An Introduction to Growth Hacker Marketing

A few days ago, I read a book by Ryan Holiday, who is the former Director of Marketing at American Apparel, and now an author-slash-entrepreneur. The book is called Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising. I was immediately taken by the term he introduced, “growth hacking.” After I finished the book, I went on to research the newest form of marketing. This is what I found.

Pretty much, growth hacker marketing integrates coding into marketing. Growth hackers are the people who use data to build growth in their company. They are part engineer, part data scientist, part marketer. This new form of marketing requires hard data like customer flow charts, predictive analysis and a lot of A/B testing. It also involves soft data such as customer surveys and usability testing.

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Marketers are always asking the question “who are our customers” and “how do we get more?” With growth hacking, these questions are not answered with guesses or gut-feelings. Rather, they are answered through data and they are measurable.

Growth hackers are essential for start-ups. Start-ups are designed to grow fast and often have minimal financial resources. This is the obvious option to wasting a start-up’s precious funds bombarding people with commercials and publicity that they will, more often than not, ignore. Start-up’s and growth hackers don’t want to waste their time with that.

A growth hacker’s job is to do more with less. Investing less money in advertising seriously lowers the stakes. With a job well done, the growth hacker will result in economical, rapid, large-scale growth.

So what is more for less? More for less is email funnels, blogs, using other people’s networks, and platform APIs. A growth hacker’s job is to be innovative, to look at the big picture, and to think differently from everyone else. The end goal is for the company to become self-sustaining and self-propagating.

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With the internet at our fingertips, we have a whole variety of options to expand our company’s reach. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. That’s where you reach the public because it’s easily accessible; they are always online. If you reach your users, those users bring on more users, who bring on more and more and then you’ve set up a cycle that is forever growing.

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Growth hackers have broadened the concept of marketing. They use measurable data to find out exactly who their customers are and why do they use their product. Creative advertising is their most powerful and inexhaustible tool. No matter how much you need to develop and change your product, the product that growth hackers individually work on need to be needed. That’s what will make them so successful. They need to be demanded by the public. With scientific data and some revolutionary creativity, growth hackers can always achieve that.

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7 Comments

  1. Really useful summary. I read Ryan’s book and enjoyed it, although I think I prefer ‘The Obstacle is the Way’. Have you come across any of his other work? Thanks for sharing Elena, enjoyed the article.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s an introduction to Stoic philosophy, which he uses as a kind of operating system for how he acts. It’s interesting to think about the type of methods he writes about in ‘Growth Hacker Marketing’ through that lens.

        Like

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