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I just received this package in the mail from Amazon and was impressed with how they turned the package's tape into an advertising opportunity.
I noticed the same thing too. I think taking advantage of all of your opportunities is a core part of growth hacking. Amazon is super-smart to do this: they have a massive audience, users who are engaged and attentive, and a free medium to get their message across. Thanks for sharing.
I also feel like I need to defend why I'm calling this a growth hack since there's been so much debate about what is and isn't growth hacking and whether or not it's bull shit.
To me, this constitutes growth hacking because it provides free advertising for the Amazon Fire. Amazon has a lot of ground to make up in the phone market, and taking advantage of every opportunity to create awareness for the product is a great way to do it. In this case, they turn tape, something they're going to use anyway, into a product ad, which equates to advertising for the Fire without spending any extra money for it. In that way, it's a lot like adding a link to the bottom of sent emails the way Hotmail used links in their free email accounts to grow.
The final question is whether or not the tape will fuel growth, i.e. generate sales for the Fire. That's data I obviously don't have access to, but if I could guess, a free ad on every package Amazon sends out probably won't hurt sales in any way.
I certainly wouldn't call this a growth hack. Should we call any marketing tactic that is clever a growth hack? I'd simply call this clever branding. We see this everywhere. It's like a car dealership putting their name on the little license plate holder.
I suppose labels don't matter in the end, only dollars. It's all marketing.
Well, growth hacks are practically clever marketing tactics so... :)
Right, so why do we need the term? Can't we just say good marketing vs. shitty marketing? :-]
I view growth hacking as low cost ways to generate more sales/conversions/users with out-of-the-box ideas that may never have been used before. It's being creative to find ways to generate growth besides simply throwing more money at ads. It's also very focused on growth and measuring the results of marketing activities.
Example 1: A new website needs more users. An investor asks, "How are you guys going to get people to sign up for your network." "Oh, we're going to do Facebook ads." To do so, they'll need to spend $250,000 with a CPC of $0.25 and a 10% conversion rate (all conservative numbers) in order to get 100,000 new users. That works if you've got $250,000 in the bank for marketing, but it only scales up to what your budget is for marketing. However, this still would be considered good marketing because for a business that can afford it and isn't looking for exponential growth $2.50 per conversion is a great number.
Example 2: Let's say Example 1's competitor takes the same approach except they create a Dropbox-style contest where every new user gets free [enter freebie idea here] for signing up more people. This leads to an average of each new user signing up five more users. Thus, a $250,000 marketing budget now gets 500,000 users instead of 100,000 and the cost per acquisition is now $0.50 compared to $2.50. So the same marketing budget is five times more effective.
This second example uses a new marketing tactic (Dropbox-style contest) that hasn't been around for the last 100 years (advertising) to fuel exponential growth. Example 1 still employs good sound marketing tactics, but Example 2 uses growth hacking to make a traditional approach even more effective.
"...and measuring the results of marketing activities."
@josephwesley Doesn't this seem kind of hard to measure? There's no sign up code or vanity URL. Seems like it all falls in the direct traffic bucket or influences offline sales in the AT&T store, which gives you muddy data at best. With all the other marketing efforts (TV spots, display ads, etc) Amazon is running, wouldn't it be extremely difficult to prove the ROI?
@josephwesley Looks like I can't reply to your comment below so replying inline here.
I'm trying to understand how one would attribute the sale to the tape? I ask because I have no idea how this is done. I'm assuming the world of billboard advertising has figured this out, but then again maybe it's just part of the flank strategy, where you just ad-blast on any medium you can to be front of mind.
Curious about whether or not there is a common method to measure ROI from non-direct marketing campaigns.
Here's how you prove the ROI: If it leads to a single sale it's worth it because you're paying for tape anyway.
@brad_dbubs: Why do you need to attribute sales to the tape? You're already paying for tape, why not make it an advertising opportunity? So yes, more of an ad-blast mentality to get as many impressions as you can for your product in order to generate awareness.
Good question, actually. I think growth hacking refers to tactics that are geared towards growth, rather than sustaining your current position in the market. For example, a company can have good marketing but revenue/volume/aov can remain generally constant. That's my take, at least.
Either way, it was a great idea!
I agree with you, @rsobers. I'd say that if they've changed the tape to have a QRCode or some url where I can have a preview, a discount or something I can be converted into a customer, that would be a hack. Off course, it could be something even smarter than my 3 seconds idea.
To me this is clever, however nothing more than classical branding.
Can we call good marketing something that does not deliver sales? I like the idea of growth hacking, specially because it starts with the word Growth, until now if you have a marketing budget you just spend it independent from your market positioning. The first question it isn't how much money do we Have for marketing, the first questions is how much marketing do we need to achieve the company goals, sometimes the answer is zero like in this case.
To me a growth hack is a way to grow a business with minimal cost and frequently uses original, out-of-the-box thinking. It might require technical programming skills but it might not.
Would I call any clever marketing tactic a growth hack? No. But I would call any low cost marketing tactic that leads to increased sales, conversions, or whatever a growth hack.
That space on the tape is normally wasted. Might as well use it to reach some users and get some conversions.
Not bad. Makes me wonder how long until there's so much advertising on Amazon boxes it almost looks Christmas wrapped when it arrives!
Not a bad idea. Amazon could segment their audience based on age/gender/wealth/buying habits and sell tape space as ad space.
Glad you shared this. I actually agree with @rsobers that I wouldn't necessarily consider this growth 'hacking' although it is still really smart marketing.
What I would consider growth hacking would be if they did some sort of tape-remarketing (very hard), or like I suggested to Plated; determine if you live in an apartment or not. If so, spend a little bit more and upgrade you from corrugated brown to a bright advertisement. That way everybody in your building sees it while it waits to be picked up.
When I say an Amazon box with the Fire tape, the first thing I thought was "oh, someone got the Fire phone". Some subtle social proof going on there.
Creative use of usually-dull tape, sure. But calling it "ingenious" is reaching in my opinion.
That's fine. You're entitled to an opinion.
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