How do various teams/ departments support Growth Hacking?

In order for Growth Hacking experiments to be successful, there needs to be broad buy-in across teams and departments. Realistically, anyone within an organization can contribute to a Growth Hacking effort, however, the following teams should be implicated when rolling out a comprehensive Growth Strategy.

 

Executive Team and Leadership:

The first and last barrier to an effective growth hacking program is with the Executive/ Leadership team. If the folks at the helm aren’t willing or able to commit to a growth hacking strategy, you might as well postpone the initiative for the time being. Simply put, there are too many moving pieces that need to be in alignment in order to get a successful growth hacking program off the ground, and if the powers that be either aren’t interested in, or aren’t capable of creating the grounds for that alignment, all efforts will lay to waste. However, having executive buy-in will generally result in buy-in from leaders from other departments, greasing the wheels to get your program in motion.

 

Product Management and Development:

The development team needs to be brought on board from the early stages of the growth hacking process to boil in specific practices into the design and roll out of a new product/ service. They need to start by working with the marketing team to incorporate market/ user validation at every stage of the design process, beginning with sketches/ wireframes instead of waiting until product rollout. While incorporation of user feedback shouldn’t undermine the development of a thoughtfully designed product/ service, this communication between organization and market will foster an environment where developers consistently have the end-user in mind. This will help prevent the overdevelopment of specific features that may not add value, and will ensure the product is situated to be readily adopted once it lands within the predetermined sales channels.

 

Marketing:

Generally speaking, every growth hacking initiative is going to need to run on the shoulders of the marketing team.  They are the primary engine for gauging market feedback and serving as a communication conduit to the organization. They are responsible for the development of iterative campaigns combining SEO, email marketing, viral media, and web copy, all of which should lend a hand in taking a growth plan to the goal line. Furthermore, all of the aforementioned tactics can be monitored A/B tested using martech and analytics software such as HubSpot, Pardot, Eloqua, Google Analytics, Bizible, or any combination therein. The end goal of the Marketing team should be to continually fine tune, while keeping a watchful eye on success trends and identifying/ correcting failures quickly.

Lastly, it’s incumbent upon the marketing team to be continually on the watch for the emergence of new channels to get the product/service to a wide audience of potential customers, and making it their prerogative to get there first.

 

Sales:

Some of the best resources for determining market viability live within the sales department. They offer the ability to find and exploit markets where competitors have not yet landed, and which can often represent large, lucrative contracts. Often, this requires a product that can be deployed on a large scale in a relatively short period of time without the need for dedicated CSM/ service partners internally. While the sales department usually isn’t concerned with “trivial” KPI’s such as Customer Acquisition Cost, they are easily influenced by activities that could help shorten sales cycles or boost average deal size.

When is the right time to begin growth hacking experiments?

The most effective growth hacking efforts begin before a product is initially launched, and is incorporated in the initial product go-to-market strategy. While this may seem obvious, growth hacking works best when products are thoughtfully designed. Legendary designer Dieter Rams lays out the following “Ten Commandments” for good design:

Good design:

  1. Is Innovative

  2. Makes a product useful

  3. Is aesthetic

  4. Makes a product understandable

  5. Is unobtrusive

  6. Is honest

  7. Is long lasting

  8. Is thorough down to the last detail

  9. Is environmentally friendly

  10. Involves as little design as possible

With that in mind, it’s also imperative to consider where a product/ service will be discovered, how it will be consumed, and how it will be evangelized. These considerations in tandem with a well designed offering are the foundation for a successful growth hacking initiative.

If you already have your product/ service on the market, the maturity of your offering is going to be inversely related to the potential benefits of growth hacking. Once a product has already achieved product-market fit, growth hacking efforts can still be implemented, but the potential velocity of growth is going to be much less than that of an immature offering.

What is Growth Hacking

In the ever-evolving lexicon of business buzzwords, “growth hacking” seems to be one that has enjoyed particular prominence in today’s marketing vernacular. For a C-Level executive who is always seeking the possibility of “doing more with less”, the appeal of growth hacking is easily understandable - suggesting there are quick fixes and secret tricks to unlocking limitless revenue potential. Unfortunately, tech-savvy digital marketers have begun piling on to the “growth hacker” label, hinting to their bosses or clients that by deploying some secret subset of tactics they can help jumpstart an organization’s profitability. In most cases, however, the skill set and capabilities of a digital marketer is not, in fact, that of a growth hacker.

Being a digital marketer makes you just as much a “growth hacker” as someone who has fixed a leaky faucet and decides to call themselves a plumber.

If you’re looking to pursue a true growth hacking methodology, it’s crucial to understand what growth hacking entails, where it overlaps with digital marketing, sales ops, and strategy, and how you can empower multiple thought leaders from within your organization to build a sustainable growth strategy that will yield both short and long term results.

 

So exactly what is Growth Hacking?

In short, Growth Hacking involves the willingness to set aside all preconceived notions of what effective marketing looks like with the sole intention or pursuing growth.

An effective Growth Hacker is usually a hybrid of a digital marketer, programmer, sales strategist, and product manager. He/She usually has a diverse employment background with job titles including (but not limited to) UX Designer, Entrepreneur, Sales Operations, Database Architect, Consultant, Marketing Automation Specialist, etc. Rather than having spent most of his/her career in one specific discipline, they’ll usually bounce between teams in effort to expand their own knowledge and fundamental understanding of what growth levers exist outside of their own department.

Despite what may be contained on their resume, all Growth Hacker will have these traits in common: resourceful & data-driven, creative and entrepreneurial, curious and focused solely on driving growth.