Growth Hacking: Focus on the Process, not just the Tactics

My focus is to put growth hacking in a process, a subject which is currently available in the ecosystem as individual sets of hacks or tactics or tools which worked for some product or service.

Putting things into a process is what makes growth hacking really scalable and repeatable.

Here’s the process we follow and train on at Mapplinks Academy:

Stage 1: LEARN

Module 1: Introducing to Growth Hacking

Module 2: Why Growth Hacking & The Growth Triangle

Module 3: Growth Hacking Case Studies & Examples

Module 4: Growth Hacking & The Lean Startup

Module 5: Growth Hacking Funnel & The A3R3 Framework

Module 6: Growth Hacking Personas and Channels & The Triple Peak Effect

Module 7: Growth Hacking Tools & Deep Hunting

Module 8: Growth Hacking Types: OPN, OPA, OPP, User Psychology, OPN, O2I, Trojan Horse Growth Hacks, Side-Project Marketing, Influence Hacking, & Others

Module 9: The Mapplinks Growth Hacking Process

Module 10: Growth Hacking Experiment Design

Module 11: Growth Hacks Ideation & Brainstorming

Module 12: Growth Hacking Implementation

Module 13: Growth Hacking Metrics & Lean Analytics

Module 14: How to Scale Growth Hacking

Stage 2: IDEATE

Defining Growth Personas

Finding Growth Channels (3-step process)

Generation, Review & Feedback on Growth Experiment Ideas

Prioritisation Frameworks for Assigning Priority Scores to Ideas

Growth Hacking Parameters

Defining OMTMs for Growth Experiments

Defining reporting, execution plan, and analysis cycle for each experiment

Stage 3: EXECUTE

Create workflow for Experiment Execution

Assign teams within defined workflow

Review Execution Process

Implement new tools to improve execution process based on team feedback

Review and Continue Execution Cycles as Needed

Stage 4: ANALYSE

Review OMTMs for All Growth Experiments

Formalise ESRs (Experiment Success Ratios)

Understand Sigma Equations with Balancing Variants to calculate Success Parameters

Assignment: Calculate ESRs for all Growth Experiments

Review Calculated ESRs in Assignment and Measure Results

Define Success (YES OR NO) using best score matrix table

Identify UNICORN growth hacks and award the respective hackers

Stage 5: SCALE

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions on the above process. I would love to hear from you if you’re working on a similar goal which is to develop the process for growth hacking and provide growth hacking education available to all.

If you’re starting as a growth hacker, there is no harm in learning the tips and tools. But keep an eye on the process.

Talking about tactics, here are some to get you upto speed:

1. Create user personas, but also channel personas

Know your customers and customer definitions, personas is the first step. But I would suggest going beyond that and also defining channel personas. The most popular channels are saturated but what’s a process-oriented solution to it? Creating channel personas.

Bonus Resource: This post has a list of 10 questions to help you create channel personas:

2. Know your growth funnel

Know which stage of growth hacking you’re working on. For instance, Referral growth hacking would come into play only after the acquisition funnel campaigns have been executed.

Bonus Resource: Here’s the funnel (the A3R3 funnel) you should use for understanding which growth hacking campaign to execute when:

3. Develop a mindset to leverage OPXs

OPXs = Other People’s Whatever. Network. Platform. Etc.

Develop a mindset that knows how to leverage Other People’s Networks, Other People’s APIs, Other People’s Search Rankings, Other People’s Portals, and so on. A growth hacker uses the word leverage as a verb more than a noun.

Bonus Resource: This post lists all the words a growth hacker uses

4. Growth Experiment once you’ve found your Product-Market Fit

Making your product better is definitely the best growth hack in the world and I would certainly recommend doing that :) Though it sounds like a no-brainer, you’ll be amazed at how many people are trying to execute growth experiments on shitty products.

Bonus Tip: Remember to find your product-market fit first, and then get into growth hacking. Until then, use what I call “Validation Marketing”.

5. Find a way to use growth hacking even for traditional digital marketing campaigns

For example, search ranking is one sure shot way to get you long-term results but a growth hacker would not spend months or years to optimise for rankings. Instead, you can just use Other People’s Search Rankings to rank your product or service.

Bonus Resource: Here’s a step-by-step approach to executing the OPSR growth hack.

6. Think Outside The Blog

Let’s talk about the inbound approach to Free stuff. A better approach would be to what Hubspot did with the website grader. This growth hack is actually called ‘Side-Project Marketing’ and I’ve spoken about it in greater detail on my Google Business Talk on “Think outside the blog”. Essentially, create side-projects that solve a problem of your target audience and use them as lead magnets instead of what everyone else is doing i.e. blogs, ebooks, case studies, etc.

Bonus Infographic: This is why Side-project marketing works better than regular content lead magnets:

7. Know the difference between growth experiments and growth hacks

On testing your ideas, one should remember we’re running growth experiments and not growth hacks. A growth hack is only a growth experiment which is successful meaning it drives you closer to your OMTM.

Bonus video: Watch this if you want to understand the difference between a growth experiment and a growth hack.

For more, feel free to email me at :)