What is Growth Hacking?

Far from being a secret society of spies whose only goal is to dismantle our governments, this mysteriously named role still retains some mystery. Today is the day for the ‘growth hacker’ to be exposed.

The what

Growth hacking is a marketing-related discipline. What is marketing exactly? It is the process that starts at the conception of a product and ends at the hands of the consumer. It includes recognising the product’s strength and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats it faces in its target market.

Now, the main difference between a traditional marketer and a growth hacker is that the latter only focuses on the product’s growth, rather than on the whole process. In our digital era, a product is not only a concrete good anymore, such as a table or a bed. Nowadays, it can be your online Twitter account, the stories you share on Facebook or your blog/website.

This discipline entirely exists on the internet, which makes it cheap and efficient if executed correctly.

The who

We think it’s safe to say that you understand that growth hackers focus on… well… growth. But what exactly do we mean by that?

Growth is the stage where a company needs to increase sales, maximise profit margins and lowering cost. It also defines the product’s place in its market. If you were a soda company, that would be the stage where you would do anything to try and dethrone Coca-Cola.

Everything growth hackers do is dictated by results through their consumer-experience tests; if a tool doesn’t work, they’ll move on to the next one and so on.

What does it take to be a growth hacker? If you weren’t born a tech-savvy, don’t worry, you don’t need to know how to code to do this job. However, you must be a stickler for growth, with a bit of creativity to tackle problems and the discipline to progress step by step and analyse what went wrong or right.

The where

The growth hackers’ battlefield is the internet. They differ from digital marketers, who are traditional marketers who chose the internet as their playground: they create content marketing, email campaigns and improve the SEO of your company, to name a few. The digital marketers will involve directly the consumers and try and make the website more visible on Google (“why Google?” you ask).

Growth hackers, on the other hand, will focus on making the website’s interface smooth and intuitive for the consumer. They will make it easier to share information and thus promote the product in their own network. It can be as simple as adding a “share on Facebook” button at the start or end of your blog article.

The how

A common tool is A/B testing: you show two variables of the same website to similar consumers and choose the one that will make them do what you want them to do (it’s called conversion), whether it is sharing an info or signing up to your newsletter.

There are other ones that tech experts will be more familiar with, but if you are a new fish in the growth hacking ocean, you have to think outside the box and find solutions to make your product go viral.

So, do you think your stickler tendency could stick to this career path?

Check out our marketing roles here. For more information on marketing, see our blog posts on what is digital marketing, and what is social media marketing.