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Please add your two cents to this [Facebook] thread on [Lora's FB page.] - [edits]

- Lora is a writer at WSJ, so I'm expecting she'll produce a piece on this.

  • JM

    Jason Miguel

    about 6 years ago #

    Growth hacking is the new standard for what a "marketer" should be.

    Marketing has done thru a paradigm shift in the last 4 years.

    It will take the majority of colleges some time to "catch up" to these new rule sets.

    Not speaking on behalf of Sean but I think he saw that the average marketer coming out of college did not poses these new marketing rule sets or skills yet so he created a term for what he saw as something fundamentally different.

    My 2 cents. "Growth hacking" rule sets will become the norm in a few years as it makes its way into colleges. The terms marketing and growth hacking will become the same thing.

    But we're not there yet....

    • SB

      Sabrina Bruning

      about 6 years ago #

      Fantastic point made about colleges needing to "catch up". Just think of all the out of date print materials being used in universities today.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • GG

      Gail Gardner

      over 3 years ago #

      While it is true that unqualified people claim to be "growthhackers", what sets a true Growth Hacker apart in my mind is the ability to use technology to achieve exponential rather than linear growth.

      • GG

        Gail Gardner

        over 3 years ago #

        And yes, I agree that eventually it will be the standard to which all marketers should be measured. But we are a long way from that now.

  • TK

    Thomas Knoll

    about 6 years ago #

    Growth hacking--finding effective and unique ways to make sure the people who are most likely to care about your product have a chance to try your product--is very real.

    "Growth Hackers" far-too-often spout as much nonsense as "Social Media Gurus".

    No-nonsense growth hacking involves:

    * Building a product that is actually useful and interesting
    * Understanding why existing customers/users would be upset if they could no longer use the product.
    * Discovering precisely where the people who would also be upset to lose access to your product but don't know about it yet spend time. (Usually online, but you can get creative offline as well.)
    * Understand what creates trust for these people. (Usually, the strongest is a referral from someone they know. Slightly weaker is 'the crowd' opinion. Weaker than that is an 'expert' they already trust.)
    * Run small tests to hack, exploit, and explore every opportunity to put the highest-level-of-trust experience in front of the most-likely-to-be-interested people.
    * Scale.
    * Repeat

    Nonsense growth hacking involves:

    1. Exploit every social channel to promote your product to as many people as possible.
    2. Repeat.

  • ND

    Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré

    about 6 years ago #

    One thing I love about the growth hackers community is how much people care. You shared this here, it gained attention, and then there is a valid discussion about it on Facebook.

  • JW

    justin wu

    about 6 years ago #

    Before the term Growth Hacking existed it was simply called Internet Marketing.

    Technology, data and automation was performed by the Grey/Blackhats. Analytic and measurement was performed by both sides. Much of these tactics aren't performed by the common 'growth hacker'.

    What Rap Genius, Airbnb, and other true growth hackers did was Grey-Black. These are true 'hacks'.

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      about 6 years ago #

      Growth hacking doesn't favor unethical "gray-black" tactics. Those tactics tend to be extremely unsustainable and risky. As I wrote in my response to Lora's FB question, "Growth hacking is about continuous improvement of all the growth levers using experimentation and data. Many of those levers are off limits to marketers or aren’t understood by marketers." Sustainable growth is the goal. I see no reason to ever have to venture into gray-black areas.

  • OD

    Ozer Dolekoglu

    about 6 years ago #

    "Hacking" and "Hacker" terms come with a "dark", "insecure" meaning. Maybe not in SV. Like in term of "hacker house" means just some startup nerds living in a house.

    • JG

      Jim Gray

      about 6 years ago #

      Used as a technical term, a hack is a quick purpose-specific solution that may not hold up long term / in public. It's not an inaccurate label for iterative & experiment-driven marketing. If you mainly do optimization, or prototyping & testing of new ideas to see if they're worth doing at scale, you're probably in the right neighborhood.

      But know your audience and use their words.

      If they're likely to think of a hoodie-wearing guy in a dimly lit room hitting keys on a keyboard at random and magically gaining control of nuclear warheads, I'd avoid the term "hacker." It may mean one thing to you, but it means another thing to them, thus you're not communicating effectively if you rely on it.

      But if you're marketing to Silicon Valley types that explicitly typed "growth hacker" into Google when trying to find a marketing consultant, it might be a good term to have on your website somewhere.

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      about 6 years ago #

      Ten years ago maybe... But today it's much more about using scrappiness and creativity to achieve a desired result. For example, Alexa ranks Lifehacker.com the 205th most popular website in the United States. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/lifehacker.com

  • RD

    Ray Duke

    about 6 years ago #

    It's a silly term for a concept that already exists (direct marketing), but many people find it useful to describe marketing without tagging themselves as a marketer.