The latest buzz in startups is Growth Hacking. It sounds like some secret formula to grow companies to billions in valuation. But what is growth Hacking? What does it mean for marketers and for businesses? Is it Marketing 2.0 (or 3.0 or whatever version we are on +1)?
I have found the definitions by those who created the term to be inaccurate or of little value. At first glance, it could appear that growth hacking is a marketing buzzword about marketing created by non-marketers.
After taking a closer look and reading all I could about it, I found that in trying to learn from it, a pure definition would not be as valuable as an observation of Gowth Hacking characteristics are:
- Typically found in early stage startups – with no formal marketing teams or budget
- Where marketing is performed by engineers or non-career marketers
- That uses smart, cheap and unconventional methods to grow the business
- With a strong focus on analytics, metrics, virality and scalability
Advocates of the term call out DropBox, Twitter and even Hotmail as success stories that prove the value of growth hacking. This view is somewhat misleading as there are a hundred startups following growth hacking techniques that won’t survive to their next round of financing. Which only proves there is no secret formula or buzzword that guarantees success.
The only guarantee of success is to have a great strategy, a great product, a great team, and great execution. But let’s focus on what marketers can learn from growth hackers:
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