A while ago a friend of mine who is an entrepreneur and in the process of starting up his business called me a Growth Hacker.
The truth is I had never heard of the term. And in this day and age of marketing it’s hard to stay up to date with every acronym or buzz word in the industry. As a marketer, I look for solutions that solve the problems I am managing on a day to day basis. This means I don’t actively try and stay up to date with ‘trends’. Instead I source information that will help me tackle my day to day challenges and if it happens to be on trend then great! Don’t get me wrong, I do like to know what other people are doing in the industry, but I just don’t spend a considerable amount of time reading up on trends and other peoples stories which are not relevant to the problem I have at hand.
Embarrassingly, I had to admit that I had no idea what a growth hacker was. We had been talking about his challenges with marketing agencies and not getting the traction he expected from launch. He was in a situation where he needed members to get funding, but needed funding to get members. The joys of the entrepreneurial world. As I was providing some advice on how to get the most out of his marketing, data and user engagement he stopped me and said “We need someone like you. Your a growth hacker.” Stunned, I just turned and asked what a growth hacker was. He was so shocked he insisted that I start googling growth hacker straight away.
Naturally being a busy mum running a business, working full time, studying and balancing family I didn’t get around to looking it up in detail. Google gave me the general gist of things. Basically, someone who reviews data and drives/optimizes marketing to maximise growth for the business. But after a 2 second review of the term in Wikipedia, I closed the page and thought to myself ‘it’s just another buzzword’. I mean honestly, marketing 101 is to optimise engagement and grow the business. I call it ‘turning up for work’. Having said that, I subscribed to a growth hacker website and they recently sent me this video that I loved. A good subject line will always get an open. And this subject line was relevant to my level of knowledge around growth hacking (which was limited – talk about life cycle marketing and relevant content). THE SUBJECT LINE: Growth Hacking: Myth or Reality?
Entering the page, behold a video! and a great one too. The panel explains a growth hackers job and how to do a great job and growing your business. Even those marketers in what would be considered a growth hacking role don’t like the term Growth Hacker. But there were some great key take away’s I took from the video.
- You need to pick the right metric to measure. i.e. Sure more members are great but does that metric actually drive value to the business or is conversion goal more important?
- Growth hacking is doing more with less
- It’s all about small/medium wins
- Research to identify the highest conversion path and then testing to find out how to take new users through that conversion path
- Don’t take a designer approach, you don’t have time, just keep testing and re-positioning your CTA, content or message.
- Always provide value to the customer
- Think about the one thing that customers usually do that make them loyal/stay with your brand and how quickly can you get them there? i.e. Facebook knows that people need to find and add friends soon after signup, otherwise they become disengaged.
- Focus on long term goals, not short term ones as they can be conflicting.
- Find correlation in short term activity with long term goals
- Test test test
- Optimise onboarding
- Growth hacking is almost always about failing and staying optimistic about achieving those wins.