What is Growth Hacking..?
Growth Hacking service is an unconventional approach to increasing the growth rate/adoption of a company or product through unique marketing ‘hacks.’
I don’t care whether you have 100, 1.000, or 10.000 customers. You got somebody to pay, now all you need to do is scale it.
Popularized by the internet media, the term “growth hacking” has come to encompass a variety of techniques to improve your company’s business metrics, mainly through small product improvements.
This is the way I like to think about it: a growth hacker is an engineer who optimizes a business.
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Growth hacking is similar to marketing in that it aims to expand a customer base without major changes to the product, but it’s different in its approach. Marketing focuses on audience and message, while growth hacking focuses on product and behavior.
Marketing will put shoppers through your doorstep, but then it’s the job of your product and customer team to turn them into customers.
Growth hacking is also similar to product design in that it aims to create a better product, but it focuses on small incremental changes that can affect business metrics. Product design is a release-driven process, while growth hacking is an experiment-driven process.
Performance indicators like sales aren’t well suited for optimization, since they only give you a picture of what happened. When optimizing a product, the real question isn’t “how much did we sell?”, but “out of the opportunities we had, how many did we turn into successful customer experiences?”. Asking a new question allows one to find new answers.
As a baseball analogy, a bad battery might hit many balls if he spends enough time in the field, while a good batter will hit a high percentage of the balls. Which one would you rather have on the field? The growth process
A growth hacker will take an existing business, break it down into processes and optimize them in the most cost-effective way possible – ideally avoiding high budget campaigns or long development projects.
Once the processes are identified, it’s time to propose a series of experiments. Metrics are measured before and after, and they are interpreted. A typical experiment can take one to two weeks and improve the performance of the process by 5-25%.
By compounding incremental improvements, a business has the potential to grow by orders of magnitude in relatively short periods of time. A 20% improvement might sound like a small number, but combine four 20% improvements and you are now more than doubling your revenue!
A growth hacker doesn’t execute on a master multi-year business plan – she prefers to focus on optimizing ratios week over week. Agility, curiosity, execution and patience are the magic ingredients for success.
While I’ll often explain these methodologies from the point of view of an online business, growth hacking can be applied to any process where the goal is to grow a customer base. The “Not only for online businesses” chapter covers this. The scientific method
In my understanding, growth hacking is the scientific method applied to product design and marketing. It’s the reinvention of a former craft as an engineering process.
I like to think that a growth hacker is in equal parts a scientist, an artist and an engineer.
The scientist translates reality into numbers. He divides processes into measurable steps because that’s how we are able to understand our problems and the results of our actions.
The artist comes up with new, creative solutions to our problems. Finding the perfect way to persuade your customer takes empathy and originality, and this comes in a million different formats: reimagining the product, copy editing, customer experience, viral campaigns, design, or just audacity.
The engineer takes those ideas and implements them, often not even requiring help from the marketing or development teams. The engineer can dig into SQL reports, prepare landing pages, AB tests, segment email campaigns… and do all this with little planning, so it’s possible to iterate faster and get results quickly.
Being data-driven means not taking anything for granted. It means experimenting, testing and reaching new levels of understanding about our product and customers. It means aligning the value you’re offering and helping the customer receive the most out of it.
A growth hacker leverages gravity. Moving a big stone for a hundred feet can take a lot of resources if you’re pushing it, but it becomes easy when it’s downhill. Some customer flows are the same: for example, eliminating obstacles to buy is often easier than pushing your customers to do something they’re not motivated to do. Because you’re simply unlocking the full potential of what you already have, it’s incredibly cost-effective. It’s David vs Goliath.