Growth hacking is a very fashionable concept and is currently experiencing some buzz on the web. Beyond the ephemeral fashion effects, it should become a true trend, even a discipline in its own right.
The success currently undergone by growth hacking is quite normal …
The growth hacking is one of the explanations for the meteoric success of many flags in the digital world.
Spotify, Airbnb, Uber, Instagram, Facebook: all these companies have succeeded in developing and deploying growth hacking techniques enabling them to achieve not only phenomenal success but in record time.
HOW TO DEFINE GROWTH HACKING?
Growth hacking is generally defined as a set of methods and techniques – hacks – allowing a brand to grow rapidly. A process of experimentation and permanent modification is carried out during the very phase of design and launch of the solution to be marketed. The idea is to develop, market and market a product while testing, adapting and modifying it so that it can perfectly stick to the market it is supposed to target.
GROWTH HACKING: A PERFECT COMPLEMENT TO MARKETING
Growth hacking is very close to marketing insofar as it places the market-fit question at the heart of the economic process from which it is supposed to optimize performance.
Growth hacking, however, differs from marketing because its priority is very high growth in the very short term: the rapid increase in sales, subscribers, members, Internet users, consumers, etc. With an ultra-fast development of notoriety, visibility and brand image.
Experimentation is at the heart of the principle of growth hacking. It involves testing while developing and developing while testing, including testing, hacks to better sell afterward.
This is made possible thanks to the multitude of digital solutions. The emergence of growth hacking is intrinsically linked to the evolution of digital technologies. Digital solutions now enable the automation of a set of processes, enabling both to test a set of economic models and hacks on a large scale and to devote time to what will really be the priority in terms of business.
As long as you do not have to deal with technical, administrative, accounting, bureaucratic or organizational problems, you will be able to fully devote your time to setting up your business model, your marketing mix, and your digital solutions.
Among all you can automate, there are for example:
♦ Outsourcing of your website;
♦ Your landing pages;
♦ Management and routing of emails and newsletters.
♦ Presence on social networks;
♦ Your competitive intelligence;
♦ Performance indicators;
♦ The administration.
For example, if you are the owner of a website powered by the WordPress CMS, you can install one or more plugins with the aim of setting up questionnaires to receive the opinions of Internet users visiting your site.
This will give you immediate results of very high quality – even if you have had to work with survey institutes or economic research companies for exactly the same type of results until recently After waiting several weeks while investing large budgets.
One of the many advantages of digital is that it allows to set up so-called A / B testing processes. You can, in theory, test everything on your website: homepage, landing pages, CTA buttons, colors, wording, punctuation, etc. The list of tests tends to infinity.
Example – The choice of an adjective rather than another will give diametrically opposite results in terms of interpretation – and thus of decision-making – with very significant differences in conversion rates and thus in sales.
The A / B testing enables you to test solutions B versus solutions A and to opt for solutions that achieve by far the best performance on web marketing dashboards. These include Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Webalizer or Jetpack (if you use WordPress). One could, therefore, say that the growth hacker is a marketer who tests, re-tests and re-re-tests until finding the perfect match. But there are many other differences with marketing.
Marketing, traditionally, focuses more on the market, as the name suggests. The goal of the marketer will be to establish a brand in a market in a sustainable way while ideally increasing and its sales and market shares and margin.
The objective of the growth hacker marketing is the performance in terms of marketing, but also in terms of timing. In a few months, a new brand must be able to win in its market. Studies show that the first factor that influences the success of a startup is timing.
The methodology of the growth hacker marketing is, therefore, different from that of the marketer. A marketer will very often establish a scheme over a semester or a year with a sequence for the design and validation of the marketing strategy, a sequence for the operational set-up and a sequence for the analysis of the results.
It is the classic and conformist configuration that is found in many multinationals and traditional marketing departments of many large groups.
GROWTH HACKING: A MODEL PERFECTLY ADAPTED TO STARTUP TYPE STRUCTURES
Growth hacking is more of the startup spirit. It is about being able to modulate its business plan and its economic model at all times. And knowing to seize the opportunities in terms of hacks that the digital world, and by extension the economy, create from day to day.
The growth hacker marketing must be able to completely change his mind, course, and strategy in seconds and at any moment, depending on the new requirements that the business and the reality of the market will impose.
The concept of growth hacking is therefore very close to a new concept very in vogue in the world of startups: agile marketing. The notion of agile marketing is precisely the possibility of succeeding completely to leave the framework while remaining perfectly in phase with a global economic project, namely that of the company to be developed.
Reaching to forget an idea or a strategy of departure to arrive at an even more successful result. It, therefore, requires the intellectual capacity to be able to pivot mentally from one new economic model to another, depending on the opportunities a market is newly offering. This is also true of events, current events, the evolution of technology, the emergence of a whole new societal movement, the emergence of a new fashion or a new trend.
Example – Let’s say that guest blogging is a growth hacking technique that will enable you to significantly increase the audience, awareness, and visibility of your website. If you received a positive response from the reference site in your market so that you could write articles as a guest writer, you would have to have the mental capacity to abandon certain projects that have become de facto secondary, Immediately reorder all your priorities and organize your next work days in a completely different way.
One of the big differences with the world of big companies is also the financial means that a growth hacking expert will have to help to promote the rapid growth of the brand for which he works.
A multinational will generally allocate large sums of money to establish a reference mark on its market.
A startup, except in the case of large funds, will have much smaller budgets and will have to capitalize on all the inexpensive means available in the arsenal of any web marketer, such as: campaigns on social networks, Implementation of emailing perfectly segmented from a marketing point of view (thanks to the collection, beforehand, of emails on the newly created website), natural referencing to appear quickly in the search engines (and in particular Google ), Animation of fans of the brand through social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).
The growth hacker will continually look for marketing techniques – hacks – relatively inexpensive to ensure an outstanding performance of its brand, which in itself represents a real challenge. For that, either it will use hacks that already exist, or it will create hacks from scratch that, if successful, can become the growth hacking techniques of reference.
One of the keys to the success of growth hacking is to find these hacks that will allow a brand to hit the market just before these hacks are known to all and are therefore massively used by the majority of marketers. the world.
Because once these new hacks become popular (because of their success and thanks to social networks), they lose de facto their power to influence the course of events (and they lose Success – because of their success: these hacks become victims of their success). That is the paradox.
So it is ideally to find this famous hack that nobody knows yet and which will allow a brand to acquire an international notoriety in a dazzling way – and which precisely will serve (practically) nothing more when it will have Known its time of glory.
The life cycle of such a hack, as well as growth hacking, is more in the moment than in the duration. Its expiration date would be closer to that of a multi-vitamin orange juice rather than that of a cruise liner. In terms of business, it is therefore not at all the same space-time.
Example – One of the hacks that remained in the legend is the famous phrase “PS I Love You,” which has enabled a messaging solution to acquire millions of users in the world in space Months. But if you created a new brand with the slogan “PS I Love You”, then (probably) nothing would happen.
A few years ago, using Twitter to develop its brand could be a very successful method of growth hacking. This is less obvious today because (almost) everyone is on Twitter.
The number of hacks tends to infinity. In itself, contacting influencers or experts on LinkedIn to develop its business is a technique of growth hacking. Success in finding the match will not ultimately reside in the search for hacks that could ensure interplanetary success, as a startup is spoiled for choice in terms of hacks.
The most difficult thing is to select the hack or the hacks that will really make a difference to the competitors, vis-à-vis the market and vis-à-vis future fans.
Let us not forget however that the success of brands such as Facebook, Spotify or Airbnb is not due solely to the design and implementation of strategies and techniques of growth hacking.
There are many other parameters that can be considered: the genius of the founders of the above-mentioned brands, the teams of these companies, societal movements, changes in consumer habits and behavior, anthropological issues, etc.
Example – SEB works primarily with anthropologists to ensure the successful commercialization of its innovations. For SEB, digitally is good, but the most important are to understand crowd phenomena and societal movements, much more than to understand the consumer’s psychological behavior towards digital products. Because people generally buy what other people buy – and products that have sold very well. The fact is that in many cases the simple fact of replacing psychologists with anthropologists will make it possible to find a very simple answer to a multitude of very complicated questions. In an organization, the growth hacker is not solely responsible for the development of a business. In addition to growth hacking, many other disciplines must be taken into consideration.
Wanting to explain the success of such companies solely through the perspective of growth hacking would mean constructing a tree hiding a set of other really decisive factors: economy, society, technology, market evolution, competitors, Science, ideologies, currents of thought, and so on.
Anyone who would try to create a new Snapchat today would not succeed because it would really happen after the battle – that is, far too late. And anyone who tried to create Snapchat 15 years ago would not have succeeded because of lack of technology.
GROWTH HACKING: THE ART OF ANALYZING THE CONVERSION TUNNEL
One of the specificities of growth hackers – and by extension digital marketers – is to concentrate particularly on what happens in the conversion tunnel. This is what distinguishes it, for example, from a marketer (who will focus more on the product and its market), an economist (who will model a business from a micro and macroeconomic point of view) Or a financier (who will further analyze expenditure and margin issues).
Every business is always the consequence of a more or less important influx of visitors. Among these visitors, some will prove to be quality leads. Some leads will be prospects that will eventually turn into consumers. And among consumers, some will make more or less regular repurchases, others will become true fans of the brand. The fans will replace the sales teams, because of the first sales force of a brand, it is often the community of fans who promote it with (an excess of) zeal.
The growth hacker, throughout the development and simultaneous launch of its product or its service offer, will spend all the time necessary to analyze precisely what exactly happens at each of the links in the chain described in the previous paragraph.
It’s a professional job. And the best professionals will get the best results. In the case of launching a new website, the growth hacker will ask, for example, the following questions:
♦ Is the number of visitors sufficient?
♦ If not, then how drastically increase the number of Internet users?
♦ What about the rate of qualified leads transformation <=> quality leads?
♦ How to increase the conversion rate of the website (by optimized CTAs, better-designated pages, a reworded slogan to have more impact, more efficient landing pages, etc.)?
If you create a website, you can expand your sales globally by increasing:
♦ The number of Internet users;
♦ The conversion rate;
♦ The number of users and the conversion rate.
The art of growth hacking consists of analyzing the processes described in the previous lines in order to better model them and to transform a digital model into a marketing success.
The ideal is the positive community viral phenomenon where a beneficial buzz is created around the brand. Hence the importance of fully understanding the workings that constitute the motor of a community of prescriptive fans of the brand newly created.
Once this community is established, it is necessary to know how to drive it, to animate it and to make it evolve positively. It is certainly the role of the community manager, but also that of the growth hacker.
Growth hacking is a method of experimenting with a set of techniques in order to develop, promote and bring a product to a market while allowing it to perform in a very tight time: a few months, ideally a few Weeks and in a utopian way a few days.
It’s a very nice challenge.
Also, the judgments emitted by some prominent growth hackers on the performance of certain companies are sometimes very severe. Let’s stay down to earth: the probability that a new brand will become the next Spotify, the next Airbnb or the next Uber is still more than tiny.
Growth hacking articles often cite brands as examples that, although they actually represent locomotives, do not always reflect the economic reality of many markets and the many actors that make them up.
Locomotives and wagons. For example, there will be a single Spotify for thousands of newly created brands in the music industry.
Such successes are rare.