Do you engage in the practice of "growth hacking"?

Austin Marks
9 replies
With traditional marketing methods yielding fewer results without a bomb combination of custom audience, content, and conversion funnels (not to mention budget) what types of unique strategies have you started to implement across product and free channels to increase acquisition, conversion, and consistent value to your customers?

Replies

Building products that matter.
This is very relative from niche to niche but, I believe that the right strategy of personalizing your pitch and unique campaigns is the essence of higher acquisition.
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CEO & Co-founder of Verihubs
Regardless of costs, I think it goes back to your content quality. If you're fundamentally able to deliver a clearer message to assist customers and potential customers with their needs, you will acquire more customers.
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20 yrs experience helping startups grow.
I agree with @alexdigitalmkt & @firnando13 personalization and content. On those same themes, I've been going back to a few 'old school' methods and testing how to improve them: - Mass Personalization: I am doing a few experiments to rethink how I approach my email drip programs. Using the data I have, I've been inserting liquid mark-up throughout the email to customize the content for each subscriber. The concept of this is not likely going to blow your socks off but the level of detail and results may. I was able to resurrect a tired list. From the control group, I received zero responses. From the test group, I woke up to 400 personal responses in my inbox. I was able to start a conversation with each of them. - Things that don't scale: The second old-school method is comment marketing. I've been hyper-focused on a few key niche communities and offering up my thoughts. Again, the details matter here. A few important findings so far: 1.) be one of the first to respond to a question/comment, 2.) don't be afraid to give away your knowledge - it will pay off 3.) Be relevant. That may sound so obvious. However, many of the people who respond try to sell me something. A bit more difficult to track results but I know anecdotally my follower counts have increased significantly in these niche communities. Hope that helps. Bill https://FixMyGrowth.com
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Your Product & Growth Partner
@austinmeta Irrespective of the source of visits (I guess we can give a close look to our channels and find out what channels give us more retained users), I suggest we should make our users/visitors feel like they are "Scientists". The first thing I suggest is to offer them a DIY stuff in the platform. Something that may help them understand what actually they are going to get & in what time frame, or how much is it going to cost to achieve the desired results, etc. Before showing them the results, capture any contact data i.e. email, phone or social media handles.
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Your Product & Growth Partner
@austinmeta Ask them to share those results with their peers (if it is not of a privacy concern) and in exchange get access to some discounts, platform credits, etc.
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Growth hacker | World traveler
Gamified referral programs! Instant feedback or reward when making the referral will make the user want to keep on engaging - and a good referral program works because it leverages the trust people have with their family/friends to drive interest and increase credibility to your product.
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Brand Strategy for Startups
I think the concept of "growth hacking" is overblown in today's market. Just a buzzword that people use to make marketing activities sound innovative. The best way to grow your business in the digital age is, and always has been, to build a tribe of loyal advocates for your brand. The way you begin is: 1) develop strong brand positioning for your company 2) cement that positioning in the mind of your audience through design & messaging Design & messaging are the two major ways that someone will form an opinion on your product. You have an incredibly brief window of time (usually 5-10 seconds at most) to get your brand's positioning across using these mediums in a way that is memorable, intelligent, and attractive. To do so, you must be incredibly concise and focused when communicating your company's reason for existing. If you can't fit it on a napkin or explain it in <5 seconds, then you've got work to do. Once you've gotten to that level of extreme clarity and simplicity, each aspect of your key brand touch points (website, socials, business cards, promotional materials, ads, etc) must be meticulously crafted with your brand's core positioning in mind. Your design and messaging must reinforce and clarify that positioning at every turn. They must also reinforce each other. Do all of this well, and the problem becomes a very simple one: "how do we get the right people to look at our key brand touch points?" If you don't have all this done first, your marketing can only do so much. You'll never get to that long-term, sustainable profitability that successful businesses rely on. Instead, you'll be living sale-to-sale, week-to-week. Legitimate traction with a dedicated audience will always seem just out of reach.
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@carter_fowler Def agree, very overblown. What's the difference between growth hacking? and just good marketing and product development?
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exCPO/Head Growth @FabFitFun
( I didn't intend to write this much, but the words started flowing, and I wanted to teach how one goes about learning to fish, rather than giving out actual tactics, while also clarifying what you may want to spend your energy. I may turn this into a Medium article). I believe that it is essential to differentiate between a "hack" and a sustainable growth method. Every new complex platform or technology has some opening that allows for gaming or exploiting the rules that the makers did not intend. A hack implies something that might not last forever. Growth hacks come rarely. A company can be decimated if reliant on it when eventually that hole is patched or if it turns into everyday practice. When that happens, it's closed for everyone but the company who owns the platform, and they monopolize its usage until they don't need to anymore or it becomes ineffective. On the other hand, sustainable growth draws on time tested processes for instrumentation, experimentation, iteration, and every so often, new conceptual leaps, driven by product design. That's just proper execution. It's your bread and butter, so learn how to make the best toast. It's all published online. At all costs, get to the "bomb" combination. Ideas are nothing without proper execution. It would help if you were allocating 80% of your time here. It takes time to perfect the infrastructure for testing, analytics, design improvements, and massive customer funnel (experience) changes. Slack Magic Links are a great innovation, for example. For this comment, though, I'll focus on the hacks, the disadvantage and advantage of using them, and how you might discover them. About 12 years ago, some companies liberally used the powerful combination address book importing and auto sending -- like what LinkedIn used to do. That was an incredibly powerful tool for me that I learned from the company I had joined. It was like rocket fuel. That lead eventually to the acquisition of the companies that had this technology from LinkedIn, Facebook, and the other giants. Since the tech didn't exist anymore until new companies rebuilt the technology, and when large companies like Google stopped allowing it because of customer outrage, this effectively shut down this tactic. That hurt because we were using it for years. Around 2009, when the Facebook Connect API first came out, I realized that it allowed apps to post messages on behalf of the user's friend with a single click of the "Accept" button. Because our value proposition was almost perfect for this, we exploited this for nearly a year. It became so prevalent that actual criminals copied it-- a special rule was made for ads of this type, and Facebook banned our account. We flew to Facebook to beg for forgiveness. Lower-level employees greeted us and told us we were terrible people. After a few weeks, and FB closing that capability within their API, we were allowed to spend again. Soon after, they created a similar feature, which Zynga used for their Farmville game. They worked together for a bit, and Zynga became a double-digit portion of FB's revenue. FB then had a spat with Zynga and then tried to monetize it for themselves but lost interest. By 2011, I had matured enough in my career and more reflective about how all of this would affect us as a society, so I redrew my ethical line to hacks that couldn't hurt or embarrass customers. Another exploit was closed in 2015. You could take FB UIDs from a competitors page and import it into your target audience. You would then target potential customers who were also currently engaged on your competitor's page, which was useful if the competitor was too small to be targettable by interest or a higher engaged audience was preferable. That was a pretty good hack that lasted for almost a year. You'll notice I haven't mentioned anything recently. It's not because these don't exist. It's because of the reasons above. Growthhacks get incorporated into the company's platform, turn into everyday practice, or die a merciful death. I thought it was so amusing when someone called me a growthhacker about 8-years ago; I was totally into Lifehacker.com and read that blog a lot; I purchased the domain name "Growthhack.com." I only use it for email forwarding. Someone more promotional and brand-aware already purchased Growthhacker.com did a wonderful job building it out, and it has served as a useful phrase to teach growth in general and rally the community. I appreciate that the phrase itself is a semantics-hijack, so a bit of growth hack in it of it itself! Startups, after they get funded by VCs, rarely use the term often. At least in SF and LA. In my opinion, high-performance growth hacks only come around every so often, and they have a maximum lifecycle of about a year. How to discover growth hacks? First, have a high-level knowledge of the environment (your app, your platform, ad product, ad platform, etc.) in which growth hacks are possible. Second, have an insatiable thirst to grow your awareness-- be furiously examining every new system and capabilities as they come out. Third, have the technical abilities to either exploit the rules or explain to engineers exactly how. All of this is not easy, but if you are successful just once, your network of other skilled "Growthhackers" will expand, and you won't have to discover it for yourself every time. Another great source of growth hacks come from the affiliate world. Join their community. They also sell tools to save time. Remember though, spend too much on silver bullets, and you won't have enough for actual growth.