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#Growthhacking – what is it and why do I need it in my business?

Test. Learn. Repeat. The life of a growth hacker.  But just what is growth hacking and should it form part of your marketing strategy?

The rise of the growth hacker

We recruit for a lot of marketing roles and have seen a real shift in the types of roles and skills that are now in demand.  For a long time, marketing was first and foremost about building a brand with big budgets to run offline and online campaigns.  Success was measured by the increase in sales but beyond that, marketers had little understanding of who their customer really was and what impact their marketing was really having.  Analytics and data were left to other departments and marketing focussed on creative ideas that they hoped would win customers over.

Jump to the present day and marketing has exploded into a diverse range of specialisms and niche roles – driven by increased competition, innovative and ambitious start-ups looking for cost-effective marketing solutions and the rise of technology and, more specifically, social media.

Growth hacking(sometimes called performance marketing) is one area that is shaking up the way marketing is done and, which as the name suggests, focuses on growth.  Borne out of the need for starts-ups with a high growth strategy to establish themselves in the market with minimal marketing budget, growth marketers are now in huge demand.

What do they do? 

Growth hacking takes advantage of the breadth of data all around us to analyse, experiment and optimise to build an in-depth understanding of who their customers are, what they want and increase engagement. Primarily associated with using social media and viral marketing, they are able to have an impact on a business quickly and efficiently.

The result is powerful insights that can help drive significant growth.  Growth hacking/Performance marketing has built a real momentum as it can be applied across any business size or sector.

Growth hackers/performance marketers don’t work in isolation – you need a solid product and some understanding of your target audience.  They work across marketing, sales and data insights to drive this growth.  Growth hacking compliments existing marketing and measures success at a much more granular level.  From click-through rates and average lead close rate to customer satisfaction and retention – growth hackers deliver specific measures of growth[1].

Does it replace more traditional marketing?

Growth hacking certainly sounds appealing delivering high growth with limited budgets and time.  But it doesn’t replace more traditional marketing all together.  Growth hacking focuses on the quick short term and experiments to test market response.  They key to successful growth/performance marketing is to focus on a breadth of marketing to deliver longer-term growth.

It is an exciting time to be in marketing – the diversification of this rapidly evolving field provides a whole range of different ways to engage with customers and help businesses to grow.  But they all work together and complement one another too.  There will always be a place for more traditional marketing together with exciting new areas as data becomes ever more available and valuable.

Is it only for B2C companies?

No! Growth hacking can be applied to both B2C and B2B organisations – from online start-ups to large corporates.  The driver will be different i.e. it may be about initiating a phone call rather than getting a customer to purchase from a website but the principles behind getting your intended client to take that action is the same.  Just as B2B companies need to market themselves, growth hacking can be used to better understand the target audience journey and how to maximise impact.

I’m convinced, how do I start?

There is a plethora of tools available to instantly implement hacks, but growth hacking is a specialist field.  It is not just about the implementation, but being able to analyse and refine to achieve the required growth.  A good place to start is reading articles on growth hacking and consider signing up to a crash course to understand the basics.  Beyond that, if you are looking to make growth hacking a key part of your marketing strategy, recruiting a growth hacker is the best way to achieve results quickly.

Want to understand the benefits a growth hacker could bring to your business, or are you a growth hacker looking for your next meaty role?  Why not give us a call to see how we can help.