Why is growth hacking so successful in startups? Can corporates benefit from this business development method as well? Can you make it work in a corporate environment?
There are three core fundamentals that need to be present in order to make corporate Growth Hacking work. In this article, I will explain those three prerequisites, as well as give you three concrete starting points to make it work for your corporation! After reading this article, you will know how to implement this methodology agile, seamlessly and, above all, more impactful.
What is Growth Hacking?
Growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across many vital parts of the business such as marketing, product development, sales segments, and other areas of the business, to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business. Growth hackers are using creative, low-cost strategies to help businesses acquire and retain customers. They tend to be meticulous, curious and analytical; focusing solely on data based strategies related to growing the business. Growth hackers hypothesize, prioritize and test innovative growth strategies to see what is delivering best results. They first build small experiments and only invest big when success is verifiable and eminent.
That is why normally a growth hacking team is made up of a very versatile group of individuals within a startup, like marketers, developers, engineers and product managers, as well as sales people and customer support specialists. Together they focus specifically on developing and engaging current and potential customers of their business in order to expend their customer base. Growth hacking is as much about optimization, as it is about lead generation.
Startups vs. Corporates
The Growth Hacking methodology is used mostly in startups; and for good reason.
To use Growth hacking in an organization a few essential fundamentals should be present; prerequisites which occur naturally in startups. Let’s dive a bit deeper in what these fundamentals are and why they are so important in making Growth Hacking work.
We have to take two main characteristics of the growth hacking methodology into consideration: “rapid experimentation” and “…across the business”.
In order to succeed in Growth Hacking, you need three core fundamentals to be present: right culture, right people and right structure of your company. In a startup these 3 elements are occurring very naturally. The culture of startups is focused on growth and realizing it together therefore employees of startups are often found to be more collaborative, self-starting, efficient and with mentality to constantly gain new knowledge and skills. They have broad skills set simply because working in a very small organization, still covering all business aspects, forces them to perform duties belonging to many disciplines. This “can-do attitude” coupled with the ability to acquire experience very quickly is an important enabler of personal growth, leading to organizational development. The structure of startups is often flat and small which will make it easy to have the right mandate to act fast and pull together all departments of the company in a small group of people. All these ingredients plus a good drive and scarcity (in money and time) is fertile soil for this celebrated methodology.
After reading the above, you might think to yourself; “This is not the case in my corporate environment and so this methodology will never work. We have other principles and these characteristics of startups are impossible to implement here.”
Corporate culture with its rigid hierarchical structure built upon employees focused on delivering predefined set of objectives within their job specification are allowed little freedom to experiment or take independent decisions. Unlike in startups, resources are not a major issue here, but employees versatile and comfortable with “wearing multiple hats” are very rarely found at corporations. And so, you are partly right in thinking that implementing the GH methodology in corporations is a very difficult, but it is not impossible. It can be though but oh so rewarding if done right.
How to reap the benefits
There is still a lot to gain for corporates while using Growth Hacking methodology! If implemented skillfully, the growth hacking process and mindset can bring lots of valuable organizational impact and most importantly accelerate the company growth. When for startup GH can mostly bring cost effective and time efficient way to grow the business, for corporate GH, besides mentioned significantly improved efficiencies, it will also deliver value in the form of those three fundamentals.
The methodology will help to break down silos. Create a culture focused on innovation, growth and stimulate personal development by cross-departmental learning.
So, what should you do to make it work for business?
Understand that the focus has to be on culture, people and structure, and only then on the methodology, tools and the way of working.
Through our experience in making Growth Hacking work the right way for corporates we have a few starting points for you to get you started with corporate growth hacking.
1) Start small
Start small; it is very tempting to try to use this methodology throughout all areas of the business but that will simply not work. You need to slowly adopt the way of working and take others along by showing results. Marketing is often the best starting point for growth hacking.
2) Pick the right players
Pick the right team members; you not only need them to have the right skills, but you also need to ascertain they will have the right mandate to decide, change and influence GH mindset of others. Ideally, they should have knowledge and skills of how to navigate the company corporate structure, but at the same time have the courage to challenge the status quo and offer constructive feedback to all stakeholders. You should choose team members from different departments (depending on GH project objectives) to start working cross-functionally with a common goal in mind.
3) Good communication
Communication; make sure vital stakeholders are up to speed about the developments of the project. Create quick means of communication between employees in order to stimulate cooperation.
Failure is the seed of growth and success
Expect to fail; it is important to realize this before starting. After all; while performing very many small experiments you will end up failing a lot. Therefore, learn from your failures and use your insights to convince others about the opportunities ahead. In execution always remember; “Done is better than perfect”.
Lots have tried and lots have failed, but with taking these starting points in mind, you have a good chance to make it work. We at Luvix made Corporate Growth Hacking work, because we not only bring the knowledge about growth hacking, but also about company structures, people, and culture along with experience of stakeholder management and navigation of corporate waters. For these reasons, Luvix can help you reap the benefits of the Growth hacking methodology for your organization.