What is growth marketing “hacking”?
The digital world is a constant battlefield on which marketers are fighting to achieve the greatest competitive advantage. Faced with the surplus of competitors, constraining budgets and limited resources, it’s no wonder new strategies are on the rise. The conventional approach to marketing is no longer enough. The only way to survive is to adapt. As marketers searched for a way to manage more data and react more quickly to insights, a process called “Grow Hacking” evolved. The term “growth hacking” sounds like one of those annoying Silicone Valley buzz words. But the reality is that this method of business development has helped companies to grow quickly and increase sales. In the same way that computer hackers explore new methods of gaining access to systems, a growth hacker thinks outside the box to gain access to their target audience. The growth hacker, in other words, finds the right ‘trick’ or ‘hack’ that maximizes and accelerates growth. Growth hackers utilize a combination of marketing, product knowledge, analytical and creative thinking to achieve their goals. Unlike marketers they have knowledge in statistics, programming, analytics, and how to use their skills to leverage A/B testing and metrics to their advantage. They approach their work with one question in mind: What is the most effective impact on growth?
Here at Business Growth Managers, LLC, we like to use the term “growth marketing” instead of “growth hacking.” Where a hacker might focus on “black hat” or unethical means of marketing your business, we focus solely on honest, effective methods of growing businesses.
So, what’s the difference between growth marketing and regular marketing?
Growth marketing refers to a set of both conventional and unconventional marketing experiments that lead to growth of a business. The best growth hackers are marketers, engineers and product managers that specifically focus on building and engaging the user base of a business. Growth marketers often focus on low-cost alternatives to traditional marketing, e.g. using social media, target leads, and viral marketing instead of buying advertising through more traditional media such as radio, newspaper, and television.
Regular marketing, on the other hand, focuses more on the traditional branding and media usage. For example, a marketer could use engagement rate to analyze an overall goal of building brand awareness. A growth marketer, by comparison, could set a goal of increasing social sharing by 70%. Hence, marketing activities can have a broad focus that encompasses any part of the funnel, whereas growth marketing depends on setting highly defined, achievable goals in order to reach a specific, singular outcome: business growth.
Growth marketing impacts the scale of startups, just as much as existing corporations
The goal of any marketing strategy should be long-term sustainable growth. Not a short-term gain in sales. Growth marketing is a great launching point and is particularly prevalent with startups, when the goal is rapid growth at an early launch phase. The focus is usually lowering cost per customer acquisition, with a strategy for long-term sustainability and customer retention.
Growth marketing is about optimization as well as lead generation. It’s the reason we get to see a few new startups each year with absolutely ridiculous growth rates. Growth marketing has only been around for a few years, but it’s already catching fire.
Growth marketers have been a staple of startups since their rise in the 2010s. But growth marketers are now also in high-demand from companies looking to revamp their business model to apply more modern forms of marketing.
Successful growth marketing utilizes analytical thinking, creativity and engineering capability to scale successful growth in startups from zero to millions or hundreds of millions of customers in a few years. And more customers and raving fans translate later into solid brand identity, word-of-mouth and more money.
In general, the strategies of startups and larger corporations take into account a different breed of analytics. Starts-ups, for example, may focus on a growth of 15% monthly, while an existing corporation may be satisfied with 5% growth annually. While startups have the uncertainty of business development or how a new product will perform, established companies have the advantage of brand awareness and a loyal customer base.
In startups, growth marketing is a discipline that can be cultivated within a marketing plan of the organization. It is used for a while now by savvy marketers in the background of startups that have become the biggest names on the web. Growth marketing is responsible for growing companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Amazon, YouTube and Quora.
These companies hire experts to help them “hack,” optimize and escalate their growth. For example, LinkedIn gained access to their initial user base by focusing solely on business professionals. They used the idea of exclusivity by inviting only professionals to the site. This “exclusive” content hack appealed to their target audience directly and created a perfect environment for fast growth for the company.
Here at Business Growth Managers, LLC, we saw the rise of this new form of marketing firsthand. We saw new companies leveraging both creativity and analytics to rapidly and significantly increase a growth. That’s when we knew how much this could work for our clients.
The basis of our business model, “The 4P Advanced Success System™” utilizes growth marketing, financial intelligence and market insights to help our clients with a holistic approach to their business needs.
Below is an illustration of our cross-functional approach to business development
Disclaimer: This chart is for demonstration purposes and not to be taken as accurate numbers.
We bring your entire organization under one integrated unit to grow and scale all departments for productivity and profitability to build your company into a mission-driven profit vehicle.
A growth marketer implements a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most effective, efficient ways to grow a business. Our smart growth marketing strategy considers the performance of each department, in cross-functional roles, with the focus on creating an effective sales funnel. We analyze the key components, roles, costs, contribution, fulfilment, productivity and results of all departments. Then, we create a new growth strategy for each aspect of your business. Followed by testing to find the perfect blend of growth strategies to sustain your business development. This process is reviewed and repeated throughout the life of the business with the intention to build a thriving and lucrative business.
Growth marketing is demonstrably useful and it’s here to stay. Many companies are not yet aware of its benefits. Countless companies stagnate or even fail because they haven’t evolved their marketing efforts. If your profit is suffering, it may not be too late to implement a growth marketing strategy. Behind any effective growth marketing activity is a rigorous, structured process that’s rooted in repetition and scalability. Whether you’re a startup or large organization, B2B or B2C, this process can be customized and incorporated into successful growth strategies.
If you would like to implement Growth Marketing on your own, you can swipe our DIY Growth Marketing Cheat Sheet.