For decades, centuries even, companies have employed traditional marketing to drive the sales of goods and services.
“Carry out your research, identify your target audience, and then advertise to get them to make a purchase.” – these are the recurring narratives that have been repeated in different ways since the concept of marketing became a widespread phenomenon.
These days however, more organizations, startups in particular have devised a means of doing marketing differently. Marketing has evolved beyond the co-ordination of the elements of product, price, place and a promotional strategy to drive sales or scale a business. More companies are breaking free from the shackles of traditional advertising to embrace a more innovative, creative, and radical way of getting more paying clients to patronize them.
This far more recent concept is referred to as Growth Hacking.
Growth hacking involves an experimentation with multiple disciplines for the purpose of extracting insights and identifying the most efficient ways to scale a business. Growth hackers double as marketers and coders. They discover a method that works for an organisation and lead with it.
Marketing is not the same as growth hacking, contrary to what many think. While marketing goes with the “text book” method of establishing a marketing plan that is strategic to the achievement of corporate objectives, growth hacking involves concentrating efforts on growing the business through the deployment of the right strategy or tactics. Marketing does not focus on growing the business to the extent that growth hacking does.
As author, you can choose to boycott agents, and even bookstores, and rather, employ an unconventional method of selling your books by getting hundreds of foot soldiers in form of undergraduates or the unemployed who will be paid a commission to help you sell physical copies of your books in strategic places (such as parks, bus stops, markets, and religious centers) around the country. That way, you would keep your expenses low and profit margin high while also providing temporary income for the unemployed.
The internet and social media have also contributed to growth hacking. In these times, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have eliminated the drudgery and waste of time and resources associated with physically moving from one place to another. The growth hacker seeks ingenious and extremely creative ways to achieve business growth, and one of the ways through which he achieves this is by exploiting the goldmine digital technology and social media represent.
Brands can take a cue from the poster child for growth hacking, AirBNB where people are given the leeway to convert their spare rooms into hotel rooms and leverage Craiglist to significantly boost their user base.
As more and more competing brands hit the market and consumers are spoilt for choice on where to spend their hard earned cash, growth hacking is one sure way to always be a step ahead of competition.
The growth hacker must be able to use one or more of a combination of analytical thinking, content marketing, fine tuning the brands USP, UX hacks, product engineering, partnership, influencer network and any other tool in his arsenal to make growth happen.
In the fast paced and evolving world where competition is stiff, the “guerilla tactic” of growth hacking is one solid way for you to redefine your marketing game.