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Growth hacking (marketing) for small businesses

It’s easy to dismiss “Growth Hacking” as a marketing buzzword. However, it’s now been around long enough for most businesses to take it seriously.  “Growth Hacking” started entering the mainstream around 2013 and is showing no signs of slowing down. These days it seems like Startups and Growth Hacking are related, and it’s hard to think of one without the other.

What exactly is Growth Hacking?

It’s a process of rapid marketing experimentation (sometimes unconventional) with fast growth being the primary objective. By experimenting across different channels and identifying what is effective and what isn’t, Growth Hackers are trying to find shortcuts (hacks) to grow the user base, increase awareness, increase revenue, improve performance metrics, etc. 

How is Growth Hacking different to traditional marketing?

Growth Hacking is typically associated with:

  • Viral Marketing 
  • Innovative ideas / Thinking outside the box
  • Unconventional ways of capturing attention
  • Heavy focus on Social Media
  • Very personalized audiences targeting
  • The absence of traditional marketing plans & budgets 
  • Low cost (compared to traditional marketing)
  • Rapid experimentation / testing

We mentioned earlier that Growth Hacking is associated with Startups, and the reason being startups often need rapid growth to get funding and to survive. Therefore, they are not interested in a long-term marketing plan, or a typical lead generation; to survive they need to see immediate results (e.g. rapid growth of the user base). In most cases, this is the need Growth Hackers are trying to fulfill. 

Is Growth Hacking the right fit for your business?

It depends; if you are a Fortune 500 company with a mature marketing team, demonstrating growth year after year, then you should take some (not all) elements from Growth Hacking and apply them to your marketing plan. On the other hand, if you are a Startup or a business which is not satisfied with your marketing efforts, then you should shake it up, and try some rapid marketing experimentation.

Related: Marketing Channels that give you the Best ‘Bang For Your Buck’

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