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What is Growth Hacking?

by | Aug 20, 2017 | Start a Blog | 16 comments

If you’ve come to this blog often you may have been surprised that today I will not be talking about SEO, Link Building or Social Media Marketing, today I will be talking about Growth Hacking.

What exactly is Growth Hacking?

Growth Hacking is a term created in 2010 by Sean Ellis. According to Wikipedia growth hacking is:

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. Growth hacking refers to a set of both conventional and unconventional marketing experiments that lead to growth of a business. Growth hackers are marketers, engineers and product managers that specifically focus on building and engaging the user base of a business. Growth hackers often focus on low-cost alternatives to traditional marketing, e.g. using social media, viral marketing or targeted advertising instead of buying advertising through more traditional media such as radio, newspaper, and television.

Wikipedia definition of Growth Hacking is very basic, Growth Hacking is so much more that what was described above. Growth Hackers build on the success of an already established marketing systems such as web analytics, SEO, A / B testing and online advertising.

However, they detach themselves from traditional marketers in two things:

  1. Constant search for Growth at the lowest possible cost, putting growth above all else.
  2. Tireless Innovation

Growth Hackers do not go to traditional media like the press, radio and television, their main base lies in the social networks and different online systems, which they use to test and grow their network.

The Job of a Growth Hacker is Growth

As mentioned above the phrase was coined by Sean Ellis who is credited with the invention of the term Growth Hacking back in 2010. The concept concept of a growth hacker is evolving and growing and has come down to what it is today.

Growth is the only focus of a Growth Hacker. All decisions, any strategy, any tactic, any initiative will be motivated by, and oriented towards, growth.

Growing is an obsession for Growth Hackers, because the success of their company, startup, or project will need to grow fast and have constant growth, and scale the business.

Don’t all marketers also look for growth?

Yes, they do seek it, but not with so much zeal, nor so obsessively. The marketers want to grow, obviously, but it is not their most important focus. Marketers are concerned about a broader spectrum of factors, where growth is just one of several.

Growth hackers on the other hand also look at a number of factors but their absolute priority is the growth factor, and everything else is secondary and can only be contemplated if it feeds that growth.

This powerful focus on a single thing has brought with it endless tools, practices and methods , which do not exist directly for other marketers, and as time goes on, the gap between traditional marketing and Growth Hacking is widening.

Startups and Growth Hackers go hand in hand

In case you are a little lost, a startup is a company working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed.

A neighborhood cafe is not a startup. But a franchise of cafes with a very specialized system or a niche concept could be considered a startup, although generally a brick n mortar businesses is not considered a startup.

When we talk about Startup, we usually think of an Internet-based company .

Some of the known startups are AirBNB, Facebook, Dropbox, Uber and Tinder.. These were all consider startups but are now considered worldwide business

These companies need to take off very quickly and grow as fast as possible because they usually have angel investors behind them who want results and they want them quickly.

And of course, a startup does not need a traditional marketer, at least in the beginning. No deep strategic plans or customer loyalty. At first, a startup needs to GROW , to grow above everything. If it does not grow, it will not have many customers, and if it does not have many customers, it will not have a future.

Startups aspire to be great and grow fast, and for this they will use the most effective techniques with the lowest possible cost, sometimes bordering on the fine line of morally acceptable and even legally acceptable. That is why they are often accused of using unethical techniques of BlackHat SEO, and other tactics to grow..

The growth hacker should not spam, hack e-mails, or pass user rights and the one that does, can not be considered as a growth hacker.

True growth hackers are looking to be more efficient, more automated and of course, very risky and daring, but they should never cross lines that should not be crossed. Constant growth yes, but within a few channels.

The “hack” of “growth hacker” does not refer to doing dark things behind an anonymous screen, but “hacks” in the sense of looking for the most clever ways to grow their project.

What does a growth hacker do?

You understand that growth is the basis of a growth hacker, but how do they achieve that growth? A growth hacker must master or at least understand the following:

  • Web analytics
  • How to do A / B testing
  • General Marketing Knowledge
  • Web Usability
  • Web design
  • User behavior (psychology)
  • Product development
  • SEO
  • Process automation

And a few more things such as some programming, although there is a some discussion about whether it is strictly necessary or not. In addition, they must be extremely creative , because although it relies heavily on the scientific method of analysis of results and validation or invalidation of premises they  must have creative ideas constantly to find new ways to boost that growth.

Growth Hacking is the Future of the Internet

The truth is that Growth Hacking is not a new system and definitely not a trend. Growth Hacking has been going on for a long time.

Content marketing or the different types of classic marketing have not died, nor will they die anytime soon, but it is true that they needed a more risky and carefree marketing that had a more palpable ROI (Return on Investment). And Growth Hacking perfectly fulfills that role.

Nowadays it is assumed that Growth Hacking is only for Startups, because it is what it was designed for, but everything points to its proven value in large companies, and all types of online projects.

Do you think that Growth Hacking is the future of the internet? let me know in the comments below