Everything You Need To Know About Growth Hacking
You will learn about growth hacking in this article. Within the long list of concepts that come to us from the innovation of American startups, there is a very interesting word that describes the fact of “hacking” growth.
Although it is a term that has been around for more than 10 years, growth hacking is a very striking idea, whose main application has to do with technology startups. But I think the philosophy can be applied in any business. I’ll tell you what this innovation technique consists of, and some real examples.
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Definition Of Growth Hacking
A simple way to explain what growth hacking is is that it is a set of innovative and unconventional techniques and tactics that allow you to achieve rapid and sustained growth, with little investment . The variable used to measure growth can be a number of users, income or impacts of the company, among others.
The term was coined in 2010 by Sean Ellis , the inventor of those strategies. It thus defines the person who sets them in motion, the growth hacker. “ Their only goal is growth. The effectiveness of your actions is measured by the impact they have on lasting and scalable growth. “
There is a lot of difference between traditional marketing techniques, even the latest ones from digital marketing and growth hacking. Because it is a highly innovative and unconventional way of achieving growth . They are techniques that are sometimes copied by other people and become part of the arsenal of digital marketing tools. But, when that happens, they stop being innovative and unconventional, and their effectiveness declines, so they stop being growth hacking.
By that I mean that it is generally temporary . Obviously, if a person discovers a trick to grow the number of users of their startup, it is likely that when the technique and its results are discovered, many will do the same. But then, the normal thing is that the trick stops working so well. Keep in mind is that the hacker, despite his good intentions, often takes advantage of system failures. When they are detected, they are corrected.
But, the main difference between a growth hacker and a traditional marketer is that the sole objective of the former is to grow , while the other takes other things into consideration as well. And that “obsession” with growth is what usually makes it a very efficient function. A person whose sole objective is to grow the company ends up having great results, if they have the right profile. And I’ll talk about that later.
Example Of Growth Hacking: Airbnb
But for now, I want to tell you a real example of growth hacking, with a company that we all know and use today: Airbnb . In the beginning, they did something very smart. When a new user registered an accommodation on their platform, they gave them the option to automatically post an ad on Craigslist , the North American equivalent of Milanuncios. Thus, the user advertised both his accommodation and the Airbnb service, on a platform that already had many users seeking those services.
Why weren’t Airbnb’s competitors doing it? Because there was no API (application programming interface) developed by Craigslist. And there wasn’t for a very logical reason. The classifieds platform was not at all interested in other pages trying to vampirize their users by publishing automatic ads.
What Airbnb did was reverse engineer , to understand how Craigslist ad serving worked. From there, they developed a compatible form, which they used for as long as possible. In the end, when Craigslist caught up with it, it changed its schedule, and Airbnb couldn’t keep listing its accommodations. But in the meantime, they had achieved enviable records thanks to that trick.
I really like this example of growth hacking because it has it all: the technological part , the innovation , the temporary success , and of course the effective growth .
Techniques For Technology Companies
It’s no coincidence that he cited Airbnb. The concept of growth hacking is closely related to technology projects. One of the reasons is because those digital products can be designed to be an integral part of growth .
I go back to Airbnb. The registration form on Craigslist was part of the design of the online platform. Or, if we go to Facebook , think that its reason for being was to serve as a digital link between users. In other words, the initiative to share the product with others so that they could register came from the users themselves. It’s a good example of a growth hack, because for years Zuckerberg’s priority was to grow and build a huge user base. Only after several years did he decide to monetize.
If you want to grow very fast with little investment, it is much easier if you have a technology business, which can be taken advantage of by the pull of large platforms, search engines, social networks, or other strategies.