The term “growth hacking” has exploded on to the technology scene in the past year. To be honest, my feelings are mixed on the term. On one hand it is helping communicate and expand an important methodology to digital marketing. On the other hand the term is being abused by people using it to self-promote themselves.
As a result it is becoming one of the most popular but also misunderstood and misrepresented topics of the startup scene. After some reluctance I have decided the term has enough momentum that there is no point in trying to fight it. Instead, this page, and more broadly this blog, is here to help.
What Is Growth Hacking?
First thing I’d like to make clear is that there is no magical all-in-one single person “growth hacker.” Growth is the result of a team effort. Even as an individual consultant, I am typically working with a team (internal or external) to execute and drive growth.
Growth hacking encapsulates a quantitative focused process to drive the experimentation, discovery, and repeatability of new tactics, channels, and features that correspond with authentic user and customer growth.
Growth hacking lives at the intersection of marketing, product, and data science.
What Growth Hacking Isn’t
Sometimes to clarify a subject its good to talk about what it isn’t. Here are some common misconceptions I have seen floating out there on the internet. Growth hacking isn’t/doesn’t:
- Isn’t restricted to just consumer viral growth. It can be applied to B2B as well as other non viral channels.
- Doesn’t replace the process of customer discovery and finding product market fit.
- About finding one magical feature that grows your whole business, even though that is what you will read in the sexy “press” stories.
- The implementation of long known best practices
Is Growth Hacking New?
The term “growth hacking” started to gain momentum in early 2012. But the techniques behind growth hacking have been around for quite some time. Some of the smartest growth people I know are hidden in the depths of the internet among lead ten companies and affiliate marketing. They don’t talk about what they do, because they know the moment they do others will flood the same tactic, technique, or channel that they are using.
Who Are Some People Knowledgeable In Growth Hacking?
Here is a list of professionals who I have learned from. This is by no means an all inconclusive list. Each name is linked to a full profile with must read presentations and articles written on the topic of growth.