Published: November 29, 2013
“Dropbox, Facebook, AirBnb, Twitter. A new generation of multibillion dollar brands built without spending a dime on “traditional marketing.” No press releases, no PR firms, and no billboards in Times Square. It wasn’t luck that took them from tiny start-ups to millions of users and massive valuations. They have a new strategy, called growth hacking. And it works.”
Welcome to the age of the ‘growth hacker,’ a new wave of professionals – those who deeply understand their audiences, social, design, and can jump in and write some code too. These individuals win with base hits not grand slams, but have managed to help us solidify the importance of some pretty crucial concepts when it comes to interactive business.
- When it comes to process: Understand the importance of iterations. Don’t always try to hit a home run with a multimillion dollar strategy. Start with pieces and slowly build up to greatness.
- When it comes to your product: Develop a product for a particular audience and follow through with that audience. It’s not about making it to market first it’s about making it to product market fit first. Even the best growth hacker can’t grow a broken product. Product is the most important piece of your marketing.
- When it comes to technology: The most effective approach not always the newest technology. Stop and think about people and process when it comes to effective strategy execution. When you start there, the right technology will arise organically and it’s not always the shiniest new solution or the one with all the bells and whistles.
- When it comes to marketing: We’ve entered a new era of nontraditional marketing. There used to be a 3 step process in marketing. Today that doesn’t work. Today, it’s about finding unique solutions. It’s less about marketing and more about overall business innovation. If you’re innovative in your approach and in communicating with your customer, marketing isn’t necessary because your actions are speaking for themselves.
- When it comes to specialization: A growth hacker doesn’t specialize, they’re someone with well rounded talents and the ability to jump in and learn quickly. Always on the watch for what’s new, growth hackers are never confined by the title that adorns their business card. The core disciplines of this new world of marketing are often summed up into what’s also referred to as the T-Shaped marketer; the idea that one can acquire a broad range of knowledge and confidence to work in a variety of disciplines, but still effectively act as an expert. You can learn almost anything in about 20 hours. You won’t be a full-blown expert, but you can certainly get 95% of the way there. When you think about it this way, it doesn’t seem so difficult to become well-versed in a wide range of disciplines.
Growth hacking is more of a mindset than a toolkit. It takes a unique breed of creative, technical, and analytical.
In a simple word, growth hackers are synonymous with agility. It’s about taking a nimble approach to business problems and opportunities and as a result finding greater success and making valuable mistakes that are far less costly than those taking a traditional approach. A great example of this agility is releasing a product in phases and welcoming customer feedback throughout the process. For much of the C-Suite, immediate feedback right from the mouth of a customer is scary. When in fact, engagement and responsiveness for a product in process or one that is broken is the best form of growth and publicity.
Interested in finding out more about growth hacking? Let’s chat!