Growth Hacking – The “BuzzWord” in the Marketing World
Competition has managed to find its way in almost every sector in the marketing world. Whether you talk about the automobile industry or any other business sector, experts believe that healthy competition helps build a company and keeps pricing at bay. This is one of the prime reasons behind the continuous need for companies to improve their marketing strategies and enhance their annual sales. This growing demand has given rise to an all-new term: Growth Hacking.
What Is a Growth Hacker?
A Growth Hacker is a combination of sales marketer and engineer that has only one objective: scalable growth! He uses a combination of code and marketing strategies to achieve his goals. Growth Hackers are favored by start-ups because they can produce accountability rapidly. They build business models using a combination of direct marketing, viral marketing, email and scenario modeling — all while A/B testing and creating quantitative measurements with extensive spreadsheets and statistics. A Growth Hacker embeds viral marketing at the core of a product.
Marketing VPs + Engineers…A New Approach
Now how do we remix our traditional marketing ways where the VP of Marketing works on one side of the building and the engineers on the other? This new technology, as with all new ideas, is forcing us to look at marketing with new eyes and to change the way we approach online marketing. With the increasing demand for viral messaging, growth hacking offers a unique opportunity to gain huge market share.
A Marketing VP is now encouraged to consult with the engineering department on all decisions that involve online marketing. Creating a campaign (i.e. an email and a niche vertical web page) is now a joint decision between the two decision makers as opposed to having the marketing team duke out the benefits of a selling point and the lone engineer pour over the website’s application performing interface (api) page.
Pinterest, Dropbox, Groupon, Instagram, AirBnB… All these have been built on open platforms that garner millions of users. When you use a super viral platform like Pinterest, for example, it’s like communications on steroids. Messages spread like wildfire. If you are a Pinterest user, think of how many times you “re-pin” items that you like. Now think of how great that is for a brand!
APIs are the New Marketing Medium
Marketing activities are shifting to API-centric websites. In simple terms, an API refers to a set of functions built into an application, which can be used by other applications (or by itself, as we’ll see later), to interact with the website.
To illustrate how this is done, think about using your website to login to your Facebook page or your Twitter page. In traditional media, you relied on your PR or advertising agency to promote the tightly controlled branded message. With the advent of API connectivity, your message has the opportunity to spread virally to social platforms.
Marketers are struggling to stay ahead of the curve. Customers are expecting immediate ROI. A Growth Hacker’s task is to create those models for growth from analyzing insights from user behavior patterns to gamification methods – thus creating rapid growth.
For more information and a case study on growth hacking here is an example by AirBnB and Craig’s List
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