Growth Hacking OR Growth Marketing?

After 10 years in Silicon Valley, I decided to head back to Atlanta and integrate into the local innovation scene. I’ve met dozens of entrepreneurs, technology enthusiasts and marketers – and learned there is a growing folklore that a handful of Silicon Valley startups “hacked” their way into the hearts, and wallets, of consumers across the globe.

Startups and large enterprises alike, are responding with excitement at the prospect that there may be magic bullet (potentially in a black hoodie, that WILL help them get more customers quickly).  

Unfortunately growth hacking isn’t about simply “hacking” your way to growth.  Growth Hacking or Growth Marketing, as I prefer to approach it, is about:

  1. Understanding your customer segments
  2. Ensuring that your product is delivering a simple and meaningful experience
  3. Instilling a marketing engine that “hacks” (tests/delivers/scales) highly relevant messaging to target audience(s) and then measures them, fanatically.

That may not sound very different than some of the digital marketing and growth hacking strategies in the marketplace. But it is because…..

Reason 1: Digital User Acquisition is Different: People discover and consume digital products in a new way. Connecting with potential consumers through digital channels is still an evolving process that only minimally utilizes traditional marketing channels.

Reason 2: Growth hacking requires focused product marketing integration: You can only start hacking when you have a precise target segment, a product that CLEARLY meets their needs and a business model that will scale.

Reason 3: You must be prepared to deliver real-time marketing and support: always on, relevant and responsive. Digital channels afford you immediate visibility into the ‘success’ of your programs, and consumers will give you immediate feedback. Both EXPECT an immediate response.

I’ll be posting some thoughts, ideas and tool sets that will help you grow your customer base. If you have specific questions or requests for a post, please feel free to contact me.

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