Branding, Digital Marketing, Strategic Marketing

Growth Hacking: buzzword or strategy?

You may be thinking, “Silly millennial, stop using buzz words. What is Growth Hacking?”

Growth hacking is what happens when product development, marketing, engineering, and sales unite to uncover the most efficient ways to grow via rapid experimentation across the marketing funnel.

Let’s paint pictures to illustrate this concept.

1. Create Win/Win/Win Situations

When you join Dropbox, you get a free gigabyte of space and additional space is obtained by simply convincing your friends to join the service using a link specific to your account.

This is essentially a “Win/Win/Win” scenario (thanks Michael Scott) because Dropbox gets a new client, the existing client gets more free space, and the new client gets free space for signing up.

2. Make Your Brand Exclusive

Instead of making everything free, build up a feeling of exclusivity by having CTAs like “Ask for an Invitation” or “Apply to join the community.” A similar tactic is to use waiting lists or limited availability. Nothing really has to be limited, it is just the illusion of exclusivity that we are after.

People will take actions like filling out surveys or sharing your content in order to gain early access. Try a message like, “Interested in priority access? Get early access by referring your friends. The more friends that join, the sooner you’ll get access.”

3. Make it Easy to Convert or Participate

In the beginning, Reddit did not have a sustainable amount of content users to make an impact or be relevant. They decided that by using direct links to provide content and making the sign-in process convenient, users would find it easy and desirable to participate. To kickstart this platform, the two founders, using fake accounts, submitted all of the content over several months until people started paying attention and contributing.

4. Stand Out, Find Your Brand’s Pink Mustache

Lyft started putting pink mustaches on their drivers’ cars because a major, long-ignored pain point of rideshare users was not being able to easily identify their driver. Uber and Lyft may have nearly identical services, but Lyft made sure to differentiate based on solving an industry issue. The mustaches also generate a ton of awareness!

5. Creatively Exploit Standard Features as Premium Additions

Last year at our DH+ retreat, we had a speaker that once was the marketing manager for Coors beer. He found tremendous success by having the beer can liner colored blue. While every other brand with cans had liners, none of them were blue. And the color didn’t matter, but our speaker made it appear to matter, promoting the new feature as possessing the ability to, “Lock in freshness.”

Have questions about Growth Hacking? Email me at rrossi@deanhouston.com.


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