Our Thinking

Growth Hacking Hype

We’ve heard it described in several different ways: part marketer, part engineer: marketer, developer, analyst: art and science. No matter how you refer to it the gist is the same. A new breed (or role) has emerged – the Growth Hacker.

Sometimes seen as a miracle worker that can attract users with a swipe of code. A Growth Hacker is not someone who breaks into secure networks for unlawful deeds. No, to use a quote from Brian Solis, “Growth Hacking is the art and science of creating awareness, traction, adoption, and advocacy using unorthodox and surprising means. It’s quite literally a hack for traditional processes to accelerate business.”

It’s about being creative with limited resources and influencing different behaviour to accelerate the growth of users for a given product. This is done through applying technology in innovative ways – sometimes completely outside the box! The benefit to this is that you can be first-to-market and clean up with high clicks and conversions.  It digs down to the root and amplifies what’s working or what would make it work (better).  It can be intensely analytical, looking at conversion rates, and A/B testing, mixed with coding, APIs, and Open Graph. The caution is the potential to generate temporary numbers or growth if not developed properly. This can lead to being seen as spam and can hurt the product reputation down the pipeline.

Some marketers are offended by the cast-off of the importance of strategy, branding, and awareness. Others are more concerned with which department this new role functions (or replaces).  Either way, an understanding of technology is quickly becoming a necessity in marketing ideation. Those that have it can participate in a much faster market and take advantage of ‘early adopters’, super-platforms, and outside-the-box thinking.

At 108 ideaspace, our work is deeply rooted in technology.  It provides powerful tools and integration options/strategies that might not yet be available to the average marketer.  However, we believe that you still need to know the product value and consumer behaviour. Effective copy must still be written.  Channels must be chosen. And the wisdom to think through a strategy is still required.

Can growth hacking work for more established organizations? Or is it most effective and best used in start-ups? And does it build deep and sustainable business? Interesting questions all.  The answer is yes.

Ashish Malik is Partner, Client Services at 108 ideaspace inc., a firm that works in Web/Social Media/Marketing Automation strategy and implementation. A Certified Consultant, Ashish has helped several clients automate their sales and marketing as well as grow their business by implementing CRM. For more on Ashish Malik or 108 ideaspace, visit ideas108.wpengine.com.