Growth hacking is a method, a strategy, and a mindset to achieve growth in anything.
Since the inception of the term by Sean Ellis in 2010, growth hacking has grown into more what it was initially, a way for cash strapped startups of silicon valley to seek growth by any means possible.
Growth hacking is the umbrella term for the growth strategies companies use to achieve scalable and incredible growth and a laser-focused mindset of using the most cost-effective solutions to achieve said growth.
Depending on who you ask, the meaning of growth hacking changes:
- It’s either a marketing strategy (learn more about growth marketing)
- It’s a product development strategy
- A process to run a business or a growth-orientated team within a corporation.
- Or hype and a buzzword of marketers (growth hacking isn’t just about digital marketing)
At its best, growth hacking involves product development and management, analytics, and marketing into one coherent strategy or team.
Meaning growth hacking isn’t just about marketing, product development, or analytics; it’s the combination and creative use of how we use it for growth that matters.
Whether you’re a startup, a corporation, an ecommerce business, a SaaS business, B2B or B2C, you’ll discover why growth hacking matters to your business.
How To Understand Growth Hacking and How It Works?
The primary intent of growth hacking is growth. What type of growth? Any kind for any goal. It also doesn’t matter where and how you achieve growth as long as you achieve it.
Any goal we decide first should be the primary goal we want to grow. We then would use every strategy available to us, the hidden ones, and the obvious.
The growth hacking mindset can be for one person (the growth hacker), a growth team, or the company itself, a.k.a, a growth-orientated company, also called a startup.
And growth hacking is about being creative, resourceful, and analytical with the single-goal of growth.
The goals always direct how we approach growth hacking in business, which allows us to concentrate on a single target we want to achieve for the benefit of the overarching company.
Growth hacking as a marketing strategy employs analytics to discover the best way to achieve a business’s goal and situation to gain the necessary traction.
Growth hacking is also essential to include in your business development. As growth hacking’s goal is growth, without proper business development around that, you might find yourself optimizing for growth without measuring the impact of other crucial metrics such as profitability or product-market fit.
We are going to explore and help you understand what growth hacking is through the benefits it offers.
First, let’s see all the benefits and then go through them, one-by-one in detail.
10 Growth Hacking Benefits
- Embracing growth mentality
- Any company, team, or individual can benefit
- Discover new business models and product ideas
- Build better products
- Suits any goals
- Discover data-driven strategies around Us
- Cost-effective and improve ROI
- Discover loops of growth
- Discover scalable marketing strategies
Embracing Growth Mentality
The essence of growth hacking is the growth mentality we need to gain its benefits properly.
Without understanding what growth is, how much growth do we need, where to seek growth, and how it all impacts the way we run our businesses.
We can either be aggressive in the process of gaining growth or be very passive about it. If we aggressively seek growth, we learn faster to implement growth hacking methods into our operations and experiment quickly to discover what works and what doesn’t.
But if we are more passive about our growth targets, we might settle for less, and we wouldn’t maximize our potential at all times. Which, as a mindset, doesn’t let us truly grow our businesses.
The more passive we are, the less experimentation we do, and the less we will learn and eventually achieve.
Being proactive in seeking growth for whatever the end goal might be in your situation, you will most certainly discover the methods that work for you faster and benefit from them.
And while all businesses can use growth hacking to grow, not all will have the same desire or needs to grow faster.
If you fall into the latter camp, realize it quickly, and understand that it starts from changing the initial perspective you might have on growth itself if you want to grow.
That said, if you want to grow a business, you can grow it.
Any Company, Team, or Individual Can Benefit From Growth Hacking
Growth hacking is not exclusive for startups, corporations, marketers, or any individual. It benefits anyone who wants to find growth to the initial set goals.
By design, the strategies you use to enable growth are flexible to any situation. Any goal is hackable and achievable. The key is to understand the goals and steps you need to make growth happen within every experimentation you end up doing.
When you’re starting, growth hacking as a mindset from day-one helps you combine your product development and marketing efforts to build better marketable products that people love.
As you’re still figuring out what works and what doesn’t or who your perfect audience is, the benefit of growth hacking is that you can discover the ideal combination for growth more quickly.
If you win with a growth hacking strategy, your chances of winning with your competitors can drastically be higher than with traditional business development or marketing strategies.
Growth hacking works the best when you’re willing to change your core products, marketing strategies with newly gained insight with data on a whim. Learn fast, or die trying.
The combination of experimentations helps you build, in the end, a sustainable business that derives its growth through learning something new every time it tries something.
In a nutshell, growth hacking grows businesses of all types when you implement it across marketing, product development, and management.
Discover New Business Models and Product Ideas
Through creating, optimizing, analyzing your growth hacking experiments, you’re always ahead and deeply understand more about your customers, business, and industry more in-depth.
Growth hacking allows us to see more about our businesses and the underlying industries because we experiment so often. We will always end up with the new insight that we can use to our advantage.
And sometimes it shows new business models and product ideas.
For example, you have modified your products in a way that would enhance word-of-mouth or be more attractive to new customers in your current sales funnels.
In doing so, you discover an entirely new way your customers are using your product more effectively and engaging more with products.
You decide to implement the features within the core product, and your growth continues.
Eventually, you will discover something unique about the business model and optimize it from the customers’ insight.
And when you create new products based on customer behavioral data (they like the product and are willing to pay.) You increase your chances of succeeding by a more considerable margin.
All this would lead to discovering new profitable ways of doing your business through growth hacking.
As a constant process, you’re always experimenting with new ways to improve growth through your products, enabling further growth, even faster.
Build Better Products
A clear-cut benefit of growth hacking is building better products that your customers and users genuinely want to use.
A better product that your customers use all the time increases the chances of them referring increasingly more people back to your products. Word-of-mouth as a channel and method is a strategy all companies should consider, as nothing is better than viral growth.
Including product marketing methods, where your product is the marketing tool, is a natural choice for software companies. They can easily modify their products to fit new customer use cases quickly.
But non-software products still can use product marketing for growth as well, albeit more slowly, and the risks can be more costly in the short term.
The use of growth hacking in non-software markets has more benefits as the competition might not be so well-versed in the methods, something to keep in mind.
It all comes down to understanding what your customers use and don’t use your products for and having a way to measure and analyze that data precisely.
If your product isn’t’ performing the way you thought or the product doesn’t achieve the goals you set for it, you would need to change it.
Experiment with changes until it achieves the goals set for the product and when it’s finally achieving the goals, double down until you can’t extract any more growth out of it.
Suits Any Goals
By definition, growth hacking works with any goal, as the growth is the purpose, it doesn’t matter what you’re technically measuring. That said, it’s crucial to be sure that you’re trying to achieve growth where it matters and impact your business.
So first, always define your goals. A goal should be measurable and actionable, something you can measure and determine whether you grew or not.
A goal that you can’t determine if you ever reached it won’t work. A too broad goal won’t work either. Always base your plans on challenging targets, which would impact the business if you’d reach the goal.
Let’s look at a couple of common goals in growth hacking.
A goal like more revenue – while an excellent goal for the business in general, you want to be more focused and specific.
How will you achieve more revenue? Break it down into steps until you find one, an action that you can achieve, measure the success, and compare it to the other metrics you use.
In the end, we are trying to find precise strategies that work for something defined.
Always implement analytics to track and measure everything goal-related, but don’t track the unnecessary. You don’t want vanity metrics in your data sets to derive you from achieving the principal growth goals.
Discover Data-Driven Strategies Within Our Business and Products
Every method that you can repeat and scale and is data-driven can be a growth hacking method. Most businesses can find growth strategies within their business models and their surroundings if you’re ready to experiment and put those growth strategies to the test.
From every channel that you can use for achieving growth, there’s an element that you can use for growth hacking.
For example, you use any of the marketing channels available to you today or find new ones for testing in the future.
First, learn more about the available marketing channels here.
There are always unique approaches to seeking growth if we search for them, as every business is different and tackles various customer problems differently than its competitors.
And how to find growth strategies in our business?
Again, it comes down to determining the goals we want to achieve and breaking it down to how we accomplish these goals. Every step will have its core functions to make it happen, and usually, within these steps, you’ll find the growth strategies.
When we seek these strategies with reasonable goals in mind and analytics, we will discover data-driven methods around us that benefit us massively.
Sometimes even a glance at the data we already have might present us with growth opportunities ready for experimentation. And if we analyze the data even further, we can pinpoint what made it happen in the first place.
If we are successful in pinpointing what made the data happen, that would be an opportunity for us to isolate and choose as a goal for growth hacking.
Cost-effective, and Improve ROI
As growth hacking was born from the need to grow without spending a fortune on traditional advertising, PR, and other high-cost methods, the core mentality enables us to be more creative with cost-effective strategies to improve return-on-investment (ROI).
For example, you discover a functionality within your product that you could use to maximize the growth further with a little bit of help and focus. And in such cases, it won’t cost you as much as developing something completely new.
You can find these low-cost strategies around you after realizing your target audience’s needs and the way you fulfill these needs and then nurture it further.
For example, from a marketing perspective, you build a new landing page and a sales funnel that works in converting users into customers, and you start advertising and driving traffic to the landing page.
If your customer acquisition cost stays low, and you’re making more profit than the ads cost you, you’ve discovered a method you can scale, which won’t add to the costs anymore as it produces more than it spends.
In such a case, if the goal is to maximize revenue, you landed on a cost-effective marketing strategy that you can use until it doesn’t produce any more growth.
When discussing cost-effectiveness, there is a crucial thing to note, nothing works forever, and methods and growth hacks only work for some time.
Meaning that while your strategy produces growth now, the question of whether it will make it in the future is wholly another concept. It all leads back to the power of experimentation, which growth hacking embraces.
You’re always running towards more cost-effective, better, or goal-achieving methods because if you don’t, at some point, the growth will stop. And if growth stops completely, depending on the growth hacks themselves, you might find yourself in a bit of a pickle.
Discover Loops of Growth
When growth hacking your goals, you need to strive for even more significant growth, which requires the power of compounding.
That’s why you need to learn the concept of growth loops and how it helps you build better growth strategies.
A growth loop is simply a closed system where an input generates an output, fueled back into the loop, growing the system altogether.
It all means when you’re experimenting with new strategies for growth marketing or finding ways to enable viral sharing of your product (like rewarding users or even giving commissions for referrals like affiliate marketing). Taking steps to make sure there’s an underlying growth loop embedded in the marketing methods or products helps you grow faster.
As by its nature, as it invests the input back into the process, growth loops can be cost-effective when you discover or diligently create one.
Growth loops can be small or big, and their broader impact on your business will vary depending on what you’re measuring. Still, in some cases, these loops can increase a business’s growth opportunities to the next level.
And suppose you adapt to the results of the experimentations to the business model. In that case, you increase the chances of finding interesting points of view to advance achieving goals. Whether that’s more users, revenue, and any other metrics you want.
Learn more about crafting successful loops here.
Discover Scalable Growth Hacking Marketing Strategies
Your business, its products and services, and the target audience are what defines the growth marketing strategies available to you at any given time.
The usual problem is always, what is the winning strategy in our unique business. Simultaneously, we can all use all sorts of online marketing methods that our peers also use to grow, but not all strategies work for everyone.
It leads to why we need to experiment a lot before finding these winning strategies, and that is where growth hacking helps us discover the best marketing strategies.
In most cases, there are no winning formulas that you could fall back onto every time; these things change all the time. But it’s good to know what is available and what generally works in your product types or industries.
Like in everything in growth hacking, it’s about finding the marketing strategies that work for the target goal and then scale its use until it doesn’t work anymore.
And never forget to reflect and seek what types of unique digital marketing strategies you could exploit easily.
Growth Marketing Examples
For example, some industries have a lot more variety and options when it comes to working with influencers (which would enable you to grow with affiliate marketing, guest postings, or sponsoring).
Another great source of ideas is tracking search engine optimization performance and finding new keywords that people already use to discover you. Then you can create a content marketing strategy for publishing engaging content for blogs, social media marketing, or Google Ads.
Whether you end up using Facebook ads or email marketing in your growth hacking strategy, always remember to benchmark these traffic sources against each other to see which of them produces the most end goals.
For more marketing ideas, check out our six B2B marketing methods and small business digital marketing strategies.
Growth Hacking Analytics
Analytics is the most crucial element of growth hacking, and it is its best benefit. Without analytics, growth hacking couldn’t exist. It needs analytics, data, and measurement to understand what worked and what didn’t. Otherwise, we would guess all the time in hopes of success.
If there’s one thing that you need to know about growth hacking analytics, it is the following:
No matter what you measure, or the tools you use, or the complexity of the problem you’re trying to measure, it’s crucial to have everything measurable to the extent you can understand whether your hack worked or not and having the data accurate enough.
And that means using product analytics, web analytics, or tools such as Google Analytics or Facebook pixel.
And when measuring performance, remember to cross-check your data, whether it’s something you can rely on and trust.
For example, you will need to connect these data points to your goals for measuring growth from social media with YouTube Analytics or Facebook Analytics.
In the end, data is the driver and explanation if an experiment works and something you can use to gain further growth.
Growth hacking done wrong is just marketing, and there’s plenty of great strategies to grow a business with purely online marketing strategies. But if you seek and need growth to stay alive as a company, then growth hacking is an essential tool.
Experiment, find what works and scale it until it doesn’t grow anymore, then change goals, and do it all over again.
But in the end, the process of how growth hacking benefits companies is the combination of the creation of better, scalable, and more viral products that your customers love. And that enables you to grow faster with limited marketing budgets.
We hope you better understand how to implement growth hacking in your situation, whether starting a company, creating new products, or discovering methods to scale your current business.
As we have mentioned earlier, it all boils down to experimenting with new and undiscovered methods only your company or product can deliver.
As helpful as it is to learn about case studies and examples, the best growth hacks are unique as our goals differ drastically from business to business, and the resources we have are never the same.
So look within, decide upon a goal, break it down into steps, and do it, analyze, then scale and rinse and repeat.