Thinking Outside the Box: Growth Hacking

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Growth Hacking

In today’s business world, disruption is inevitable. In order to stay ahead of that disruption, companies need to be constantly learning and constantly improving. This is exactly what “growth hacking” entails. Growth hacking is rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most effective way to grow a business.

Sean Ellis, entrepreneur and startup advisor was the first to coin the term “growth hacker” and is considered the godfather of growth hacking. He defines growth hacking as:

“A person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential impact on scalable growth.”

This is exactly the point of growth hacking, constant improvement and constant growth at a rapid pace. For startups and smaller brands, it’s easy to disregard the importance of having a marketing budget. After all, with a good product, a good reputation should evolve naturally, right?

Wrong.

This assumption is the biggest mistake I’ve seen with newer companies. Unlike the stiff, business-like reputations that were popular among brands in the 90s, brands today are living, breathing entities that possess personalities just like people.

Brands can be funny, smart, and innovative – but proper marketing from the get-go is the only way to establish these reputations.

For startups, this is key as most don’t have a budget for marketing, or any background in marketing. In order to combat these problems startups are constantly experimenting with marketing strategies and their products to improve and ensure the growth of the product.

Another wrong assumption is that almost anybody can spearhead a company’s growth hacking because almost anybody can sign-up for Twitter and write a blog post, right?

Again, wrong.

The internet has become inundated with useless ramblings by brands without a clear strategy. Rather, it’s important to leave the brand-building to the professionals. While everyone can write a tweet, not everyone can craft a tweet as part of a larger strategy that will grow the brand.

Common growth hacking techniques often involve A/B testing, Software as a service (SASS), and using pop ups on web pages. But what growth hacking is truly about, is the people behind the technology, thinking outside the box to improve the product for the user and maximize growth of the business.

In my current role, I often find myself thinking of creative ways to grow the brand and the brand’s reputation beyond just using social media.

However, the most successful brands I’ve encountered are the ones that properly budget for digital marketing strategies from the beginning. This includes everything from programmatic advertising, to social marketing, to data buying, to content creation.

So my tips for brands and growth hackers: 1) find a pro, 2) budget, and 3) think outside the box.

Article by Nesh Pillay

Nesh Pillay, Vice President of Marketing at EQ Works and Founder, Press Pillay

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