Growth Hacking…what the heck is that?
by Anna Marie Imbordino, CEO Chicago Buzz Marketing
August 6, 2016
In today’s business world, it is clear that “marketing” as we know it is dead. Yep I went right on in there knife to the heart…what you learned in college 20 years ago is starting to become less effective and sometimes useless. But who murdered “marketing” you ask? You did. Did not expect that did you! Your new found gadgets, your phone apps, your facebook page, your netflix subscription, your ability to google…when you pushed that submit button to create that twitter you personally put the nail in that coffin. Everything has changed and we can either sit around mourning the past or we can adapt for the future. I personally am going with adapt because black is not my color guys. In antiquity the old method of transportation was horse and buggy. Do you think it was a good idea to adapt to new technologies and use machines for transportation? I hope you get my point. There is nothing wrong with innovation.
So what techniques do marketers use today? There are many answers to that question but one exciting new concept being used by successful marketers is Growth Hacking. Growth hacking pursues branding and customer acquisition in an entirely new way. Growth hacking is about using technological tools to pursue users and growth. Growth hacking is about the snowball effect, get the core interested and let that ball roll. Growth hackers use e-mail, pay-per-click advertising, blogs, social media and other platforms to directly influence target markets. The goal of a growth hacker is to engage a client and encourage THEM to share your content with their networks. Growth hacking is not about getting publicity, it is about being so relevant people are talking about you. The term is also used to refer to what some marketers consider guerilla marketing or using unconventional techniques to attract attention to your brand and product. Examples of guerilla techniques include stunts, viral videos or media content, celebrity co-marketing, ect.
The problem with giving you advice on how to growth hack is that there is not a clear answer. Growth hacking is about knowing your product, knowing where it fits, and giving them something they can not help but act on. Create an environment where your product or service is highly sharable and visible to the markets you need to target. That means you need to be active with all social media. The biggest mistake you can make today is to set up a facebook or twitter and let that thing sit and become inactive. That means you need to know what bloggers, websites, and media options talk to your audience. That means you need to understand google and yahoo and how these giants help or hurt the distribution of your content. That means you need to get off your butt and create something. You need to think of what your competitors are not doing. You need to think about being present and interactive with your clients. That is the best advice I can give without knowing specifics about your business. A great book on the topic I recommend is “Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising.” by Ryan Holiday. This book is a great place to start if this idea is foreign to you. But honestly guys, sit down with a marketing consultant and create a definite and specific growth hacking plan. The consultant will help guide how to make your business more sharable and teach you how to use the media tools that are new. Give it a try…or take the horse and buggy to work I guess it’s up to you.