What is growth hacking to me?
Growth hacking is integrating itself into Silicon Valley’s culture, emphasizing that coding and technical chops are now an essential part of being a great marketer. Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question: How do I get as many customers for my product as possible? These sorts of questions are answered with A/B tests, landing pages, viral marketing, email deliverability and other forms of traction channels. The illustration provides a good overview of the traction channels and work of growth hackers to increase viral growth.
Basically, the end goal of every growth hackers is to build a self — perpetuating marketing machine that reaches millions by itself. — Aaron Ginn. A growth hacker is an individual who has thrown out the playbook of traditional marketing and replaced it with only what is testable, traceable and scalable. Growth hackers use tools such as emails, pay-per-click ads, blogs, and platform APIs instead of commercial publicity. Growth hackers are inventors, operators, and mechanics of their own self-sustaining and self-propagating growth machine that can take a start-up from nothing to something.
Traditionally, marketers have always considered themselves artists. Which is fine, and has always been successful. However, according to one Harvard Business Review, 80% of marketers are unhappy with their ability to measure and track marketing return on investment (ROI). Marketers are now seeing for the first time that their strategies are considered useless and often flawed and inefficient. Growth hackers are, for this reason, changing the game, as the current marketing world has been dominated by gut instincts and artistic preference for far too long. The demand for growth hackers is increasing since they have the power to change and create a certain level of speed which is compulsory for organizations to grow.
Growth hacking in a B2B environment
In the B2B, the primary goal is eventually sales. However, often in this environment, a sale is not made as easily as an online e-commerce organization. It requires a lot more, from education to awareness, to offline presentations and success cases. Hence, it requires a persistent and careful approach from the growth hacker in order to stay on top of mind as a company when it comes to the decision makers of enterprises. To dive a little more in-depth into this specific subject, one must understand that the current marketing field has changed and organizations in B2B environment requires much more ‘relevant’ content for the readers. “Content isn’t king. It’s the kingdom!” Lee Odden, CEO, Toprank.
In other words, potential leads in the sales funnel must be targeted and triggered in the following funnel. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. The sales funnel is the acquisition and activation phase within the ‘aarrr funnel’: acquisition, activation, retention, revenue, referral.
As this funnel indicates, organizations can’t rely anymore on themselves in terms of their product. It requires relevant content in each step of the funnel, from awareness to consideration, to purchasing to all other steps in the funnel. “Whether you’re in the B2B or B2C sales side and whether or not your product is a cheap impulse buy or a multi-million dollar long term sales cycle, your business is now — without a doubt — a media company as well.” Mitch Joel, President, Mirum. According to research, 55% of B2B Marketers plan to increase content marketing spend in the next year and 49% of B2B Marketers see measuring content effectiveness as a top content marketing challenge.
Obviously, there’s not one way to do this. Run experiments, analyze, implement or change the results and start over again. Any given kind of company can learn how to change potential leads into customers through a solid content marketing strategy. Leveraging blogs, infographics and videos will increase your brand awareness and website traffic. Still, in order to have this funnel up and running, growth hackers must possess a mind-set of data, creativity and curiosity to accomplish the feat of growing a user base into the millions. These days, everyone can spew the words ‘growth hacking’ around the office (and online). But without a solid success story, you have to rely on your curiosity, creativity and analytics skills to become a successful growth hacker. So, will the real growth hackers please stand up?