Why Growth Hacking isn’t just Marketing.
There has been some rather heated debate over the term “growth hacker” recently. Many state that “Growth hacking is what you call it because you don’t know what you’re doing is marketing”, while others say that a growth hacker a new concept, a hybrid between a developer and a marketer. But what is growth hacking really?
Let’s get real.
Most tech startups can generally agree that when looking to hire a growth hacker, they are looking for someone who’s skill sets look something like this:
Disclaimer: Knowing how to code is generally not required, especially due to tools such as Unbounce and Lead Pages. Though with the resources we have online (One Month for example) a growth hacker has ample resources to learn at least HTML, CSS and their subdivisions quickly. Therefore, a modern growth hacker has little excuse for development ignorance.
Why is this different than a digital marketer?
At this point you might be thinking “Hey, a lot of these skills don’t look much different than the skills of a modern digital marketer…”. And you’re right. Generally, the person that’ll apply to your “growth hacker” job listing isn’t that different from a tech-savy digital marketer on paper at all. Thusly, in this context, the term “growth hacker” mostly segments a subdivision of people in the digital marketing space (considering that “digital marketer” is still a bigger umbrella term with more ambiguity than “growth hacker”) whom are educated on modern data analytics, UX, and automation tools.
So what sets apart the iconic growth hackers that we look upon with starry eyes and mouths agape?
One word. Necessity.
Those innovators that you see who’ve coin the term so to speak (many of which you can find here), were usually founders or co-founders in startups and not “growth hackers” at all. And as with many founding teams, necessity combined with a lack of resources catalyzes the team towards adaption or risking failure.
This necessity can express itself in many different ways, but this is the shape it will likely take for those whom adapt into becoming a growth hacker:
Thusly, a growth hacker at an early stage or pre-funded startup (also known as a “non-technical co-founder”) will likely have a hand in most if not all of these aspects illustrated above.
And people wonder why founders don’t sleep much.
Next week: What is Growth Hacking Really? — The 4 way marriage between product, growth, data, and marketing.