Digitization turns our world upside down – new business models, new organizational structures, new management, increasing automation and experimental strategies based on data. Corporate management, controlling and marketing demand completely different skills today, then just 10 years ago. Business is changing in all means and this can be felt most clearly in marketing. Growth Hacking, the evolution of marketing – in many cases still smiled at as a “buzzword” – is eating Marketing for breakfast. NO – this is not about social media or another goofy new tool, Growth Hacking really is a totally new approach to digital marketing.
Growth Hacking describes a discipline that combines various methods of digital marketing with the goal of efficient growth. It’s all about improving your so-called “NORTH STAR METRIC” – the one and only, most important, KPI – which is crucial to the success of your business. A Growth Hacker is an interdisciplinary marketing manager who understands virality, PR, SEO, SEM, product design (basics), UX, marketing tools (technology stack), email marketing, content marketing, funnel marketing, behavioral psychology, brand positioning, and storytelling. These disciplines are traditionally organized in separate departments in larger organizations – Growth Hackers combine those and act across them.
Growth Hacking comes from startups, which are forced to grow as fast as possible with little human and financial resources. The better a startup may hack its growth, the faster its value increases and venture capital funds will, therefore, fund them round over round. Only those who are at the top in the race of start-ups receive venture capital and can thus continue their international triumphal march.
However, corporations and medium-sized businesses are also fascinated by the new methods that “conventional” agencies usually are not able to provide, yet. Growth Hacking does not require large teams, but creativity, speed, technical know-how (simple programming skills) and strong data analysis skills. The challenge lies in finding and developing this know-how or to hire it.
Unfortunately, there is still far too little experience in our latitudes with this discipline and the best work is often done at one or in a startup. The industry is clearly losing out in the “war of talents” in this area. In most cases one will have to invest in the targeted training of young talents – the first structured training courses are slowly emerging (see Growth Base in cooperation with Lauder Business School).
Data is the greatest blessing of digitization, it allows targeted analytical action and is the basis for automated decisions. Growth hackers love data and use a so-called “technology stack” that helps them to work as efficient and automated as possible on the basis of true data. Check out the automated workflow of a SaaS company (e.g. CB Insights), in my opinion, is a perfect example of automation.
The process improves best through ongoing analysis of data and iterative experiments. Texts, colors, the arrangement of links – everything plays a role – and growth hackers are constantly testing and experimenting how they can optimize the so-called “conversion rate”.
If you’ve got an appetite for more – then it’s best to buy a few books, experiment a little yourself and work step by step to become the next Growth Hacker yourself. I’ll be happy to give you reading tips and link you to professional growth hackers from our network if there is a need.