Since the term “Growth Hacking” has been recently popularised by tech and SaaS start-ups, you would be forgiven for thinking that it is just another trend or buzz-word.
However if you look more closely, Growth Hacking could become the norm for all businesses looking to survive and thrive in a fast-changing world. An environment of high customer expectations and ever-decreasing brand loyalty means business leaders and teams need to be agile and on “their game”.
If you are curious enough to consider utilising Growth Hacking in your business, it helps to identify the most recent definition:
According to Wikipedia,
“Growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business.”
It seems simple enough. But how do you implement Growth Hacking in your business? First you need to understand how you are currently implementing your marketing:
- Is it in a silo? Or does your marketing communicate and integrate with all parts and teams in your business, including sales, product development, delivery and support?
- Do you have agile systems and processes set up to enable pivoting and split-testing of strategies and tactics?
- How is your data organised? Is it interconnected, easy to access and compile?
- Are you only focused on new lead generation? Or does your leadership and entire team understand that growth can come from existing customers?
The answers that you extrapolate from these questions, will allow you to determine your businesses viability to implement Growth Hacking.
Growth Hacking Your Business
Let’s say you decide that marketing will no longer function in a silo, your systems and processes will be openly agile, you can easily access your key data, and leadership is completely open to letting go of obsessive new lead generation. Then you are ready for Growth Hacking:
- Market and business research
Initially, as you launch into Growth Hacking, you need to be asking yourself more questions, to help guide the type of marketing growth opportunity you need to be aware of:
- Where can your business grow? Product optimisation? Product development? Client retention? Client cross-sell? Client acquisition?
- What are your competitors doing?
- What innovations and business strengths can you leverage?
- Test one thing and measure
As your potential opportunities expand it can be tempting to jump in and try multiple growth experiments. It is best to stay focused and try one at a time.
You can then measure and optimise as you test to know when the strategy or tactic will work, or if you need to try something else.
- There is no magic involved
Growth Hacking is not a magic pill, and it cannot fix major fundamental business issues. You must also expect to fail…. a lot! This can be hard, but at the end of the day, if you are not continually trying to optimise and grow your business, then the chances of failure are much higher.
To really benefit from Growth Hacking, marketing and communication skills are required, alongside an ability to analyse data and user behaviour, and think outside the box.
Through Growth Hacking, businesses have seen their products go viral with a simple tag line in an email (Hotmail), to leveraging influencers (Apple), to rewarding your customers to spur growth without really affecting your bottom line (Dropbox).
If you want to learn more, I recommend Sean Ellis’s book – Hacking Growth.
Think of what a little Growth Hacking can do for your business.