For many of you, outside of the tech startup world, the term growth hacker is new, but it is considered a long-held practice amidst Internet marketers and product managers. A growth hackers’ main passion and focus is boosting a given metric by using a testable and proven methodology.
The word “growth hacker” was initially introduced in a blog post by Sean Ellis, in 2010. According to Sean, a growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth.
“Every decision that a growth hacker makes is informed by growth. Every strategy, every tactic, and every initiative, is attempted in the hopes of growing. Growth is the sun that a growth hacker revolves around. Of course, traditional marketers care about growth too, but not to the same extent (Quick Sprout).”
In addition to this, he also explains that a growth hacker must be well-organized in prioritizing and testing marketing ideas and analyzing various results in order to see which techniques work the best. Forthrightly, if you are not a good growth hacker in today’s market, you are not the right marketer in much of the tech space world.
Eat, Sleep, Breath Growth
In my opinion, the term growth hacker has evolved. It should be renamed Marketer 2.0. In today’s Web 2.0 world, growth hacking materialized as an updated way of reaching a market and distributing an idea. A growth hacker is well-known for using pull marketing (i.e., the science of attracting leads and sales rather than applying more work-heavy traditional ‘push’ marketing approaches) rather than classic and traditional marketing.
Moreover, a growth hacker has the capability of understanding user behavior and how to persuade. Their abilities are keen and focused on figuring out ways to pour growth into a business. Every single tactic, strategy and creation is focused on achieving growth. Growth hackers eat, live and breathe startup growth.
The best thing about a growth hacker is that he or she plays a diverse role in the startup world. As a startup it is important to understand the various roles and the importance of hiring one.
Here’s a look at 5 major roles growth hackers play:
Innovation Problem Solver
The foremost role growth hackers play is that of innovative problem solvers. They are constantly thinking of new ideas and tactics to tackle problems. They ask the hard questions of themselves and keenly lookout for inventive answers.
Very keen, dedicated and curious by nature, they are constantly researching channels, platforms, and media to distribute content. Their role as a problem solver is comprised of seven simple steps:
Conduct cause and solution research
Tackle challenges, resourcefully
Create, blend and evaluate Ideas
Come-up with an action plan
Execute idea(s )
By following this process, a growth hacker can help startups better understand the problem and implement solutions.
Tech Savvy Professional
Technology is consistently improving to make work more enjoyable for everyone. However, a smart growth hacker is tech savvy and stays on top of new technologies, products, services and communities. Being tech savvy requires enthusiasm, dedication and allegiance; therefore, a growth hacker possesses all of these qualities.
A growth hacker is also well-versed in SEO, social media, conversation rate optimization and mobile content consumption. Best of all they are constantly learning and seeking simple yet effective topics that contribute to scalable and repeatable growth.
Agile and Rapid Decision Maker
A successful growth hacker is agile and quick about decisions. They do not waste a lot of time on varied strategic planning, mapping, and documentation. It is true that these are highly essential marketing strategy factors, but real growth hackers make use of them as an umbrella strategy (i.e., working with a clear definition of strategic goals, and even the general strategic direction, in mind).
Making instant decisions in the right moment, growth hackers capitalize on growth opportunities.
Cutthroat and Confident Optimist
In the startup world, there’s no space for doubt; therefore, growth hackers are often cutthroat and confident optimists who strictly believe a major win is just around the corner. This definitive nature allows them to stay on the lookout for new opportunities and smash the competition. To dive-in and learn new things, technologies, and resources it takes confidence and competitiveness.
A growth hacker takes a scientific approach to learning and executing a bulk of techniques, technologies, and resources. He or she is keen on investigating, acquiring knowledge, course correcting and integrating new information.
Every inquiry is based on observed or assessable confirmation of a subject based on particular principles of reasoning. Growth hackers, they are also capable of monitoring major KPI’s and metrics like conversion, engagement, retention and more. They then optimize, analyze and re-test to attain sustainable growth.
These key growth hacker roles can make a big impact in any early-stage startup. Growth hackers make wonderful co-founders and employees when brought in at the right time and paired with the right team. Growth hacker’s share a common startup mission — to iterate and find different ways to augment growth.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Nasrullah Patel is a co-founder of an eminent app development company Peerbits. It specializes in agile mobile solutions for iPhone and Android application development. Nasrullah likes to be busy with his team to provide top-notch mobility solutions to enterprises and startups. Connect with @Peerbits on Twitter.