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.