Growth hacking is a term that gets bantered around a lot in the start-up world, so you might already know what it’s all about, but, just for those who don’t, growth hacking is the fast-paced marketing and product development experimentation process that allows companies to identify the best ways to grow their business.
A growth hacker is neither a marketer or a coder, but someone who straddles both worlds in order to bring a start-up or a small business rapidly to corporate growth territory. Since start-up owners rarely fully grasp exactly what marketing techniques their prospects will respond to, a growth hacker’s job is to test a variety of things to see what resonates best with the company’s particular audience. Their approach usually includes a variety of acquisitions, optimization strategies, and testing of technical details.
After you read the following reasons to give growth hacking a try, check out this long list of growth hack ideas outlined by Matthew Barby and this list by Lincoln Murphy to get some inspiration for where to start. If you’re not a coder at all, but still want to give growth hacking a try, check out these tools shared on the Kissmetrics blog.
First things first though. Let’s take a look at why you should even give growth hacking a shot.
It’s fast and scrappy
Start-ups, by definition, need to be quick on their toes and even quicker to pivot when needed. Traditional marketing is a critical component of company growth, but it has slower lead and response time than growth hacking meaning that you can’t quite learn and shift as fast as you could if you were using growth hacks.
A growth hacker’s entire job is growth, so everything they do is focused and driven towards just that. Since there are no hard and fast rules or even preconceived notions, a growth hacker does what’s specifically needed to help the company grow. It’s the very definition of fast and scrappy. A traditional marketing team is made up of a number of people all working towards their specific goals. A growth hacker usually works solo, making the role better able to evolve as needed.
It’s about targeted approach vs broad reach
Traditional marketing is all about getting a product or service in front of the largest audience possible in order to make the biggest impact possible. Not only is that not feasible for a start-up or a small company with a tiny marketing budget, it might not be ideal from a logistics perspective. Too many people signing up for your SaaS product too soon might mean you can’t give users the level of service or attention you aspire to. It also means you have less control over customer satisfaction.
Growth hacking marketing is a much more targeted approach that puts your products or services in front of a carefully selected audience. The metrics which are an integral part of growth marketing enable you to modify offerings according to what your clients really want and to help your SaaS company evolve quickly and
It allows you to focus on your skills and ideal audience
There are a million different marketing options. Each could have a positive impact on your business reach, but there’s no way for a lean start-up to try each and every one. It’s not feasible from a financial or time perspective. Growth hacking gives you the option to focus on your business’s area of expertise and capitalize on saturating your ideal consumer base instead of constantly trying to break into new audience
It’s a means to accelerated growth
Growth hacking is not intended to be a long term solution. On the contrary, it’s perfect for the quick growth needed when a company launches. Using different growth hacking techniques makes it possible to quickly get your company to where you want it, so you can then switch to more a more traditional approach for consistent continual growth. The growth hacker, hybrid marketer/coder takes a hard long look at the question “How do I get clients to buy my product?” and then tests out various answers with A/B testing, landing pages, email delivery and open graph research. Every component of growth hacking is steeped in virality so it gets results fast and effectively. All of the learning accrued during the growth hacking phase eventually will go on to feed the more traditional marketing approach that ensues.