Hacking Growth Summary - Slides

According to the Hacking Growth Book, growth hacking is not just a tool for marketers. It can be applied to new product innovation and to the conti...


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Summary written by Tom Fuller (become a content creator)
Created 10 months ago.

According to the Hacking Growth Book, 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, to designers, to salespeople, to 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 sound 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 the 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 in order 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:

  1. 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 talents
  2. The use of qualitative research and quantitative data analysis to gain deep insights into user behavior and preferences; and
  3. The rapid generation and testing of ideas, and the use of rigorous metrics to evaluate - and then act on -those results. 

  • Challenge: What was the growth hacking strategy that Dropbox found to create word-of-mouth and evangelize first users?
    • By using paid promotion and by purchasing email lists
    • By giving early users money to refer friends
    • With a referral program that offered more storage space
    • They didn’t use any strategy, just luck
    • Respond here: www.bookcademy.com/catalog/courses/hacking-growth

Myth Busting
First, the process is not, as it’s been misunderstood by some, about discovering one “silver bullet” solution. The press coverage of many of the widely celebrated growth hacks, has encountered this notion that one great hack is all you need to ignite growth. While finding such big breakthroughs ideas is absolutely a goal of the process, in truth, most growth is due to an accumulation of small wins. Like compounding interest in a savings account, these gains stack on top of one another to create liftoff. And the best growth teams continue to experiment with improvements even once growth takeoff has been achieved

Second, many companies believe they can simply hire a single Lone Ranger to be the growth hacker, who will swoop in with a bag of magic tricks to bring growth to their business. This, too, is badly misguided. In reality, growth hacking is a team effort, that the greatest successes come from combining programming know-how with expertise in data analytics and strong marketing experience, and very few individuals are proficient in all of these skills. 

Third, growth hacking is often characterized as being specifically about bringing in new users or customers. But in fact, growth teams are, and should be, tasked with much broader responsibilities. They should also work on “customer activation”, meaning making those customers more active user and buyers, and figuring out how to turn them into evangelists. In addition, growth teams should work on finding ways to “retain” and “monetize” customers. 

Steps of the Growth Hacking Process

These are the steps of the growth hacking process
  1. Build a growth team
  2. Determine if your products is a Must-have
  3. Identify your growth levers
  4. Test at High-tempo
  5. Hacking acquisition
  6. Hacking activation
  7. Hacking retention
  8. Hacking monetization

Build a growth team

Creating a cross-functional growth teams is a way to break down barriers. Cross-functional teams not only smooth and accelerate collaboration between the product, engineering, data, and marketing groups, they motivate team members to appreciate and learn more about the perspectives of others and the work they do. 

The size of the team varies widely, as does how narrow or broad ranging the scope of their work is. They can be as small as four or five members or as large as one hundred or more. Regardless of size, the personnel the comprise should include many, if not all, of the following roles. 
  1. The growth lead
  2. Product manager
  3. Software engineers
  4. Marketing specialists
  5. Data analysis
  6. Product designers
At start-ups and small established companies, a growth team might comprise only one staff member in each of the above mentioned areas, or even just a few people, each of whom takes charge of more than one of these roles. At large companies, growth teams may include many of them per role. 

Once you’ve chosen your  team members, what, exactly, should they do? The growth hacking process provides a specific set of activities that growth teams should undertake to find new, and amplify existing, growth opportunities through rapid experimentation to find the top performers. The process is a continuous cycle comprising 4 key steps:
  1. Data analysis and insight gathering
  2. Idea generation
  3. Experiment prioritization
  4. Running the experiments, 
and then circles back to the analyze step to review the results and decide the next steps

  • Challenge: Select the benefits of creating a cross-functional growth team (multiple selection):
    • Smooth out, and accelerate collaboration between the product, engineering, data and marketing groups 
    • Have lower costs and be more productive
    • Motivate members to appreciate and learn more about each other’s perspectives
    • Have more diverse topics to talk about in meetings.
    • Respond here: www.bookcademy.com/catalog/courses/hacking-growth

Determine if your products is a Must-have

All fast-growth companies share one thing in common. Regardless of who their customers are, their business model, and the type of product, industry, or region of the globe they’re operating in, they all make a product that a large group of people love. They’ve built products that, in the eyes of their customers, are simple “must-have”

While creating a must-have product alone is not sufficient for breakout success, it is the baseline requirement for rapid and sustainable growth. Of course, building a must-have product isn’t easy, and one result of that too often those launching new businesses or products put the car before the horse, pouring resources and staff into trying to drive more customers to a product that isn’t actually loved, or sometimes even understood, by its target market. 

One of the cardinal rules of growth hacking is that you must not move into the high-tempo growth experimentation push until you know your product is a must-have, why it’s must-have, and to whom it is a must-have: in other words, what is its core value, to which customers, and why. 

“Love creates growth, not the other way around”. And for there to be love, there needs to be the “aha moment”. The “aha moment” is the moment that the utility of the product really clicks for the users; when the users really get the core value - what the product is for, why they need it, and what benefits they derive from using it. Or in other words, why that product is a “must-have”. This experience is what turns early adopters into power users and evangelists. 

The good news is that while discovering how to make a product deliver an aha moment can be very difficult, determining whether or not your product meets the baseline requirement generally doesn’t require elaborate diagnosis. We advise a simple two-part assessment.
  1. The must-have survey: begins with the question: How disappointed would you be if this product no longer existed tomorrow?
  2. Measuring retention: the second measure to use in assessing whether or not you’ve achieved must-have status is your product’s retention rate, which is simply the number of people who continue to use your product over a given time. 

  • Challenge: What’s the opportunity cost of pushing for growth too soon? (Select all that apply)
    • Spend precious money and time on the wrong efforts
    • There is no opportunity cost, because we need to push for growth immediately, no matter what.
    • Rather than turning early customers into fans, you are making them into disillusioned, if not angry critics
    • Respond here: www.bookcademy.com/catalog/courses/hacking-growth

Identify your growth levers

You must be rigorously scientific in identifying the kind of growth you need and the levers that will drive it. Especially in the early phase of growth, you must set a highly disciplined course for experimentation that focuses on the most important levers to achieve your goals. 

The first step in determining your growth strategy and figuring out where to focus is to understand which metrics matter most for your product

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