The 6 Growth Hack Mistakes All B2B Startups Need to Avoid

Starting up a new business is a challenge and the challenge is even bigger if you are venturing into the B2B territory. The B2B space differs in its risks and technicalities. These startups have to begin their journey in the absence of a proper road map. Lead generation and brand building are the toughest parts of their evolution as reaching customers and retaining them is not as simple as it is in B2C. Growth hacking is one of the key strategies that B2B marketers have adopted to overcome the challenges they face.

As the name suggests, growth hacking refers to the application of out-of-the-box ideas to scale your products and services in a viral way. It involves unconventional experimentation across product development and marketing channels to enhance customer engagement. Growth hacking encompasses the use of unconventional techniques such as viral marketing, social media, and targeted advertising. These innovative ideas come up as a cost-effective alternative to traditional methods. At the same time, these have the capability of giving exceptional results. The objective of this marketing strategy is to achieve huge and rapid growth for your B2B enterprise. Inventive use of growth hacking brings a series of benefits for B2B business startups:

  • It gets attention to the product or service being offered by the business.
  • With the relevant user-centric approach, growth hacking boosts the sale of the enterprise.
  • It enables brand-building and recognition.
  • It has a lower saturation period and gives results within a shorter span of time.
  • Being a cost-effective measure, growth hacking helps a B2B startup achieve scalable growth in a cost-effective manner.

At the same time, there are some cons to growth hacking:

  • It does not have a universal approach as the same techniques may not be suitable for different types of businesses and products.
  • A growth hacker must have multiple skills, such as those related to marketing, technology, and analytics. Creativity is essential too. His ideas would fail to yield results if they lack innovation and creativity.

Comprehensive understanding and right execution of growth-hacking ideas can take a B2B startup to next level. However, there are some mistakes which can cost them dearly and need to be avoided:

1. Not Analyzing a Technique Before Applying It

The biggest growth hacking blunder that B2B startups make is to apply a tried and tested technique without considering its suitability for their product. Each product and market is unique and requires different marketing techniques. Blindly applying an idea which has been a success for someone else would do more harm than good. A thorough analysis of the product, consumer, and competitors is likely to bring positive growth.

2. Not Understanding Consumer Behavior

The competitive business scenario has made the consumer the most vital link of the buying-selling chain. A B2B startup thus needs to completely understand the behavior of their consumers to achieve success. Information regarding the consumer demand, the timing of purchases, consumer feedbacks and reviews should be collected and used for framing marketing strategies. Not focusing on understanding the consumer behavior would lead to failure of these strategies.

3. Not Paying Attention to Risk Management

Another common growth hacking mistake for B2B startups is the lack of attention to risk management. Risk is an indispensable part of doing a business, whichever product you are dealing with. Therefore, a risk management plan should be a part of the core business strategy. In fact, it can be used as a unique idea to boost the reputation as well as the growth of the business. For instance, Airbnb slashed their prices and offered accommodation for people during Hurricane Sandy as a wise marketing strategy.

4. Considering It a One-Man Job

Thinking that growth hacking is the job of a single person rather than the organization as a whole is totally wrong. Engaging a dedicated hacker for creative job hacking is not certain to bring results. On the other hand, the entire setup should be made responsible for lead generation. The marketing, sales, and support departments should work in co-ordination and exchange new ideas to achieve the targeted growth.

5. Not Focusing on the Benefits of What You Are Offering

Product introduction is the first thing that a B2B startup needs to work on. The way you present your product to the potential buyer makes all the difference to your sales and company growth. There is a tendency to focus on the features and functions of the products rather than their benefits. This is regarded as a mistake that may affect the sales flow for the business in the long run.

6. Ignoring the Cost

Finally, a B2B startup should be careful about budgeting all their processes, such as online marketing and social media strategies. Ignoring the costs or making miscalculations can have a dire impact on their growth. It is important to keep a check on Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) with the strategy. This figure gives a fair idea whether the strategy is giving the desired results and should be continued further or not.

Growth hacking is regarded as an essential for B2B startups because of its aggressive, result-oriented approach. It can bring amazing results within a short span of time. Yet small mistakes cost big with these techniques. Careful analysis, effective execution, and adaptability to changes can be the best ways to eliminate these mistakes and take your B2B startup on the road to success.


Originally published at tech.co on April 5, 2017.