Growth hacking is a digital market tool that aims at growth. It’s a relatively new field that has contributed to ridiculously high growth rates of some of the other start-ups every year.
It started as a growth strategy for early-stage startups that needed massive growth quickly and on small budgets. Many of them have soon attained corporate status. Facebook is often cited as an example of how here the growth hacking techniques achieved ridiculous growth rates for the start-up it was initially. Even though growth hacking is somewhat a new area, most start-ups are looking to use growth hackers. And, Facebook’s example of quick and stupendous growth explains why.
Growth hacking: A definition
The objective behind the growth hacking strategies is to acquire as many users or customers at the earliest and the lowest possible cost. A team working on growth hacking will usually consist of developers, markets, product managers, and engineers. Together, they plan strategies for quick expansion of the user or customer base.
Sean Ellis, who is credited to be the first growth hacker, has been responsible for ridiculous growth rates for many companies. But every time, he moved to a new assignment, he found difficulty in finding a suitable replacement for himself. So, he created a specific role for growth hacking, fit only for people with a specific mindset.
Zero in on a product or service which is scalable. Deliveroo, for example, doesn’t own a restaurant or supply food. It only offers a service that consumers use to access millions of food joints and restaurants. With word of mouth recommendations from customers, the user base keeps expanding.
Let’s understand this in a step-by-step manner
Step 1: Creating product users want
If you are in the market with a product that people didn’t like, everybody will instantly get to know why it is not being liked. Thanks to the internet and social media, that is the kind of market today. So, the way out is to seek feedback and use it to create a product that everybody likes. Taking your product to the market as soon as possible and using the feedback to improve is the only way to go forward. Hiding your product fearing negative feedback is no solution.
Step 2: Select your audience
Your product will not be useful to everyone; it would be needed by an even smaller audience. So, to scale quickly, you need to reach your target audience without wasting any time.
The following metrics can help you scale and grow fast
- Acquisition: Get people to know you.
- Activation: Happy first experience to users.
- Retention: Get them to come back for more.
- Revenue: Monetize.
- Referral: let them tell others.
Step 3: Acquisition
There are at least three ways you can get people to know you.
- Viral: People refer you to their colleagues, family, and friends.
- Sticky: You give an experience that makes people come back to you again and again.
- Paid: You spend some money to acquire customers who will be worth many times more for your business.
Depending on your product and business, you can choose which ones will work best for you.
Step 4: Activation
Sign up page can be a good start for acquisition but such acquisition mustn’t become inactive. Rather, they should stick around and participate in leads for people to stick around and participate in your business.
Step 5: Retention
Repeat customers are very important for a business to scale up. Happy with their previous experience, they are going to spend more money on your product.
Step 6: Revenue
To achieve ridiculous levels of growth, you need to a have futuristic mindset, adequate team, and infrastructure that can process millions of orders someday soon. You need to continuously think forward in terms of investments, skills, capacity, new ideas until you reach the point of diminishing returns.
The main key to success is the Mindset! Although certain skills are required, you need to constantly be forward-thinking with new ideas, test, measure and repeat until you hit a point of diminishing returns.
Step 7: Referrals & improvements
You are not going to be satisfied by mere conversion. You want satisfied customers to refer you to their friends and family. Will they do so? Better ask them. Also, continuous updating and upgrading your offering is a sure way of keeping your competitors off your track.
Growth hacking is a promising new area for digital marketing professionals to upskill themselves. This is opening up new job scenarios and hinting at how the future of business is going to be a lot more dependent on the internet for scalability.