Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown. Growth hacking is not just a tool for marketers. It can be applied to new product innovation and to the continuous improvement of products, as well as to growing an existing customer base. As such, it’s equally useful to everyone from product developers to engineers, designers, salespeople and managers.
Nor is it just a tool for entrepreneurs; in fact, it can be implemented just as effectively at a large established company as at a small, fledgling start-up. It is designed to work on the largest scale (company-wide) or the smallest (a single campaign or project). What that means is that any department or project team can run the growth hacking playbook by following the process that Hacking Growth proposes.
It wasn’t the immaculate conception of a world-changing product, nor any single insight, lucky break or stroke of genius that rocketed these companies to success. In reality, their success was driven by the methodical, rapid-fire generation and testing of new ideas for product development and marketing, and the use of data on user behavior to find the winning ideas that drove growth.
If this iterative process sounds familiar, it’s likely because you’ve encountered a similar approach in Agile Development or the Lean Startup methodology. What those two approaches have done for product development and new business models, respectively, growth hacking does for customer acquisition, retention, and revenue growth.
Growth hacking adopted the continuous cycle of improvement and rapid, iterative approach of both methods, and applied them to customer revenue and growth. In the process, the growth hacking method broke down the traditional walls between marketing and engineering to discover novel methods of marketing that are built into the product itself, and can only be tapped with more technical know-how.
And while the details of how it is implemented vary somewhat from company to company, the core elements of the method are:
- The creation of a cross-functional team, or a set of teams that break down the traditional silos of marketing and product development, and combine their talents
- The use of qualitative research and quantitative data analysis to gain deep insights into user behavior and preferences; and
- The rapid generation and testing of ideas, and the use of rigorous metrics to evaluate - and then act on - those results.