WHAT IS GROWTH HACKING?
Growth hacking is a field in marketing that deals with growth via digital means… by this I mean that it is a series of smart, experimental, low cost tactics and activities that bring about more users using as little money as possible in the digital space (social media marketing, search engine optimization, mobile marketing etc).
Marketing as an activity could have several goals like awareness, product adoption or increasing prospects for sales (leads) but the singular rule of growth hacking is that GROWTH is the only metric that matters.
Although funnel development is strategic, Growth hacking has a strong tactical lean. It could seem as a trial and error activity but the goal is to record user behavior, measure the necessary metrics for that business and acquire data that will drive business decisions.
WHO CAN BE A GROWTH HACKER?
Growth hackers could be digital marketers, product developers or managers, software engineers and online entrepreneurs.
WHAT DO GROWTH HACKERS DO?
Growth hackers simply take a product, look at all the ways users interact with the product and iterate on the ways it could be improved upon (hacked) for better outcome.
WHAT DO GROWTH HACKERS DO?
Growth hackers hack marketing funnels, ads, creatives and even the product to improve user experience, reduce drop off (attrition) and increase retainership.
There is A/B testing* of landing pages, advertising copy, captions, creatives etc to basically see what it is users will respond to the most.
The true strength of a growth hacker is in their ability to see measurable growth (increase traffic and improved conversion rates) in the business they manage based on their activities with a small budget. The actions of other professions like PR is improved based on a budget increase but the growth hackers talent is to improve stickiness with a shoestring budget.
Growth hackers have to tie in the skills of marketing (as a mindset) digital marketing as a skill, User behavior online and product design.
MY GROWTH HACKING METHODOLOGY
The growth hacking methodology is this-
1. Brain storming session- The funnel is developed and assumptions are made. Assumptions exist because although marketing hinges on finding the perfect product-market fit and the right way to communicate the business to their customers, until their is product adoption and scaling, it remains an assumption.
2. Prioritizing activities- The funnel developed in stage 1 would have several directions it could take. Prioritize activities based on assumed needs of the target audience.
3. A/B testing alternatives- Within the prioritized activities, test which landing pages, creatives and other moving parts would be better received by the users then follow through on that.
4. Feedback- In growth hacking, failure is positive. Failing to serve desired results is data on behavior. Metrics should be defined and data recorded. The metrics should be determined by the business needs. Data collated should tell the hacker what else should be tested and what to keep as is or if the funnel, product or original strategy would need to be changed or tweaked.
5. Incresing intensity on positive results- This should be an a result of positive feedback and product/service adoption by users. Intensity is increased by incresing as spend as it has been determined (using data), that the audience is ready for the company’s offering.
From experience, I find that working backwards is key with product hacking. Choosing to push a product to consumers that they are slow in adopting might be indicative that they are unwilling to spend money to solve the problem your product or service is attempting to solve. It’s ok to hack your product also as well as hack the marketing tactics.
*A/B testing is a digital activity where 2 alternatives to an action are carried out with a goal to see which alternatives is better responded to within a controlled environment. Landing pages, ads, advertising copy etc can be A/B tested. The method is basically change one metric (eg image) and to keep all other things static (eg image caption and call-to-action) to see if it’ll improve the users responses.