Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015
Traditional marketing has its place.
But traditional marketing is not what is driving the most growth in 2015.
For a business to grow in our modern technical age, you must work with the modern technical tools.
For many markers used to print ads and direct mail, this new world is tough to understand.
Growth hackers, on the other hand, thrive in our new marketing environment.
These hackers know not only how to maximize the impact of online tools, but how to use those tools to grow a business – often exceptionally.
What makes a growth hacker so successful? Many things.
Unlike marketing which is a collection of advertising strategies in most companies, growth hacking is a wider mindset propelling companies into a new dimension of growth and customer acquisition.
Growth hacking isn’t a collection of tools. It’s a mindset blending both sides of the brain – creativity and analytics. In short it’s a technical art form.
Elements of marketing and advertising are very much part of growth hacking, but true hacking goes well beyond SEO, print advertising and landing pages. Those are very small pieces of a much bigger adventure.
Bringing in new customers is pointless if you can’t keep them around.
Growth hacking doesn’t just reach new customers, it works at the base level to find what appeals to those customers and what makes them want to stick around for the long term.
Hackers work hard to learn their current and future customers as well as they know their own products and services. You have to know who you’re selling to in order to tap into their psyche and actually close the deal. But after the deal is closed, keeping that customers happy and in the fold is even more important for long term growth.
Just because a growth solution worked last week doesn’t mean it will work this week. And it may be that the first workable solution isn’t the best.
Keeping options opens means looking for the ideal steps and solutions constantly – there is never a stopping point in the exploration.
Emotions can’t affect the decisions of the growth hacker. If his favorite software or solution isn’t working, he doesn’t get defensive and sullen, he cuts it off, figures out the next step and presses forward. Growth hacking is artistic and creative, but not a maelstrom of emotions.
Data is a driving force in growth hacking. Without data, a growth hacker will never know how successful his or her ideas are.
But communicating with data all day isn’t effective in the long run. The good growth hacker communicates with former, current and future customers to dissect their wants, wishes and thoughts. They did deeper than the data can go.
Armed with customer input, the growth hacker can easily find the gaps in the market and steer his company offerings right into those holes, filling needs customers often didn’t even realize they had.
Truly deep growth can’t be achieved by growth hacking alone. The websites that are part of our mainstream culture today like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter didn’t become a part of our daily lives through marketing alone.
The good growth hacker knows that deep growth takes over where growth hacking leaves off.
The technical geniuses who create new products often overlook the rest of the world’s frustration with multiple steps and complexities.
The #growthhacker feels the call of the people and simplifies products, ideas and steps for all consumers.Click to Tweet Please!
Consider the success of Apple products. They are almost insulting in their simplicity, but the fact that a toddler can work an iPhone has created mass appeal for the millions of individuals cautious or frankly terrified of technology with more than a few buttons and pictures.
Words. It’s the words we use that motivate and inform others, and growth hackers know this well.
Design is hugely important, of course, but the words on the page make the most impact, so good growth hackers know how to test, play with and rearrange the words to their maximum benefit.
The love affair with words never stops either. Messages change, phases develop. Time marches on and the need for new artful language is always very real and necessary.
Data is not the engine of your growth machine. It may be the gas, but the growth hacker doesn’t like data power through decisions without him. The data is important, but it is only one piece of the whole puzzle.
The creative knows that without data he will never know how good his idea is. But the data analyst knows that without the creative ideas and solutions that give data a real purpose, he will never know just how bad his ideas can be. It is very much a combined effort between two very unique skill sets.
Even the best growth hacker has limited resources.
A good #growthhacker knows that he can’t waste his time on everything that comes along.Click to Tweet Please!
He finds the products and services in tune with the marketplace – the best of the bunch – and focuses his efforts there. A bad product won’t appeal to customers, regardless of effectively it is marketed. The growth hacker picks only the best to work with, or works with a company to make a product the best before bringing that product to the customers who should be waiting for it.
When you start growth hacking, the hacking should fit within a bigger umbrella of goals for the company. Every website or company should have long term goals. Otherwise what is all the work for?
While your company has stages of growth, the long-term goals should be the guiding star for those stages. Navigate in time to the goal, and as you approach the goal, consider revising it. After all, five years in business can change almost everything. A long term goal that doesn’t allow you to truly grow isn’t a goal at all.
Growth hacking isn’t recycling old marketing ideas. It’s coming up with the ideas that nobody has thought of before, or refining old ideas to better suit consumers.
The full product development phase is very much a part of #growthhacking – not just selling it at the end.Click to Tweet Please!
Customers have a wide range of choices. They will always choose the product or service they view as more fun. After all – why choose the basic one when a fun one is available?
If your growth is tapering off or not even taking off, consider revamping to make things more fun and enjoyable for the customers.
There are only so many hours in a day, and growth hacking is a long-term endeavor which means you must sleep, and sleep well.
With such limited time, it’s important to outsource the smaller details and less important aspects of a project so that the growth hacker can focus on the big picture and more important elements.
One of the biggest keys to real growth is to fill a need that customers want filled.
Airbnb was stagnant until they realized they could help the many people trying to come to Denver for the Democratic National Convention in 2008. The start-up connected tourists with rooms outside of the sold-out hotels and a new service exploded.
The explosion of good fortune for Airbnb would have been meaningless if the company couldn’t continue to growth and utilize the same technique over time. This is where gathering data and analytics is critical.
There is no ending to growth hacking, there is only gathering data, learning and more growth down the road.
There are many phases of business and solutions that worked in one phase may not work in the next. A good growth hacker has his finger on the pulse of the company and the company’s industry to stay abreast of company and industry growth and changes.
Nothing in the world of growth hacking works in isolation. The stage of the business is very much a critical factor.Click to Tweet Please!
Growth hacking is an art. This means some tools are useful all of the time, but how to wield those tools can change in an instant. Every company, every product, every customers is different, so applying a step-by-step growth plan is never going to be an ideal solution.
Instead, focus on the end goal and learn the ins and outs of the customers and the product to bring the two closer together.
A growth hacker is naturally curious. He is also dripping with creativity. The hacker is the one creating new ideas, new outreaches, and new solutions to problems nobody else realized existed.
He is curious about how the internet works, how customers work and how the product can be changed and improved to be the best fit with both.
The growth hacker is not just analytical and he’s not just creative. He is the ideal mix of both, using both sides of his brain at all times to sort through ideas, find the best, and then work with the data to determine just how effective the idea was in the short and long term.
While there are plenty of visionaries who deal with ideas, not keyboards, in the world of growth hacking, you must have a vision, creativity and relatively advanced technology skills.
If you can’t work with the software, it’s a challenge to make the software perform up to your expectations – especially with the myriad of possibilities through social media and organic marketing online.
The most critical connection for a growth hacker is the thread that connects the product and the customers. Why are customers buying into the product idea? Why will they keep coming back to use the product again and again?
The best products fill a customer need. In fact, the ideas that fill the biggest needs will need almost no advertising at all to grow exponentially.
It starts with a big idea, but quickly escalates to online analytics and accounts. The internet is a wild world of new ideas and growth possibilities. The growth hacker knows he doesn’t know everything and is always in tune with the online techniques and skills developing in stride with his own efforts.
He uses those tools when effective, often being on the pioneers into new markets using developing tools and ideas thanks to his diligent efforts to find them first.
Companies are realizing that growth hacking goes well beyond what traditional advertising and marketing can ever hope to accomplish. These companies are seeking individuals with the unique blend of vision and talents to make growth hacking a reality for their company.
But growth hackers aren’t just hired onto bigger companies. The smallest ideas, the least expensive start-ups can all reach the masses. It just takes the efforts of one visionary. One growth hacker.