Growth Hacking is a form of marketing aimed at rapid growth with a minimum budget.
Like traditional marketing, Growth Hacking attempts to answer the question “How to win customers? “.
The approach is based on customer data control, monitoring and the latest technologies.
Growth hackers are breaking down traditional patterns by working on both products and marketing, as their initiatives can impact the entire design process.
The rise of start-ups and growth hacking
Companies like DropBox or Instagram have come out of the ground in record times.
These start-ups did not have a lot of money or resources to launch, yet they had to find (quickly) solutions to become the key companies of tomorrow.
They had to demonstrate innovation and creativity to get with a few thousand euros what some companies struggle to acquire by spending millions.
So, unlike traditional marketers who work upstream to define expectations with market research, these young companies have launched quickly with a minimum of features to go as fast as possible to collect feedback from the first users.
Growth hacking is about identifying what users are doing with the product to improve it and thereby accelerate the growth of the user community.
Growth hacking is not about making a buzz: it is often wrongly thought that this is the goal of growth hacking to gain greater visibility.
In fact, even if the buzz can be a consequence, it will first of all be necessary to focus on an intense, regular and sustainable growth rather than on peaks which, if they arrive too early in the iteration process, do not allow not to find the hack.
Take the example of Instagram: their first version of the application allowed to take pictures with a multitude of options.
Usage analyzes quickly revealed that filters were the best for first-time users.
The result is obvious, the filters have multiplied and they became customizable, adapting the application to the real need detected.
That’s when Instagram met its fans, this simple improvement has resulted in millions of users, and the purchase of the company by Facebook, supreme consecration in the social media.
The 4 elements of a growth hacking strategy
1 – Create a product that people want
Even by offering a service or product absolutely perfect, your approach will fail if there is no demand that corresponds to it. This simple principle of supply and demand is all too often forgotten at the expense of very good ideas.
The basis of growth hacking is to build a community of fans.
True promoters of your products, they become volunteer sales representatives.
But to have this horde of fans ready to support you, it is necessary that your product is attractive and perfect in their eyes.
2 – Know and adapt to your target
Knowing your target segment involves personalized communication that moves away from TV advertising.
But this communication must be two-way, so you must be ready to listen to your target, you give yourself the means to do so, for example with a social networking tool.
Finally, it will be necessary to agree to produce for your target segment and not to try to make him love at all costs your product.
3 – Target only first users
Virality is an integral part of a growth hacking strategy.
Focus on prospects who may be the first to be interested in your product, cherish them, scrutinize their actions and encourage them to promote your product.
When Google launched Inbox you had to have an invitation to enjoy the service.
A very small number of users had access and everyone could send 5 invitations.
Netizens in the target segment were looking for who had an invitation from existing users, and they sometimes even sold them. Growth hacking took shape thanks to:
- first very targeted invitations;
- a sense of being a VIP and having rights that others would only have 6 to 12 months later;
- a pioneering community that has adopted Google’s inbox, built quickly and ready to promote the product.
4 – Do not lose your customers
On average, the ROI of a sale to an existing customer is 60 to 70% higher than for a prospect.
As mentioned above, this is to maximize the return on investment with the minimum budget.
Do you have a new service or option?
Think about your existing customers and take care of them first!
Is growth hacking right for you?
Growth hacking is not necessarily a suitable methodology for all companies.
Combining low budget and growth can be attractive, but this transition involves some risk taking.
This is why start-ups are the most suitable for the implementation of such methods, because the changes required are often more difficult to implement for larger and long-established companies.
The solution often comes from the constitution of small detached cells capable of attempting the experiment.
Growth hacking vs inbound marketing
By observing the 4 fundamental points of growth hacking, the architecture of inbound marketing appears in broad outline. Both approaches ultimately share the same idea of collecting information to better know future customers.
It would be possible to see these two methods coexist. It is therefore essential to:
- Define and put in place relevant indicators
- Collect and analyze data
- Transform the product or services to align with the real need
- Test and learn new techniques
- Develop your strategy
In short, growth hacking is an approach that cuts across both computer development and marketing, in order to recurrently seek rapid and short-term growth levers.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, involves both commercial and marketing activities, often via an alignment of the two teams, which seek linear and sustainable growth over time through a process of maturing leads.