3 growth hacking definitions

Growth hackerThe new kid on the marketing block is ‘growth hacking’. We’re seeing this term pop up all over the place, so here in no particular order, are 3 perspectives on what growth hacking is all about.

Ryan Holiday – author of ‘Growth Hacker Marketing’

Ryan believes that a growth hacker is a marketer who, instead of relying on a cushy advertising budget, uses measurable techniques to build a user base:

“A growth hacker is someone who has thrown out the playbook of traditional marketing and replaced it with only what is testable, trackable, and scalable. Their tools are e-mails, pay-per-click ads, blogs, and platform APIs instead of commercials, publicity, and money. While their marketing brethren chase vague notions like “branding” and “mind share,” growth hackers relentlessly pursue users and growth—and when they do it right, those users beget more users, who beget more users. They are the inventors, operators, and mechanics of their own self- sustaining and self-propagating growth machine that can take a start-up from nothing to something.”

Aaron Ginn – growth hacker

For Aaron, a growth hacker is at heart a technician who, although creative, relies upon data and analytics to find the right message to attract users:

“A growth hacker lives at the intersection of data, product, and marketing. A growth hacker lives within the product team and has a technical vocabulary to implement what he or she wants … Instead of classic marketing which typically interrupts your day, a growth hacker … will leverage across disciplines, pulling in insights from behavioral economics and gamification, to find the right message to pull in users.”

Gagan Biyani – The Next Web

Gagan doesn’t see a huge difference between a marketer and a growth hacker. It is simply that growth hackers are affiliated to the world of startups, rather than established corporations:

“A growth hacker really is just a marketer, but one with a different set of challenges to tackle and tools to work with … Basically, all they are trying to do is to make their primary metrics go up and to the right. What makes this type of growth unique (say, from its corporate counterpart) is the scale at which it must occur: successful startups grow from 0 to millions (or hundreds of millions) of users in a few years.”