Francis Picabia once said “The only way to be followed is to run faster than the others”. This sentence sums up the start-up spirit, and that particular craving for growth that start-ups may have. The term Growth Hacking has been used for the first time by Sean Ellis; Father of the biggest growth hacking platform: growthhacker.com. He developed Growth Hacking for Dropbox (one of the most famous success of growth hacking), Evenbright and Lookout.
Growth hacking can be defined has “A set of marketing techniques which allow to rapidly accelerate the growth of a start-up with minimal or no cost at all”. Growth hacking can also be defined as the start-up marketing, because only the flexible nature of a start-up allows its practice.
So what is a Growth hacker?
The Growth hacker is a polyvalent individual who can be competent in areas such as: marketing, coding, data mining or even psychology. He generally possesses a great imagination and an open-mind. He often fails and learns from his mistakes to do better.
How does Growth Hacking work?
It’s hard to explain the exact process of Growth Hacking because it revolves around several techniques of different natures. But according to Oussama Amar, cofounder of The Family, Growth Hacking follows the “3D” rule (Design, Data, Distribution). We can define those three terms as such:
- Design: The principal goal is to have a good product/market fit, the product should be present on the right market but it should also please the needs and cravings of this market.
- Data: We can’t do anything without first analysing data. It should be at the center of every strategic decision a start-up is going to make.
- Distribution: We will try to get the maximum number of active users to be able to spread the word efficiently
However, the most followed method by growth hackers is “AARRR” (Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue):
- Acquisition: We want to establish traffic by making the user come to our website (“inbound marketing) but also by seeking him out (“outbound marketing”)
- Activation: We want the user to take action, like subscribe to a newsletter or install an app. But he needs to know what added value he will get out of this service first.
- Retention: We want the user to be loyal, and use the product more than one time.
- Referral: Our users should talk about our products because they love them. We should make it easier for them and find ways to make them benefit from it.
- Revenue: We seek a way to convert each user into profit
It is necessary to analyse each step and test ways to improve and reuse the ones that have the best results. A/B testing is one art the growth hacker excels at. It is only through testing that the optimal solution can be found and you can’t know how many tests you will need, so yes, the life of a growth hacker isn’t an easy life.
Stay tuned for our next article that will go deeper into Growth hacking success stories
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