I’m not entirely sure I agree that the important part of growth hacking is “hacking” — the important part is GROWTH, which is what most people are *not* achieving with that which they call marketing.
For that matter, what most people call “marketing” is little but incessant hawking and pitching, which it doesn’t work all that well.
Here’s a snip (from wikipedia) that explains growth hacking a bit more…
(bold emphasis is mine…)
Andrew Chen introduced the term to a wider audience in a blog post titled, “Growth Hacker is the new VP Marketing” … He wrote that growth hackers “are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of ‘How do I get customers for my product?’ and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph.”
So, essentially “growth hacking” means using data, analytics and testing as the basis and foundation of marketing decisions — which few people do, and more really (really!) should.
… So when that client says “we need more traffic” — you can say, no, you need to fix your page first, because it’s bouncing 70% of your traffic.
… So, when the client is determined to build a list of 50 bazillion subscribers in 30 days or less, you can point out that with an opt-in that’s converting at 1.5%, that mega-list isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Need to do some split testing to get the page to convert a little better before promoting it.
… So, when the client is focused on acquisition, you can point out that all the acquisition in the world doesn’t make a lick of difference if you have a low retention rate and a high churn rate, both of which they have.
… etc., etc.
Most small business owners have no idea what the bounce rate is on their top 5 pages, much less anything more complicated. I’d wager that less than 10% of small business owners have goal conversions set up in Google and have no idea how their sites converts at all — not to sales and not to subscribers.
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half. — John Wanamaker (attributed)
Pre-Internet, there wasn’t much by way of tracking how well marketing was working. Hence the saying. Problem is, despite all the tools out there, most people are still in the same position.
Today we have statistics and analytics and split testing and goal tracking and cookies and heaven knows what else to help avoid the constant suck of wasted money and (even worse) wasted time.
Most people don’t use them.
Why? Some of the things I’ve heard include… Technical stuff is scary… who has the time, they have a business to run, you know.
I even had one guy tell me he “doesn’t believe in” analytics like it’s the Easter bunny or something.
I suppose it’s easier to just post (hawk?) on Facebook. Maybe buy a few google ads. Write some blog posts. Until it hits home that it’s not working.
The only way to market (grow?) effectively is…
(1) Look at the numbers and
(2) Know how to interpret them.
Number one isn’t the tricky part. Number 2 is.
Some people call that growth hacking. I call it common sense. Tools of the job today. But, apparently, using the tools required to do the job makes one a “growth hacker.”
Know why? Because a lot of people who call themselves marketers aren’t using the tools to do the job. So the people who DO use the tools to do the job figured they needed a different name. Go figure.
Don’t even get me started on “seo” — hahahah.
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