Adopting a ‘Growth Hacking’ strategy can help measure, refine and sharpen your marketing, and it’s easier than you may think.
My suggestions are culled from practical experience of agencies, startups and the creative ideas platform Toucan.
Customer needs come first. Task number one is to find out if there’s any demand for a proposed product or service. In the words of serial-entrepreneur Steve Blank, “Is it important enough (to potential customers) that the right product will drive significant numbers of customers to buy or engage with the product?”
For marketing professionals faced with squeezed budgets and patchy research data, there is good news. Growth Hacking can help you make more of an impact:
Make it is easy for customers to share their love
A key example of the early use of growth hacking is how the Hotmail added a hyperlinked line ‘PS – I Love You! Get A Free Hotmail Account’ which sparked exponential growth without more marketing spend.
Get out of the building and meet real customers!
Startups carry out market research by asking customers about an intended new product, creating a basic prototype, and then gathering the feedback from the same customers to improve chances of success. That approach could work for you.
Using your marketing metrics the right way
Customer metrics are key to growth hacking, because they show if the marketing is paying its way. Are you sure that a strategy built around about ‘engagement’ and benchmarking the return by using ‘estimated media value’ is going to help identify something that translates into revenue?
Every business and every market place is different. Growth Hacking is as much an attitude to solving your specific business problems, as it is a set of nifty techniques.
As Growth Hacking 101 says, “If your compass points at ‘GROW’, and you take advantage of every piece of experience and creativeness in you to turn the product’s potential to actual revenue – then you are officially a Growth Hacker.”
That said key to growth hacking is first finding customers, growing your customer base, and then retaining customers. The fault too often in my experience from global medical imaging startup MedicExchange in 2006 to launching Google TV at Sony in 2012, is building product and service without first finding out in reality if there is the demand. That said I launched my holiday lettings business in Leicester without any serious market research, simply based on the intuition that finding Richard III’s body would result in tourist traffic to the city. In fact the majority of guests have been academics from outside the UK, or people with family ties from Leicester coming to stay. How I would on a bootstrap budget have figured out that demand is a good question.
A version of this article can also be found on Chinwag.