What is growth hacking and how is it different from marketing?
Growth hacking has been a buzzword for a while now. Some people feel it's just a fancier term for marketing. But is it true? Also, what is growth hacking anyway?
It's a fairly new concept that came into existence in 2010, coined by Sean Ellis. While traditional marketing is focused on getting more sales of the company’s products and services, growth hacking is a lot more than that.
Growth hackers not only focus on sales, but they also focus on the overall growth of the business while spending the least possible.
If you think about it, there are only two goals of a marketer — building awareness and acquiring new customers. The job of a marketer stops when they acquire a customer. But what after a customer is acquired? Do marketers build frameworks so that customers keep buying again and again? Do they make sure that the customers are happy after the purchase?
This is where growth hackers are different from traditional marketers. Growth hackers focus not only on awareness and acquisition but on the overall growth of the company. They are the ones who make sure all marketing, as well as customer-related operations, run smoothly. They manage the entire A3R3 Funnel which is also called a pirate funnel. It includes 6 stages — awareness, acquisition, activation, retention, revenue, referral.
A growth hacker’s job after creating awareness and acquiring new customers is to deliver a seamless user experience and make sure customers are retained with new features and strategies. This ensures they keep buying from you, and in turn, helping the company find the right business model for selling and upselling, which finally will lead the loyal customers to refer the products/services to others as well!
While all of this might sound like a lot of work, which might cost a lot of money, it’s the growth hackers who make sure that they reach the desired goal, while spending the least amount possible.
How do growth hackers do that? Unlike an average marketer, they take decisions based on data and not on mere assumptions. Yes, marketers conduct surveys, researches, interviews to understand their audience, but what if you have limited resources?
The Growth guys put all their focus on the north star metric. Everything they do should contribute to growth, so there is no space for assumptions and guesses.
Does that mean growth hackers don’t fail? No, growth experiments can also fail — and they do — but growth hackers make sure they are measurable and trackable to understand so they don’t make the same mistake again. if And when an experiment is successful, they make sure to double down on it and take growth to the moon!
Another major difference between a marketer and a growth hacker is, most marketers are specialists, a master at one or two skills.
A copywriter who doesn’t understand design or social media ads or an account manager who doesn’t bring in creative ads or a media buyer who can’ ideate.
All of them together will deliver mind-boggling campaigns but the feedback loops are longer because of too many people in the process.
But growth hackers are all-rounders. They have skills in a “T-Shape”. Most competent growth hackers have a good understanding of data, design, copy, landing pages, and media buying. They know how to measure what they do and see what worked and what didn’t.
A growth hacker has a different mindset!
While marketers are trained to aim for maximum awareness of a product/service but most have very little idea if they were successful and if the campaigns were successful. What after bringing awareness? Growth hackers, on the other hand, are always hunting for ways to get the same results by spending 10 times less by using a few shortcuts with high potential.
Growth Hackers only care about what works for the business and how many right sets of people did they reach at the end of the campaign and not the size of people they reached.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)