Performance marketing and conversion optimization (A/B testing) is popular use of growth hacking techniques. However both of them often take a short-term view, but a similar approach can lead to long-term success.
The benefits of growth hacking are not reserved for marketing alone; implementing growth hacking techniques across business functions will benefit the entire company in the long term.
A singular focus on growing a specific metric is at the heart of successful growth hacking. True supporters of this concept are not restricted by conventional strategies and tactics. Instead, they only focus on identifying which measure will achieve growth and on pursuing that path.
The stages of the growth hacking process
Fundamentally growth hacking is a systematic testing process. I have written about it before in more detail, but here is a quick summary.
Start by deciding what you would like to grow. Choose a key performance indicator (KPI) you would like to measure. Remember that growth hacking is about focus, so it’s worth restricting yourself to one criterion, for example, website traffic.
The process starts with an analysis to determine your current position. In our website example, you would look at how many visitors are seeing your site right now. If you have historic data to consider, it is worth including that in your analysis.
Next, you formulate between one and three hypotheses to improve your chosen KPI. Those can be based on data, surveys, or interviews. In our website example, you could choose to test the performance of advertising on different social media marketing platforms to increase traffic.
Step three is prioritization. Perhaps, the age of your target market suggests that advertising on Instagram will achieve more growth than Facebook advertising. Therefore, prioritizing Instagram is more likely to succeed.
Now it’s time to test your hypothesis within a pre-agreed testing cycle. One or two weeks works in many cases. Having tested one social media platform, you can then choose to test another. The platform that achieves higher growth will be the one you select for continued social media marketing to drive website traffic.
Advantages of using growth hacking techniques across business functions
Growth hacking techniques are not limited to marketing alone. Using these tactics more systematically and implementing them as part of a long-term strategy, benefits everyone in the organization.
No matter which department they belong to, every single team member can implement the growth hacking methodology in their daily work. The same approach is effective for teams and entire business functions. The effect is remarkable: growth hacking forces everyone to focus only on what matters.
Work smarter not harder
It simply takes the guesswork out of identifying the most important tasks. By shifting their attention to these tasks, individuals and entire teams achieve better results. Seeing results directly means your team will feel more confident in their performance and their decision-making. They will also spend less time working because this approach allows everyone to work smarter, not harder.
As a result, your people will enjoy a better work-life balance. Don’t dismiss this as yet another buzzword. Work-life balance may have been discussed longer than growth hacking, but it has never been more highly valued. As the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we work for good, with remote working considered an overwhelming success, employees are looking for more than money. They are valuing flexibility more highly.
By default, growth hacking creates an environment focused on learning where mistakes are part of life. When you are A/B testing, you are expecting one of the options to fail. As a result, failure becomes an opportunity to learn rather than a negative. Your team members will feel safer and more confident in their roles.
When companies use systematic testing across the whole organization, they create room for failure and accelerate learning. This is especially important in the context of startups. Most startups are founded on the premise of a problem that hasn’t been solved. When you are developing your product as a founder, you don’t know all the answers yet, and neither does your team. Using growth hacking tactics fast tracks learning for everyone.
Getting comfortable with metrics
Successful growth hacking can be measured.
When your entire company’s focus shifts towards growth, everyone becomes comfortable with numbers as well as assessing and tracking their performance based on different metrics. Individual KPIs become less of a threat and more of a goal to achieve and beat.
Putting it all together
Growth hacking techniques are no longer just a short-term marketing gimmick. Used across all of your teams and business functions, they can transform the entire organization’s culture by opening everyone’s mind to the advantages of systematic testing.
Startups benefit as well as established companies. Growth hacking techniques minimize wasted time and effort by focusing your team’s attention on what really matters. Your team will benefit from working smarter, not harder – and your business has the potential to grow faster than ever before.