Is Growth Hacking just for Startups?

Growth Hacking is a great way to increase your revenues and your ROI and can be used by any company of any size. You want to know how Growth Hacking works? Just remember these 3 fundamental ideas:

  • It’s all about sales
  • Life is a pitch and
  • Make some tweaks

What is Growth Hacking by definition?

Growth Hacking is a relatively new word in the modern business world and is referred to Sean Ellis. Growth Hacking is often used by technology startups, like Twitter, Facebook or Dropbox. The main goal of growth hacking is to grow a business by selling more of the product or the service a business offers.

So, then Growth Hacking is the same thing as Marketing?

It depends on your point of view and your understanding of the word „marketing“. For most people marketing means lead generation; but lead generation is not equal to sales. In most companies I know, the marketing and the sales department is divided in two different business divisions. The marketing department is responsible for creating the awareness for the brand or a specific product and the sales department is responsible for using this awareness to make the sale. You got marketing people and you got sales people – but normally you won’t find any „growth people“ in a typical company.

How do Growth Hacking work?

There is a good reason for Growth Hacking coming from the startup world. Startups need growth to survive but they don’t have any big marketing budgets. Therefore (1) startups try do make their marketing as efficient as possible and (2) use every possible (and creative) way to make marketing.

There are three wonderful sentences, which describe the way how Growth Hacking works just perfectly:

  1. It’s all about sales, which means you have to focus ways to sell your product and not ways to generate leads
  2. Life is a pitch, which means you should use every contact with your customers to make a sale
  3. Think of tweaks, which means you should try to think of creative ways to get the most out of your marketing budget

Here are some great examples of Growth Hacking:

  • LinkedIn give you the possibility to crawl your address book and invite your friends. Cost of marketing: Zero; Effect: Very High
  • Airbnb highjacked Craigslist with its millions of users. When you listed your home at Airbnb you had the possibility to post this offer seamlessly to Craigslist. The effect: Millions of Craigslist users would see this offer. And if they want to rent the place, they had to create an Airbnb account on their own.
  • Each iPad or iPhone use the signature: Sent from my iPad or iPhone. You reach millions of people around the world with this message each day – for free!

As you can see: Growth Hacking works in many different ways and it mainly worked for startups. But does it work for bigger, established companies either.

How to use Growth Hacking for bigger, established companies?

The best advices I could give to you, if you work for a bigger, established company and want to try out Growth Hacking are:

  1. Leverage your customers base to find new customers: Make it for your customer as easy or as possible to tell others that they bought your product. For example: Let people pay per Tweet, at least for some amount of the price.
  2. Find ways to highjack existing products or services: Find products or services, which already have a lot of customer in one of your segment (not product type) and try to use their popularity for your own. To make a straightforward example: If you are selling pears, find the guy who sells the most apples and build your market stall next to him. That’s probably the reason why there is always a Burger King next to a McDonalds.
  3. Merge Marketing & Sales and set common goals: This is the most important point. Stop separating marketing from sales. Merge both of them, set common goals and give someone in your business the responsibility for growth.

Growth Hacking will be a highly discussed topic within the next years. Try to start to think about right now.

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