a fantastic community and you can learn so much from their regular posts. They also have a few growth studies from Airbnb, Slack, Evernote and many more.
Number 2. Read, read and read again. Another very useful source is the Traction book by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares. I've seen startups and bigger companies adopting their framework. I have to say that is one of the best books I've read about growth hacking. They recommend a new approach called the "Bullseye framework". The bullseye is designed to help you find the best traction channel strategy to focus as quickly as possible. The book guides you step by step on how to effectively and cheaply apply a learn and test approach. They also give lots of examples and how other startups succeeded in growing quickly.
I am a big fan of their targets example, which are very simple to follow and apply in your own work:
- Lay out your milestones. Determine your traction goal and define your Critical Path against that goal.
- Stay on the Critical Path. Assess every activity you do against your Critical Path and consistently reassess it.
- Actively work to overcome your traction channel biases. Being on a cutting edge of the right traction channel can make a huge difference in success.
Number 3. Stay organised. With so many tools, sites and growth hackers out there is hard to keep up. So I recommend using something like this. A list that keeps track of everything, books, sites, tools, metrics, etc. David Arnoux has done an amazing job on putting together so much information on Growth Hacking.
Number 4. Stay inspired. Try to go to as many events and presentations on Growth Hacking as you can. You can learn so much more in person and it's another great way to get inspired. I've recently seen a very talented Growth Hacker called Vincent Dignan. I highly recommend watching his presentation below. It has so many tips and tricks that you can learn and apply right away in your marketing plans.
Growth hacking is here to stay and I think more and more companies will apply this approach. It's not an easy approach, but it's definitely one to watch for the future.
If you are passionate about growth hacking, please do get in touch. I'd love to hear your thoughts or share your success stories.