Growth Hacking has gotten a bad rap about its ineffectiveness and the fact that a lot of people think it doesn’t work. This is because a lot of people have started calling themselves Growth Hackers without actually knowing what it’s all about. People, to stay relevant changed their titles from Digital Marketer to Growth Hacker. A clear case of FOMO(Fear of Missing Out).
So what is Growth Hacking?
Growth Hacking is a combination of Mindset, Systems and Hacks. So let’s break this down.
To be a Growth Hacker you need to know everything about your Customers, Market and the Product. This is key. Another understanding a Growth Hacker needs to possess is that of marketing platforms. If a Growth Hacker doesn’t understand the core of the Marketing platform then he cannot use it for his business. A growth hacker asks himself if a marketing platform is suitable for his business or not. There are people who jump into creating Facebook posts and having a Facebook presence before they know whether Facebook is the right marketing platform for them or not.
A Growth Hacker also is like a scientist in the sense he keeps running experiments. Marketing can be tricky and sometimes extremely confusing. The best way to figure out a right fit for your business is to conduct a lot of experiments. It’s very difficult for a normal marketer to understand that sometimes you have to spend money just to test and collect data. Another mindset that great growth hackers possess is the fact that they never assume. They let data prove whether they were right or not.
A Growth Hacker sets up systems in place that do a lot of heavy lifting. A Growth Hacker knows that traffic source is not a metric that can really teach him about his marketing efforts. A growth hacker sets up analytics and triggers and goals that shows throws data at him, based on which he takes future decisions. Some companies set up systems which is part of the culture like having Testing Thursdays. Testing Thursdays is when every member of marketing and product team sit together and run a bunch of experiments and test their hypothesis. Other systems that a lot of growth hackers put in place, is tools. They like to save time and like to automate a lot of mundane tasks. They ask their development team to write a piece of code, which would automatically scrape necessary information. A growth hacker is data driven and is very scientific in his approach. A growth hacker also doesn’t shun code.
A Growth Hacker, believe it or not needs to be creative. Hacks are actions that the growth hacker takes that either
A hack can be an e-mail marketing template to increase response rate. A hack can be a piece of code that helps in automatically following people on twitter. You get the point.
Take the example of Unbounce. Unbounce wanted more traffic to their platform without having to spend money on advertising. How did they do this? See the image below.
If you were to give this task to a marketer, they would have never thought of creating a community. This is where the creativity bit comes into play. They get a bunch of high quality content because of the posts made by contributors as well as fresh new traffic because people need their questions answered.
There are two awesome websites that I think you can start off with to better understand growth hacking and growth hacks.
Growth Hackers is the go to platform for beginner growth hackers as well as advanced growth hackers. This website has a forum, it conducts AMA’s with top growth hackers in the world, case studies where you can learn from and even jobs when you think you are ready to be hired as a growth hacker.
Petit Hacks is a super nifty website that gives users a bunch of hacks, tips, strategies that they can implement without much effort.
So if you want to become a growth hacker, focus on acquiring the mindset by training and practice. Keep your mind open for newer ideas and always look for alternatives to traditional marketing and advertising. The better way to learn is to execute. Start a side project or experiment with your own business. Create targets and achieve those targets using hacks, tools, optimisations and creativity.