WHAT IS GROWTH HACKING?
3 Key Points To Consider From Guest Blogger Chae O’Brien
Growth Hacking is essentially doing whatever it takes to get your product in the mind of the consumer (by positive association) and have it stay there for a lifetime. It is as much marketing as it is product development.
It can be an individualistic function as it can be a team ethic. What most fail to realise, is that stimulating rapid growth can mean so many things in so many ways to different business formats. Growth for an e-commerce site can be as simple as skyrocketing top line revenue or experiencing a 489% jump in newsletter subscriptions for a budding NGO.
More accurately, relative growth depends on which core data signals you’re looking to be your primary metric of success. The three points below address critical aspects of any GH strategy in the event you’re looking to find the right mix between product development considerations, marketing strategies and and analytic measurement to kick start an intense product experience campaign.
(1) Your Product Should Be A Hack By Usability
Coming back to what Beth said about relevance, your product (whether it be a baby bottle prototype or a Saas), should resonate with your intended target audiences by means of an immediate personal connection. To put it in context, if I created a drink which cured the common cold for a lifetime with one dosage, Marketing wouldn’t be remotely necessary.
Its effectiveness and massive relevance to the world population would be enough to spin a demand so out of control it would take an industrial park-sized factory to counter with sufficient supply.
Developing an easily relatable product is key for progressive growth, a concept, Sara Blakely breathed confidence into when she created a wardrobe must essential for women, globally known as Spanx. To this day, Spanx has stuck to its marketing roots by depending on viral woman-to-woman refferal advice as its mainstay market growth tactic.
Why? Because despite Spanx passed the billion dollar earnings mark some time ago, when Sara started selling out of her Atlanta apartment, she had no cash to spare on traditional marketing channels and necessity became her biggest ally. It was through that growth phase she learnt what was more powerful than any ad or radio commercial, it was human conviction and confidence in her product.
Spanx was a product which vouched for itself and became so personally impressive that every woman who used it would implore a few more to join the ranks of its customer base creating a marketing contagion.
(2) Which Data Signal is Right For You?
While GH is the trending marketing ‘buzzword’ of 2016, finding creative ways to ignite a lightning speed effect on user attention levels have been a fundamental goal of almost every brand marketing campaign to date.
We lump GH strategy with small businesses and startups as they lack the resources of capital spend and core marketing expertise to go over the top with traditional channels. However, big brands have also proven, if you know what data signals you need, your spend can be just as minimal as a two man office, regardless of whether you can afford a Times Square billboard or not. Brazil’s Manufatura de Brinquedos Estrela realised their social media following for one of their subsidiaries, a toy train manufacturer, kept growing despite the fact that the product was discontinued in 1989.
To test market sentiment, they staged a 20Km train ride within Brazil with volunteers moving the tracks accordingly through streets and parks for the model train voyage. The campaign resulted in over 600,000 Youtube views and it broke into Twitter Brazil’s trending topics three times. The overwhelming outcome was so impressive, the parent company decided a product re-launch was in order.
Sales revenue is a desirable and great metric for performance measurement but at the end of the day, growth hacking tactics impact all levels of strategy i.e. product development, user experience, brand loyalty as well as customer acquisition and retention levels.
(3) Build Personal & Corporate Brand Authenticity
The reality is both matter and they are critically needed for any GH strategy to work in a short space of time.
Audiences love a relatable and usable product but what they admire even more than that, is someone they can learn to trust (and respect) standing behind the brand for every strength and throughout every challenge. What better example is there there than the real life inspiration for Iron Man, Elon Musk. Elon’s constant personal confidence in his portfolio of companies to ‘ECO-nomically’ change the world is what sets him apart from other giants in the Silicon Valley space.
What he articulately brings is a game-changing element of customer intimacy to the buyer’s journey. From tweeting replies to random Tesla (model-specific) questions to working on renewable rocket material fabrication (Space X), Elon Musk created brands that audiences connect with through his personal ethos of making fantastic, functional and world changing products.
Whether you’re using the 400,000 Model 3 pre-order Tesla accomplished in a couple of months (2016) or the fact they said they will produce 500,000 units by 2018 (ramping up production 5x in two years), Elon Musk is by definition, a natural growth hacker.
He promotes over and over again the belief that products like his can change the way we live, almost on a molecular level, for the best of mankind. Using that belief, his rapidly expansive following has undoubtable faith in trusting what he says not only as being right but they all too excitedly join him on the journey towards finding out what lies ahead in Future Tech.
Growth Hacking is essentially a mindset. It is not to be solely applied to SMBs or startups but rather to any working framework where rapid, expansive growth is being pursued.
Once there is a will, there will most definitely always be a way.
Now that we’ve introduced you to three key tips to consider when developing your Growth Hacking Strategies, we hope you stay tuned for our upcoming five-part series which will focus on the below GH considerations.
1) Is Your Product Shareable?
2) Make Content Adaptable.
3) Use Storytelling to Build Brand Religion.
4) Measure the Right Data Signals.
5) Be Where You Are Relevant (Socially)
MEET CHAENARA O’BRIEN
Chaenara O’Brien has over eight plus years’ experience in Oil & Gas Marketing Operations and most recently was a Chief Marketing Officer for Regional Engineering firm in the Caribbean. She completed her M.sc. in Energy, Trade & Finance in 2008 from Cass Business School (UK) and went on to become a Member of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (MICS) in London upon joining Shell International shortly after. In addition to a postgraduate diploma in Advanced Financial modeling, Chae has also completed many short courses within the Oxford-Princeton program spanning Finance, Energy trading and Strategic Marketing.
During her time at TOSL Engineering, she created and managed an independent marketing unit , oversaw the creation of a new company-wide digital strategy which included a re-vamped website, corporate representation on all social channels as well as creating a business development framework for global agency and partnership development. Before that stint, Chaenara worked in Barbados with Shell Oil International working as part of the Trading Operations team where she supported voyage operations for product books valued over $US 200 million.
Having moved recently to NY for family reasons, Chae spends her time volunteering as a Digital Strategist for SCORE NYC, a wide network of experienced mentors supporting over 15,000 small businesses statewide. She hopes to continue working in the field of Leadership and Strategic Marketing using a distinct passion for Digital Strategy Optimization as well as Corporate Road-mapping and Design.
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