Consider this scenario. You have started a little Bed and Breakfast place in the outskirts of the city. You have your first guests strolling in for the morning meal. You offer them a carefully planned breakfast that offers beautiful bacon, fluffy scrambled eggs and crisp toast. And the guests are vegans. Now do you shrug your shoulders as your menu is set, or do you whip up a lovely avocado sandwich?
If your answer is the latter, this then, is the critical difference between Growth Hacking and conventional marketing. In marketing, one decides a market strategy that aligns with the product proposition, the projected need of the marketplace and the research into the latest trends. The product is a combination of great features using the latest technology capabilities of the organization.
Growth Hacking, however, uses creativity and analytical skills to create the product backwards based on consumer feedback. The core product idea is an evolving, transforming identity that moulds itself as per the customer response and recommendations. Each feature, button or update is a reflection of the data received through a number of low cost channels that gauge customer response.
Growth Hacking typically uses inexpensive and easily accessible marketing approaches like SEO, content marketing, email campaigns, analytics and social media screening. This enables one to connect directly with the target audience while keeping a finger on the pulse of their sentiments.
Any drop in followers or users is quickly picked up by a range of available analytics. Among the recent success stories of organizations using Growth Hacking to rapidly scale up are Groupon, Facebook, Udemy, Twitter, Dropbox, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.
Twitter is a perfect example of growth hacking. It garnered a great user base when it was launched as a platform for sharing and following interests. However, many of the registered users failed to return as the enthusiasm for the offering flagged and the browsers turned to racier pastures. Twitter instantly turned to in-depth testing and analysis to gauge what would keep their users engaged. As they learnt that the more areas the users were connected on, the more likely they were to return, Twitter modified its offerings constantly to offer more live event tabs and video apps. This ensured that the users were hooked on with multiple uses on the platform.
Facebook, the viral social networking platform, found other imaginative hacks to stay ahead of the curve. They wisely acquired service providers in different countries, which enabled them to access email addresses of the users, who could then be converted to Facebook members. Their smart move in sharing their iconic widget helped them go viral on the online media.
Google, everybody’s favourite search engine, found a brilliant growth hacking approach to ensure growth in users. They allowed users to create public profiles that were displayed on searches, and the enthused users signed up in droves.
Air BnB, the innovative vacation rentals site, leveraged email marketing to directly connect with consumers in the area of their interest. They were privy to this information by searching Craiglist for listings and then emailing the users to try out Ari BnB listings instead.
There are many growth hacking techniques one could employ to ensure that one reaches the users faster, and better, with products and services that they have asked for. All you need is a lot of virtual savvy, creative brainstorming and some reliable analytics. Never has there been such a terrific ROI!