Growth hacking is a term that is banded about these days. The definition follows, but what does growth hacking really mean? And who are growth hackers? This article aims to answer these questions.

Growth Hacking

Growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most effective, efficient ways to grow a business.

Source: Wikipedia

My take outs from the quote above are:

  • rapid experimentation
  • marketing channels & product development
  • efficiently grow your business

Rapid experimentation: in the digital world, marketing campaigns and Social Media activities can generate instant results. With frequent monitoring and testing you can adjust quickly and accordingly based on your results.

Marketing channels & product development: the fact that marketing and product development work together is something that happens less frequently in larger organizations I’ve found. Since the marketing channels should have such a close connection with its user base, fans, customers this should provide real insights into how the product is being used and how people really feel about it.

Working with product development it is possible to tailor the product even more to the users requirements potentially at an earlier stage.

Efficiently grow your business: probably an obvious statement but due to agility that growth hacking brings to a company, or organization, this becomes a very effective way to grow. If things fail they fail fast: you are not wasting value time and resources for too long.

Growth Hackers

Growth hackers are marketers, engineers and product managers that specifically focus on building and engaging the user base of a business.

Source: Wikipedia

The quote sums things up pretty well for me. The term “Growth hackers” was originally coined by Sean Ellis in 2010 born from frustration of trying to hire replacements for himself.

My former Microsoft chief, Satya Nadella, was a strong advocate of growth hacking and encouraged everyone in the company to grow. This is quite unusual for a large corporation right now, but I think it will change.

Growth hackers are more prominent in startups. The company may not have budget and usually need real focus on their main goal: growth.

Everything the growth hacker does is based on the results pertaining to growth. In a digitized world a bit on ingenuity can go a long way and the constant optimization of your methods, be it campaigns or Social Media presences, can help you on the path to growth.

A growth hacker is not a replacement for a marketer. A growth hacker is not better than marketer. A growth hacker is just different than a marketer.

To use the most succinct definition from Sean’s post, “A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth”.

Source: The Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking: Chapter I

I never thought of myself as a growth hacker until someone suggested that I was based on things I do in my “work life”. A splattering of Digital Marketing, Social Media & web analytics gives me a good grounding at least.

I’ll be writing more on this subject in the future, but I hope that it is at least a basic introduction. What do you think? Any thoughts?

Sources & Further Reading