Hello SOTGC community,
What put me off the term #GrowthHacking initially was that – for me – the word “hacking” carries a negative connotation a la anonymous. But I have since been educated that the word “hack” nowadays simply means breaking existing rules for growth. I am all for rule breaking, as long as nobody gets hurt. I believe the term also refers to using digital marketing for growth….And frequently mentioned in the context of #GrowthHacking are the terms measurement, metrics, analytics, growth.
Wikipedia states, “Startup advisor and marketer Sean Ellis coined the term ‘growth hacker’ in 2010. In the blog post, Ellis defined a growth hacker as ‘a person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential impact on scalable growth.’ “
More Voices on the Term
Jack Mardack, a panelist at the March 27 conference, is a classic growth hacker, according to his LinkedIn profile: “I’ve helped a number of early stage web companies grow quickly by leading the installation of measurement and building a ‘growth analytics’ practice, then leveraging those data insights through a program of experimental product development and testing to achieve growth effects in every area of the funnel.”
David Whitaker, in his blog To Growth Hack or Not Growth Hack, offers several different opinions on the term. He states that growth hacking:
- combines “the art of marketing with the science of product engineering.”
- “promises to drive exponential growth for all who master it.”
- is “more of a mind set than a tool kit.”
However, he adds that “not all are convinced. Their detractors claim that growth hacking is nothing more than hype, and that the same results can be achieved through traditional methods, like ‘direct marketing’, ‘inbound marketing’, or just plain marketing.”
- The term implies a “strong emphasis on user growth and engagement.”
- “A growth hacker is creative yet analytical; they will have a background that allows them to get the vest value for the client out of the products and services that a company sells.”
I like this definition by David Whitaker best: “Growth Hacking is a methodology of increasing user acquisition through clever marketing (yes, it is marketing), intuitive product development, and in-depth analytics. The goal is to achieve measurable growth, with the lowest acquisition cost, and to optimize results over time.”
No doubt, #GrowthHacking is a “hot” term. Just skimming Twitter shows you:
- @GrowthHackrJobs > tweets on digital marketing
- @GrowthHackTips >tweets seem to focus on online marketing
- @Growth_Tips >tweets focus on marketing and metrics
- @iGrowthHackr >articles that discuss the meaning & value of #GrowthHacking
So, is #GrowthHacking simply good marketing? How is it different from digital marketing? Expect to find answers to these and other questions on March 27 at the #StartupMarketingConf during our panel discussion.
On March 27 at the Startup Marketing Conference, I will moderate the keynote panel: Get More Users with Digital Marketing and Growth Hacking: Best Expert Advice from Both Worlds.
- Jack Mardack, Head of Growth , Chartcube
- Jeanette Gibson VP Community , Hootsuite
- Michelle Fitzgerald, Director of Product Marketing, Pandora
- Vanessa Camones, CEO, theMIX agency
This will be an advanced take on the topic where the panel – leaders in the field – will cover the latest digital marketing strategies and growth hacks. We all plan to open the kimono on our own best practices that have generated repeatable and scalable growth. So, no time for theoretical discussions, this is hands on stuff.
Topics We Intend to Cover
- Digital marketing vs. growth hacking: what’s the difference?
- How to identify, acquire, and engage your target audience
- Ways to turn your fans, followers and likes into qualified leads (even sales)
- Beyond the basics: advanced social media and growth tactics for the pros
- Best kept community management secrets will be revealed
If there are any burning questions you’d like us to cover, please comment on this blog or contact me @NaThomson, @JeanetteG, @2hp,@mfitz0705, or @VanessaCamones via Twitter.
See you at the Startup Marketing Conference.