Growth Marketing: The Ultimate Guide

Growth Marketing: The Ultimate Guide

How to grow your business with modern tooling and strategies

How to grow your business with modern tooling and strategies

Last edited on:

Jan 11, 2024

Author:

Jordy Oost

Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide
Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide
Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide

The Rise of Growth Marketing

It's no longer just about how flashy your advertisements are, but rather how effectively they drive business outcomes.

Enter *growth marketing*, the power behind modern companies, and the lifeline for companies eager to stand out with a minimal budget. Let’s embark on a journey to explore its rise, significance, and relationship with it's sibling, growth hacking.

The Rise of Growth Marketing

It's no longer just about how flashy your advertisements are, but rather how effectively they drive business outcomes.

Enter *growth marketing*, the power behind modern companies, and the lifeline for companies eager to stand out with a minimal budget. Let’s embark on a journey to explore its rise, significance, and relationship with it's sibling, growth hacking.

Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide - Overview of elements in a Venn diagram
Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide - Overview of elements in a Venn diagram
Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide - Overview of elements in a Venn diagram

Content of this article

1. Introduction: The Rise of Growth Marketing
2. Growth Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
3. Growth Hacking Strategies: Case Studies and Examples
- Airbnb’s Craigslist Integration : Enhanced User Acquisition
- Dropbox’s Referral Program: A Masterstroke in Viral Growth
- LinkedIn’s “Public Profile” Feature: Converting Users into Marketers 
- Slack’s Word-of-Mouth Growth: Testament to its Genius

4. Implementation of Growth Marketing
5. Growth Marketing frameworks  
6. Embracing Growth Marketing for Future Success 

Content of this article

1. Introduction: The Rise of Growth Marketing
2. Growth Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
3. Growth Hacking Strategies: Case Studies and Examples
- Airbnb’s Craigslist Integration : Enhanced User Acquisition
- Dropbox’s Referral Program: A Masterstroke in Viral Growth
- LinkedIn’s “Public Profile” Feature: Converting Users into Marketers 
- Slack’s Word-of-Mouth Growth: Testament to its Genius

4. Implementation of Growth Marketing
5. Growth Marketing frameworks  
6. Embracing Growth Marketing for Future Success 

Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide - Content
Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide - Content
Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide - Content

1. Introduction: the rise of growth marketing

The Birth of Growth Marketing and Growth Hacking

In the early 2010s, Sean Ellis, often dubbed the "Godfather of Growth Hacking," introduced the term 'growth hacker.' The title was specifically for those who, unlike traditional marketers, prioritised 'growth' above all else. 

Traditional marketers were focused on branding and acquiring new customers at the lowest price possible. However, Sean Ellis was searching for a marketing hire with the following question in mind: “How can I grow my customer base as quickly as possible?”. 

One decade later we see the term Growth Marketing outgrow Growth Hacking as a search term on Google.

This new profession has moved away from the “get-growth-quick’ tactics and developed a process that not only acquires new customers but also nurtures and retains them. Leading to a higher customer-lifetime-value. 

The definition of Growth Marketing

This brings us to our definition of Growth Marketing:

"Growth Marketing is implementing a sustainable process that grows your sales and marketing outcomes with an incremental and innovative approach."

If we shift our focus towards the tactics that are used, the following definition from Reforge can be used:
"Growth marketing uses triggers, channels, messaging, and personalization to bring new and existing customers into the product to experience its value."

1. Introduction: the rise of growth marketing

The Birth of Growth Marketing and Growth Hacking

In the early 2010s, Sean Ellis, often dubbed the "Godfather of Growth Hacking," introduced the term 'growth hacker.' The title was specifically for those who, unlike traditional marketers, prioritised 'growth' above all else. 

Traditional marketers were focused on branding and acquiring new customers at the lowest price possible. However, Sean Ellis was searching for a marketing hire with the following question in mind: “How can I grow my customer base as quickly as possible?”. 

One decade later we see the term Growth Marketing outgrow Growth Hacking as a search term on Google.

This new profession has moved away from the “get-growth-quick’ tactics and developed a process that not only acquires new customers but also nurtures and retains them. Leading to a higher customer-lifetime-value. 

The definition of Growth Marketing

This brings us to our definition of Growth Marketing:

"Growth Marketing is implementing a sustainable process that grows your sales and marketing outcomes with an incremental and innovative approach."

If we shift our focus towards the tactics that are used, the following definition from Reforge can be used:
"Growth marketing uses triggers, channels, messaging, and personalization to bring new and existing customers into the product to experience its value."

Growth Hacking vs. Growth Marketing: History, Overlap and Definitions 

Though sprung from the same root, growth marketing is the evolved sibling of growth hacking. 

Timeline

  • *Early 2000s*: Introduction of growth marketing, as a term for experimental software marketers

  • *Early 2010s*: Introduction of growth hacking.

  • *Mid-2010s*: Growth marketing emerges, building on hacking techniques but embracing a more comprehensive approach.

Overlap

  • Both focus on growth but while growth hacking is often short-term and tactical, growth marketing encompasses a broader strategy, aiming for long-term sustainability.

Evolution

  • Growth marketing builds on the foundations of growth hacking, but while hacking might chase a quick surge in numbers, marketing is about nurturing and maintaining that growth.

Growth Hacking vs. Growth Marketing: History, Overlap and Definitions 

Though sprung from the same root, growth marketing is the evolved sibling of growth hacking. 

Timeline

  • *Early 2000s*: Introduction of growth marketing, as a term for experimental software marketers

  • *Early 2010s*: Introduction of growth hacking.

  • *Mid-2010s*: Growth marketing emerges, building on hacking techniques but embracing a more comprehensive approach.

Overlap

  • Both focus on growth but while growth hacking is often short-term and tactical, growth marketing encompasses a broader strategy, aiming for long-term sustainability.

Evolution

  • Growth marketing builds on the foundations of growth hacking, but while hacking might chase a quick surge in numbers, marketing is about nurturing and maintaining that growth.

2. Growth Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing 

Picture this: two gladiators, armed to the teeth, locked in a fierce battle in an arena.

One is the age-old warrior—traditional marketing, and the other, the bold newcomer—growth marketing. Let's dive into the battlefield and see how the clash unfolds.

2. Growth Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing 

Picture this: two gladiators, armed to the teeth, locked in a fierce battle in an arena.

One is the age-old warrior—traditional marketing, and the other, the bold newcomer—growth marketing. Let's dive into the battlefield and see how the clash unfolds.

Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide - traditional marketing vs growth marketing.png
Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide - traditional marketing vs growth marketing.png
Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide - traditional marketing vs growth marketing.png

2.1 Mindset

Traditional marketing sets out with a plan, a budget, and a timeline.

Growth hacking, on the other hand, adopts a mindset of experimentation, ready to pivot at any sign of inefficacy.

2.2 Strategies

While the former might pour pounds into broad-scale campaigns, the latter will lean on lean, agile methods, often leveraging technology and innovation.

2.3 Goals

Traditional marketing often targets brand recognition and recall, while growth hacking relentlessly chases user acquisition, engagement, retention, and referrals.

2.4 Story

While growth marketing can be seen as a response to the limitations of conventional marketing techniques, it’s important to remember it’s not a replacement, but a complementary approach.

In the end, it’s not about choosing a side in this battle but harnessing the strengths of both. Growth marketing, with its agility and precision, certainly seems like the future for startups and technology companies. Yet, the sheer impact of a well-executed traditional campaign can't be overlooked.

Whether you're rooting for the seasoned warrior or the agile newcomer, the goal remains the same: growth.

3. Growth Hacking Case Studies

Growth hacking doesn't always mean shelling out big bucks. Often, it’s about being agile, creative, and finding those delightful, low-cost avenues with rapid experimentation. Let's look at a few examples.

Content

1. Airbnb’s Integration with Craigslist
2. Dropbox’s Referral Program
3. LinkedIn’s “Public Profile” Feature
4. Slack’s Word-of-Mouth Growth
5. Lesson's learned

3. Growth Hacking Case Studies

Growth hacking doesn't always mean shelling out big bucks. Often, it’s about being agile, creative, and finding those delightful, low-cost avenues with rapid experimentation. Let's look at a few examples.

Content

1. Airbnb’s Integration with Craigslist
2. Dropbox’s Referral Program
3. LinkedIn’s “Public Profile” Feature
4. Slack’s Word-of-Mouth Growth
5. Lesson's learned

Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide - use cases
Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide - use cases
Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide - use cases

3.1 Airbnb’s Integration with Craigslist: A Strategic Move for Enhanced User Acquisition

In its early stages, Airbnb recognised an opportunity to leverage an existing platform to amplify its user base. Rather than solely relying on conventional advertising methods, Airbnb opted for an integration with Craigslist (an established online platform with a significant user presence).

This approach allowed Airbnb hosts to simultaneously post their listings on Craigslist. When Airbnb listings were cross-posted, they contained embedded links directing users back to Airbnb's platform. As Craigslist was a dominant platform for individual property listings at the time, this integration facilitated potential users to discover Airbnb.

The benefits of this strategy were evident: First, Airbnb hosts were granted access to a larger potential audience via Craigslist. Second, the redirection mechanism effectively channelled a segment of Craigslist's user base to Airbnb, contributing significantly to its user acquisition metrics.

In summary, Airbnb's decision to integrate with Craigslist exemplified a well-calculated move to harness established digital platforms for enhancing its growth trajectory.

*The video above shows a nice breakdown of famous growth hacks used by AirBnB

3.2 Dropbox’s Referral Program: A Masterstroke in Viral Growth

Dropbox, a brand that found the magic beans of viral growth and climbed its way to cloud storage stardom. They could have opted for traditional advertising routes, but no, they were a tad more sly. And by ‘sly’, I mean brilliantly intuitive.

Their masterstroke? A referral programme. Dropbox offered a sweet deal: for every mate you bring aboard, both you and your newly-converted Dropbox disciple earn extra storage space. The result? An ever-growing loop of users, akin to a snowball rolling downhill, getting bigger and gaining momentum with every turn. The beauty of it was its simplicity. By incentivising both the referrer and the referee, they ensured that their user base didn't just grow – it exploded.

3.3 LinkedIn’s “Public Profile” Feature: Converting Users into Marketers 

Let’s switch gears and discuss another behemoth: LinkedIn. Now, here’s a platform that knows how to make its users do the heavy lifting. When LinkedIn introduced its "Public Profile" feature, it did something rather cheeky. They let user profiles be indexed by Google. 

Think about it. When professionals googled their names (come on, we’ve all done it), their LinkedIn profiles surfaced in the search results. Every user became a billboard, a marketer – and, more importantly, a magnet for organic growth. By making profiles public, LinkedIn turned search engines into their very own, unpaid marketing team. And the cost? A mere tweak in settings. 

3.4 Slack’s Word-of-Mouth Growth: Testament to its Genius

Then, there’s Slack. The darling of office communication. Slack could have inundated us with flashy adverts, billboards, or celebrity endorsements. But did they? No. They chose the most honest form of marketing – user testimonials. 

They believed in the simple truth: If your product is good, people will talk. And talk they did. It was the classic case of 'word-of-mouth', only this time, it wasn’t just Aunt Mildred recommending a knitting pattern. This was corporate teams, freelancers, and global businesses all singing Slack's praises. With just user reviews and recommendations, Slack raced ahead, becoming the fastest software application to reach a billion-dollar valuation (at that time). 

3.5 Lesson’s learned

1. Meet customers where they are at (whether this is Craigslist or a physical location)

2. Growth doesn't have to be sexy (tweaking code and settings can be enough)

3. Leverage What You Have (Dropbox didn’t build a new tool; they simply made an offer that users couldn't resist)

4. Keep it simple
(Slack didn't need a fancy ad campaign. They banked on word-of-mouth. Often, the simplest strategies, grounded in human behaviour, outshine the most extensive plans.)

In the end, growth hacking is about innovation and thinking outside the box.

It’s not just about growing; it’s about growing smart. So, the next time you're plotting world domination (or just a larger market share), remember: it's not always about the money you spend, but about the process you apply.

3.1 Airbnb’s Integration with Craigslist: A Strategic Move for Enhanced User Acquisition

In its early stages, Airbnb recognised an opportunity to leverage an existing platform to amplify its user base. Rather than solely relying on conventional advertising methods, Airbnb opted for an integration with Craigslist (an established online platform with a significant user presence).

This approach allowed Airbnb hosts to simultaneously post their listings on Craigslist. When Airbnb listings were cross-posted, they contained embedded links directing users back to Airbnb's platform. As Craigslist was a dominant platform for individual property listings at the time, this integration facilitated potential users to discover Airbnb.

The benefits of this strategy were evident: First, Airbnb hosts were granted access to a larger potential audience via Craigslist. Second, the redirection mechanism effectively channelled a segment of Craigslist's user base to Airbnb, contributing significantly to its user acquisition metrics.

In summary, Airbnb's decision to integrate with Craigslist exemplified a well-calculated move to harness established digital platforms for enhancing its growth trajectory.

*The video above shows a nice breakdown of famous growth hacks used by AirBnB

3.2 Dropbox’s Referral Program: A Masterstroke in Viral Growth

Dropbox, a brand that found the magic beans of viral growth and climbed its way to cloud storage stardom. They could have opted for traditional advertising routes, but no, they were a tad more sly. And by ‘sly’, I mean brilliantly intuitive.

Their masterstroke? A referral programme. Dropbox offered a sweet deal: for every mate you bring aboard, both you and your newly-converted Dropbox disciple earn extra storage space. The result? An ever-growing loop of users, akin to a snowball rolling downhill, getting bigger and gaining momentum with every turn. The beauty of it was its simplicity. By incentivising both the referrer and the referee, they ensured that their user base didn't just grow – it exploded.

3.3 LinkedIn’s “Public Profile” Feature: Converting Users into Marketers 

Let’s switch gears and discuss another behemoth: LinkedIn. Now, here’s a platform that knows how to make its users do the heavy lifting. When LinkedIn introduced its "Public Profile" feature, it did something rather cheeky. They let user profiles be indexed by Google. 

Think about it. When professionals googled their names (come on, we’ve all done it), their LinkedIn profiles surfaced in the search results. Every user became a billboard, a marketer – and, more importantly, a magnet for organic growth. By making profiles public, LinkedIn turned search engines into their very own, unpaid marketing team. And the cost? A mere tweak in settings. 

3.4 Slack’s Word-of-Mouth Growth: Testament to its Genius

Then, there’s Slack. The darling of office communication. Slack could have inundated us with flashy adverts, billboards, or celebrity endorsements. But did they? No. They chose the most honest form of marketing – user testimonials. 

They believed in the simple truth: If your product is good, people will talk. And talk they did. It was the classic case of 'word-of-mouth', only this time, it wasn’t just Aunt Mildred recommending a knitting pattern. This was corporate teams, freelancers, and global businesses all singing Slack's praises. With just user reviews and recommendations, Slack raced ahead, becoming the fastest software application to reach a billion-dollar valuation (at that time). 

3.5 Lesson’s learned

1. Meet customers where they are at (whether this is Craigslist or a physical location)

2. Growth doesn't have to be sexy (tweaking code and settings can be enough)

3. Leverage What You Have (Dropbox didn’t build a new tool; they simply made an offer that users couldn't resist)

4. Keep it simple
(Slack didn't need a fancy ad campaign. They banked on word-of-mouth. Often, the simplest strategies, grounded in human behaviour, outshine the most extensive plans.)

In the end, growth hacking is about innovation and thinking outside the box.

It’s not just about growing; it’s about growing smart. So, the next time you're plotting world domination (or just a larger market share), remember: it's not always about the money you spend, but about the process you apply.

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4. Implementing Growth Marketing: process and tactics

We have talked a lot about Growth Marketing thus far. I can imagine most of it still feels abstract. Let’s clear our minds and take a look at how an actual Growth Marketing process can look like.

4.1 Growth marketing tactics - the foundational elements

Growth Marketing can entail a wide array of tasks and tactics. Some elements that are foundational are:

  • Rapid experimentation: Consistently, new experiments are deployed to discover new ideas and learn about the customer.


  • Data informed: Consistently generate and make use data to inform your decisions


  • An incremental approach: Instead of focusing on big bets, uncertainty is broken down into multiple small tests


  • Psychological safety “ok to fail culture”: A culture in which it is safe to fail


  • T-shaped teams and team members: A broad range of skills of knowledge while being experts in certain fields.


1/5 **Rapid experimentation: The heartbeat of innovation**

When we mention "Rapid experimentation," think of it as the culinary equivalent of a chef tweaking a recipe till it’s nothing short of perfection. It's about deploying a consistent array of tests, trying new ingredients (or ideas), and serving them up to the customers to see if it tantalises their taste buds.

*Real-life example:* Let's recall Spotify’s Discover Weekly feature. Before rolling it out, Spotify constantly experimented with algorithms to curate a weekly playlist that's tailored for every individual user. By running multiple iterations and collecting feedback, they were able to hit the right note.

2/5 **Data informed: Decisions fuelled by facts, not fiction**

In the realm of Growth Marketing, stories are best left for bedtime. Decisions need to be driven by hard data. When we're data-informed, we’re not taking a stab in the dark; we’re taking calculated, insightful strides into the light.

*Real-life example:* Netflix is a poster child for data-driven decisions. The recommendation engine, the genres, even the original series (Hello, House of Cards!) are the fruits of meticulous data harvesting and analysis.

3/5 **An incremental approach: Baby steps to success**

Rather than shooting for the moon with a giant leap, it’s often wiser to take small, incremental steps. It's about breaking the journey into manageable chunks, testing the waters at every juncture, and pivoting when needed.

*Real-life example:* Dropbox didn’t become a household name overnight. They started with a simple video explaining their product. The buzz generated from that video led them to further develop features and refine their referral program, driving their exponential growth.

4/5 **Psychological safety : Nurturing innovation through acceptance of failure**

Behind every success, there's a trail of failures. But in an environment where these failures are embraced as lessons rather than mistakes, that's where true innovation sprouts.

*Real-life example:* At Google, employees are encouraged to work on projects outside their job descriptions. Google News, AdSense, and even Gmail were birthed from this culture of innovation and acceptance of failure.

5/5 **T-shaped teams and team members: Jack of all trades, master of one**

Imagine having a Swiss Army knife where every tool is an expert in its function but also quite handy elsewhere. That’s what T-shaped teams are all about. They possess a broad range of skills while honing in-depth expertise in specific areas.

*Real-life example:* At Valve, the video game developer, employees aren’t pigeonholed into one role. They’re encouraged to contribute across disciplines, whether it's design, programming, or testing. This T-shaped model fosters innovation and has birthed gaming masterpieces like Half-Life and Portal.

4. Implementing Growth Marketing: process and tactics

We have talked a lot about Growth Marketing thus far. I can imagine most of it still feels abstract. Let’s clear our minds and take a look at how an actual Growth Marketing process can look like.

4.1 Growth marketing tactics - the foundational elements

Growth Marketing can entail a wide array of tasks and tactics. Some elements that are foundational are:

  • Rapid experimentation: Consistently, new experiments are deployed to discover new ideas and learn about the customer.


  • Data informed: Consistently generate and make use data to inform your decisions


  • An incremental approach: Instead of focusing on big bets, uncertainty is broken down into multiple small tests


  • Psychological safety “ok to fail culture”: A culture in which it is safe to fail


  • T-shaped teams and team members: A broad range of skills of knowledge while being experts in certain fields.


1/5 **Rapid experimentation: The heartbeat of innovation**

When we mention "Rapid experimentation," think of it as the culinary equivalent of a chef tweaking a recipe till it’s nothing short of perfection. It's about deploying a consistent array of tests, trying new ingredients (or ideas), and serving them up to the customers to see if it tantalises their taste buds.

*Real-life example:* Let's recall Spotify’s Discover Weekly feature. Before rolling it out, Spotify constantly experimented with algorithms to curate a weekly playlist that's tailored for every individual user. By running multiple iterations and collecting feedback, they were able to hit the right note.

2/5 **Data informed: Decisions fuelled by facts, not fiction**

In the realm of Growth Marketing, stories are best left for bedtime. Decisions need to be driven by hard data. When we're data-informed, we’re not taking a stab in the dark; we’re taking calculated, insightful strides into the light.

*Real-life example:* Netflix is a poster child for data-driven decisions. The recommendation engine, the genres, even the original series (Hello, House of Cards!) are the fruits of meticulous data harvesting and analysis.

3/5 **An incremental approach: Baby steps to success**

Rather than shooting for the moon with a giant leap, it’s often wiser to take small, incremental steps. It's about breaking the journey into manageable chunks, testing the waters at every juncture, and pivoting when needed.

*Real-life example:* Dropbox didn’t become a household name overnight. They started with a simple video explaining their product. The buzz generated from that video led them to further develop features and refine their referral program, driving their exponential growth.

4/5 **Psychological safety : Nurturing innovation through acceptance of failure**

Behind every success, there's a trail of failures. But in an environment where these failures are embraced as lessons rather than mistakes, that's where true innovation sprouts.

*Real-life example:* At Google, employees are encouraged to work on projects outside their job descriptions. Google News, AdSense, and even Gmail were birthed from this culture of innovation and acceptance of failure.

5/5 **T-shaped teams and team members: Jack of all trades, master of one**

Imagine having a Swiss Army knife where every tool is an expert in its function but also quite handy elsewhere. That’s what T-shaped teams are all about. They possess a broad range of skills while honing in-depth expertise in specific areas.

*Real-life example:* At Valve, the video game developer, employees aren’t pigeonholed into one role. They’re encouraged to contribute across disciplines, whether it's design, programming, or testing. This T-shaped model fosters innovation and has birthed gaming masterpieces like Half-Life and Portal.

Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide - 10-step plan
Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide - 10-step plan
Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide - 10-step plan

4.2. Kickstarting Growth Marketing: The 10-step plan

Growth Marketing is all about fostering rapid experimentation across marketing channels, product development, and other areas of the business to identify the most effective ways to grow.

For growth leads and marketing managers keen on implementing a growth marketing process into their departments, we have written a guide that includes the basics.

Below is a step-by-step plan on how to successfully implement a growth hacking strategy.


Step 1. Setting Clear Objectives

Before anything else, you need to know what you're aiming for. Is it to increase awareness, boost product sales, acquire new users or grow your pipeline value? Be specific about your objectives and ensure they're measurable.

A North Star metric can be useful here.


Step 2. Assemble a T-shaped Marketing Team or Growth Hacker

Growth hacking benefits from a mix of skills – from data analytics to creative thinking. Assemble a team that includes members from various backgrounds: marketing, product, engineering, and design.


Step 3. Setting up a Growth Hacking Experiment Sheet

Every experiment needs proper documentation to track its progress, results, and learning points.

* Create a spreadsheet or utilise an online tool.

* Dedicate columns for the experiment name, hypothesis, start and end dates, key metrics, results, and observations.

* Ensure this sheet is accessible to all team members and is updated regularly.


Step 4. Ideate, Prioritise, Work, Evaluate, Repeat!
The start of bi-weekly Growth Sprints

Ideate: This phase involves brainstorming and generating a myriad of innovative strategies or experiments aimed at driving growth, allowing teams to tap into their creativity and think outside the box.

Prioritise: After generating ideas, this step ensures that the most impactful, feasible, and relevant experiments are selected for execution, often using criteria like potential reach, estimated ROI, and resource requirements.

Discuss campaign(s)- and experiment(s) outline: discuss and refine the idea's and align with team members on the way to work on them.

Work: In this phase, the team actively implements and runs the chosen experiments, ensuring that each action aligns with the overall growth objectives and is executed with precision.

Evaluate: After experiments have been run, this step involves analysing the results, measuring their impact against set metrics, and gleaning insights to determine the success or areas of improvement for each experiment.

Repeat: Building upon previous insights and learnings, the process starts anew, ensuring continuous optimisation and iteration in the pursuit of maximum growth.

4.2. Kickstarting Growth Marketing: The 10-step plan

Growth Marketing is all about fostering rapid experimentation across marketing channels, product development, and other areas of the business to identify the most effective ways to grow.

For growth leads and marketing managers keen on implementing a growth marketing process into their departments, we have written a guide that includes the basics.

Below is a step-by-step plan on how to successfully implement a growth hacking strategy.


Step 1. Setting Clear Objectives

Before anything else, you need to know what you're aiming for. Is it to increase awareness, boost product sales, acquire new users or grow your pipeline value? Be specific about your objectives and ensure they're measurable.

A North Star metric can be useful here.


Step 2. Assemble a T-shaped Marketing Team or Growth Hacker

Growth hacking benefits from a mix of skills – from data analytics to creative thinking. Assemble a team that includes members from various backgrounds: marketing, product, engineering, and design.


Step 3. Setting up a Growth Hacking Experiment Sheet

Every experiment needs proper documentation to track its progress, results, and learning points.

* Create a spreadsheet or utilise an online tool.

* Dedicate columns for the experiment name, hypothesis, start and end dates, key metrics, results, and observations.

* Ensure this sheet is accessible to all team members and is updated regularly.


Step 4. Ideate, Prioritise, Work, Evaluate, Repeat!
The start of bi-weekly Growth Sprints

Ideate: This phase involves brainstorming and generating a myriad of innovative strategies or experiments aimed at driving growth, allowing teams to tap into their creativity and think outside the box.

Prioritise: After generating ideas, this step ensures that the most impactful, feasible, and relevant experiments are selected for execution, often using criteria like potential reach, estimated ROI, and resource requirements.

Discuss campaign(s)- and experiment(s) outline: discuss and refine the idea's and align with team members on the way to work on them.

Work: In this phase, the team actively implements and runs the chosen experiments, ensuring that each action aligns with the overall growth objectives and is executed with precision.

Evaluate: After experiments have been run, this step involves analysing the results, measuring their impact against set metrics, and gleaning insights to determine the success or areas of improvement for each experiment.

Repeat: Building upon previous insights and learnings, the process starts anew, ensuring continuous optimisation and iteration in the pursuit of maximum growth.

Step 5. Create a Fail Dashboard

Mistakes will happen, but they're valuable learning experiences. Rather than sweeping them under the carpet, highlight and celebrate them.

* Dedicate a space (either physically or digitally) where failed experiments are showcased.

* Accompany each 'failure' with a brief on what was learned and how this knowledge can be utilised in the future.


Step 6. Data review

At the end of your bi-weekly sprint:

* Dive into the data. Evaluate your experiments. Track results.

* Archive completed and failed experiments in the Growth Hacking Experiment Sheet.

* Use the 'fail dashboard' & 'experiment sheet' to discuss what didn't work and why.

* Start the next sprint with the ideation process, building upon previous learnings.


Step 7. Refinement and Scaling

As you start to identify successful strategies and tactics:

* Refine and iterate them for even better results.

* Think about how these successes can be scaled across other areas of your business or to larger audiences.

* Share insights with other departments in your organization.


Step 8. Stay Updated and Educated

The digital landscape changes rapidly. Ensure your team is consistently updating their knowledge, be it through courses, webinars, or industry news. Make sure to schedule a biweekly moment for your team to stay up to date.


Step 9. Encourage a Growth Mindset

Foster a culture where continuous learning, resilience, and adaptability are celebrated. When the entire team is on board with the growth hacking mindset, the sky's the limit.

Pro-actively discuss learnings, celebrate failures and stimulate a mentally safe environment.


Step 10. Review and Reset

Every quarter, take a step back. Review your objectives, the success rate of your experiments, and the overall impact on your business growth. This will help you reset your strategies and align them closer to your evolving business goals.


Conclusion

Implementing a process for growth experiments requires dedication, agility, and a willingness to embrace and learn from failure. However, when done correctly, it offers an unmatched avenue for accelerated growth. Remember, it's not about having a perfect score of successful experiments, but about learning, iterating, and constantly pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the realm of marketing.

[A new blog post on growth marketing process implementation is available - also make sure to take a look at: How to implement a growth marketing process in 6-steps]

Step 5. Create a Fail Dashboard

Mistakes will happen, but they're valuable learning experiences. Rather than sweeping them under the carpet, highlight and celebrate them.

* Dedicate a space (either physically or digitally) where failed experiments are showcased.

* Accompany each 'failure' with a brief on what was learned and how this knowledge can be utilised in the future.


Step 6. Data review

At the end of your bi-weekly sprint:

* Dive into the data. Evaluate your experiments. Track results.

* Archive completed and failed experiments in the Growth Hacking Experiment Sheet.

* Use the 'fail dashboard' & 'experiment sheet' to discuss what didn't work and why.

* Start the next sprint with the ideation process, building upon previous learnings.


Step 7. Refinement and Scaling

As you start to identify successful strategies and tactics:

* Refine and iterate them for even better results.

* Think about how these successes can be scaled across other areas of your business or to larger audiences.

* Share insights with other departments in your organization.


Step 8. Stay Updated and Educated

The digital landscape changes rapidly. Ensure your team is consistently updating their knowledge, be it through courses, webinars, or industry news. Make sure to schedule a biweekly moment for your team to stay up to date.


Step 9. Encourage a Growth Mindset

Foster a culture where continuous learning, resilience, and adaptability are celebrated. When the entire team is on board with the growth hacking mindset, the sky's the limit.

Pro-actively discuss learnings, celebrate failures and stimulate a mentally safe environment.


Step 10. Review and Reset

Every quarter, take a step back. Review your objectives, the success rate of your experiments, and the overall impact on your business growth. This will help you reset your strategies and align them closer to your evolving business goals.


Conclusion

Implementing a process for growth experiments requires dedication, agility, and a willingness to embrace and learn from failure. However, when done correctly, it offers an unmatched avenue for accelerated growth. Remember, it's not about having a perfect score of successful experiments, but about learning, iterating, and constantly pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the realm of marketing.

[A new blog post on growth marketing process implementation is available - also make sure to take a look at: How to implement a growth marketing process in 6-steps]

5. Growth Marketing frameworks 

Growth hacking frameworks, the magic potions to turbocharge your trajectory. Let’s dive in!

Content

Framework #1: The Pirate Metrics - AARRR!
Framework #2: The Bullseye Framework - Hitting the Target
Framework #3: The Referral Loop - Turning Customers into Advocates
Framework #4: The Flywheel Model - Building Momentum
Framework #5: The North Star Metric - Guiding Your Growth Strategy
Framework #6: The Growth Loops - Creating Self-Sustaining Growth

5.1 Framework #1: The Pirate Metrics - AARRR!

Coined by Dave McClure, the Pirate Metrics (AARRR) breaks down the customer journey into five essential steps: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, and Revenue.

It's not just about getting users on board but ensuring they stay, pay, and sway others to join.

*Example:* Spotify’s freemium model captures users (Acquisition), delights them with personalised playlists (Activation & Retention), then tempts them to upgrade (Revenue) and share with friends (Referral).

5.2 Framework #2: The Bullseye Framework - Hitting the Right Target

Visualise a dartboard, with your ideal growth channel at the centre. The Bullseye Framework involves brainstorming every possible growth channel, testing the most promising ones, and zeroing in on what works best. It's all about hitting the right target for maximum growth.

*Example:* Airbnb initially targeted Craigslist to grow its user base.

5.3 Framework #3: The Referral Loop - Turning Customers into Advocates

Every marketer's dream is turning customers into brand ambassadors. The Referral Loop capitalises on this by integrating referrals into the user experience. Happy customers refer others, and the loop continues.

*Example:* Dropbox’s referral programme offers free storage for both the referrer and referee, creating a win-win loop.

5.4 Framework #4: The Flywheel Model - Building Momentum for Sustainable Growth

Replace the traditional funnel with a flywheel, where customers feed growth. The idea is to use the momentum from happy customers to drive referrals and repeat sales, making growth self-sustaining.

*Example:* Amazon’s Prime membership keeps customers within their ecosystem, leading to frequent purchases and recommendations.

5.5 Framework #5: The North Star Metric - Guiding Your Growth Strategy

Identify the single metric that aligns with your business's core value. This metric should guide growth activities and ensure everyone is paddling in the same direction.

*Example:* For WhatsApp, it’s the number of messages sent.

5.6 Framework #6: The Growth Loop - Creating Self-Sustaining Growth

Shift from linear thinking to embracing growth loops. These are cycles where the output of one step feeds into the input of the next, driving continuous growth. By optimising each loop, businesses can accelerate growth in a self-sustaining manner.

*Example:* Instagram’s user-generated content. The more content uploaded, the more there is for users to engage with, which in turn encourages more uploads.

Conclusion: Implementing Growth Hacking Frameworks for Sustainable Business Growth

These growth hacking strategies aren’t just about short-term gains; they focus on long-term, sustainable expansion, blending marketing and product.

To the marketing and sales maestros reading this: it’s time to roll up those sleeves.

Equipped with these frameworks, you're not just poised for growth; you're geared for sustainable growth. Remember, the art of growth marketing lies not just in knowing these strategies but in tailoring them uniquely to your business.

Customise, experiment, iterate, and grow.

6. Embracing Growth Marketing for Future Success 

The journey from growth hacking's rebellious beginnings to growth marketing's strategic evolution illustrates the software industry's adaptive nature. It’s evident that for enduring success, it’s not just about attracting users but enchanting them for the long haul. 

To the marketing and sales teams navigating the vast sea of growth marketing: the future beckons with the promise of success. But remember, it’s not just about the hack; it’s about the journey and the strategy. Dive deep, experiment, but always keep an eye on the horizon.

Embrace growth, and let it be the compass guiding you to uncharted successes.

P.s. cheers to the founders of growth marketing and creators of the use cases and frameworks mentioned in this article! A few honorable mentions:

🌟 Sean Ellis - The man that coined “Growth Hacking”
🌟 Dave Mcclure -
Inventor of the Pirate Funnel
🌟 Eric Ries -
Author of The Lean Startup

5. Growth Marketing frameworks 

Growth hacking frameworks, the magic potions to turbocharge your trajectory. Let’s dive in!

Content

Framework #1: The Pirate Metrics - AARRR!
Framework #2: The Bullseye Framework - Hitting the Target
Framework #3: The Referral Loop - Turning Customers into Advocates
Framework #4: The Flywheel Model - Building Momentum
Framework #5: The North Star Metric - Guiding Your Growth Strategy
Framework #6: The Growth Loops - Creating Self-Sustaining Growth

5.1 Framework #1: The Pirate Metrics - AARRR!

Coined by Dave McClure, the Pirate Metrics (AARRR) breaks down the customer journey into five essential steps: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, and Revenue.

It's not just about getting users on board but ensuring they stay, pay, and sway others to join.

*Example:* Spotify’s freemium model captures users (Acquisition), delights them with personalised playlists (Activation & Retention), then tempts them to upgrade (Revenue) and share with friends (Referral).

5.2 Framework #2: The Bullseye Framework - Hitting the Right Target

Visualise a dartboard, with your ideal growth channel at the centre. The Bullseye Framework involves brainstorming every possible growth channel, testing the most promising ones, and zeroing in on what works best. It's all about hitting the right target for maximum growth.

*Example:* Airbnb initially targeted Craigslist to grow its user base.

5.3 Framework #3: The Referral Loop - Turning Customers into Advocates

Every marketer's dream is turning customers into brand ambassadors. The Referral Loop capitalises on this by integrating referrals into the user experience. Happy customers refer others, and the loop continues.

*Example:* Dropbox’s referral programme offers free storage for both the referrer and referee, creating a win-win loop.

5.4 Framework #4: The Flywheel Model - Building Momentum for Sustainable Growth

Replace the traditional funnel with a flywheel, where customers feed growth. The idea is to use the momentum from happy customers to drive referrals and repeat sales, making growth self-sustaining.

*Example:* Amazon’s Prime membership keeps customers within their ecosystem, leading to frequent purchases and recommendations.

5.5 Framework #5: The North Star Metric - Guiding Your Growth Strategy

Identify the single metric that aligns with your business's core value. This metric should guide growth activities and ensure everyone is paddling in the same direction.

*Example:* For WhatsApp, it’s the number of messages sent.

5.6 Framework #6: The Growth Loop - Creating Self-Sustaining Growth

Shift from linear thinking to embracing growth loops. These are cycles where the output of one step feeds into the input of the next, driving continuous growth. By optimising each loop, businesses can accelerate growth in a self-sustaining manner.

*Example:* Instagram’s user-generated content. The more content uploaded, the more there is for users to engage with, which in turn encourages more uploads.

Conclusion: Implementing Growth Hacking Frameworks for Sustainable Business Growth

These growth hacking strategies aren’t just about short-term gains; they focus on long-term, sustainable expansion, blending marketing and product.

To the marketing and sales maestros reading this: it’s time to roll up those sleeves.

Equipped with these frameworks, you're not just poised for growth; you're geared for sustainable growth. Remember, the art of growth marketing lies not just in knowing these strategies but in tailoring them uniquely to your business.

Customise, experiment, iterate, and grow.

6. Embracing Growth Marketing for Future Success 

The journey from growth hacking's rebellious beginnings to growth marketing's strategic evolution illustrates the software industry's adaptive nature. It’s evident that for enduring success, it’s not just about attracting users but enchanting them for the long haul. 

To the marketing and sales teams navigating the vast sea of growth marketing: the future beckons with the promise of success. But remember, it’s not just about the hack; it’s about the journey and the strategy. Dive deep, experiment, but always keep an eye on the horizon.

Embrace growth, and let it be the compass guiding you to uncharted successes.

P.s. cheers to the founders of growth marketing and creators of the use cases and frameworks mentioned in this article! A few honorable mentions:

🌟 Sean Ellis - The man that coined “Growth Hacking”
🌟 Dave Mcclure -
Inventor of the Pirate Funnel
🌟 Eric Ries -
Author of The Lean Startup

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Jan 11, 2024

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Growth marketing framework - Implement a process in 6 steps

Feb 7, 2024

Grow your marketing outcomes with this 6-step Growth Marketing process.

Jan 9, 2024

Beyond Growth | Startup series | How to choose the right marketing channels

Growth Marketing - The ultimate guide

Jan 11, 2024

How to grow your business with modern tooling and strategies

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