What is Growth Hacking?
Growth hacking is a process of rapid, iterative experiments across marketing funnels and sales segments, using a variety of channels to find the most efficient way(s) to grow a business (wikipedia).
Moreover, many professionals who excel at this growth hacking skillset often identify as a Growth Hacker.
It should be noted, that any growth hacker (worth their salt) is able to run trackable, scalable, experiments across a variety digital platforms; meaning, they often start with low-cost, high ROI methods - including, digital ads, viral marketing, and automated outreach - all building toward long-term sustainable growth.
Ultimately, as a growth hacker discovers new growth process for an organization, they also build, refine and automate systems they’ve already found to be working.
Growth Hacking (when done well) is a rapid process of experimentation, building, analyzing, refining, reporting. And Repeat!
Last, a Growth Hacking Truth you must acknowledge at every stage of the game: “Everything has an expiration date.” A mentor and friend of mine of mine, Stefan Ifrim, presented me with this is unfortunate yet extremely powerful principal.
I write this because the role of a growth hacker is often a mixture of successful and unsuccessful experiments. Nonetheless, the data, patterns and understanding one gains even from ‘failed experiments’ should only improve your focus, hypothesis and next round of growth hacking.
So here we go.
Let’s unpack this a bit (...quite a bit - each Essential Skill will have its own dedicated post).
At Hacktics, we believe the core qualities of growth hacking are the following:
- Funnel Architecture
- Conversion Mapping
- Data Feedback (Loops)
- Advanced Audience Segmentation.
- Report. Find patterns. Scale.
Growth Hacking. A brief overview…
When we ask questions, like "What is Growth Hacking?" a lot of our conversation should be centered around funnels.
So, let’s talk about funnels - specifically your acquisition funnel.
No, funnels are not a new, sexy buzz word in the marketing world; the idea of a sales funnel is 100% older than your great granny.
But let me ask you a question: Can you describe the shape of a sales funnel?
Does a sales funnel start wide and become narrow, or does it begin at its most narrow point and expand from there? True, it’s all how you look at it - but in the world of growth hacking, I would suggest that we build funnels from the bottom-up.
Here’s the skinny…
What is Growth Hacking? Essential Skill 1: Bottom-Up Funnel Mentality
When we think with a bottom-of-the-funnel-up mentality, we are forced to identify the base of our funnel and the action(s) required to identify if someone ultimately ‘converts’. Typically, the bottom of an acquisition funnel is a new lead or customer (depending on your sales process).
By identifying conversions within our sales process, it allows us to create stages within our funnel. Do we want to keep it straightforward and simple, or do we want to set conversion events for multiple stages of the funnel?
Here’s a quick example.
You fork your money over to the Zuck and Facebook and voila, your website gets traffic.
If targeted correctly, a certain amount of traffic will ultimately opt-in to your offer.
The question is, “How many clicks, and how much money will it take to finally get someone to click, and how often are those clicks likely to turn into customers?
So in this straightforward scenario we have three core components to this funnel:
Segment 1) Acquiring clicks to the website (often called Top of Funnel, or TOFU)
Segment 2) Converting Clicks to Leads
Segment 3) Converting Leads to Customers
Assuming every click does NOT become a customer (going out on a limb here) - we need to be able to identify who our hottest leads are - and, in this example it’s Segment 3.
So how do we isolate this Segment 3 and devote more marketing/outreach only to them?
Enter Growth Hacking.
Conversions. Tracking. Automation. These are the backbone of your digital growth game.
If you learn to map Conversions - Then you can Segment and Isolate: Audiences, behaviors, you name it.
If you can Track, then you can map the effectiveness of an inbound click, at any stage or segment in your funnel, and work that back to your conversion rate.
I like to think of these as digital infrastructure. This is the ground floor for your Automation.
For example, if someone triggers a conversion and ‘converts’ they then move to the next stage of the funnel. This move should then trigger the next stage of the automation: an email drip, an up-sell campaign, a retargeting sequence, etc.
With this base layer of conversions and tracking in place, you can then start building in more automation working from the bottom-of-the-funnel, up.
Why? Because you first build in automation where it matters most - and normally, that starts at the most important conversions in your funnel. (Reminder, this was our Segment 3).
If we were using our example audience from above (Segment 3), we would then isolate those leads, and build automation to increase their conversion rate. What automation? How about Facebook Retargeting, YouTube video ads and Google Display Ads.
When you've found an in-bound traffic source that starts converting, you can either continue to fine tune this campaign, or come back to it later after you've launched another experiment on a portion of your funnel.
Again, starting at the bottom means to: Find the conversion rate that matters most to your business and growth hack that first.
The beauty about this bottom-of-the-funnel-up mentality is that it allows each segment of your funnel to be identified, tracked, hacked and refined.
The Secret to Growth Hacking...
Let’s dive deeper into the world of Growth Hacking Land. As mentioned, as there are two core components to analyzing and optimizing any funnel:
1) Conversion Mapping, and
Let’s talk about these in Part 2: What is Growth Hacking? Essential Skill 2: Conversion Mapping
Hacktics Growth Hacking
What is Hacktics?
Hacktics exists to help entrepreneurs, digital marketers and marketing teams build and automate data-rich marketing funnels.
Built with a bottom-of-the-funnel-up mentality, Hacktics provides a framework and foundation for both the Growth Hacker and the growth hacking skill set required for today’s digital marketing.
Our role here at Hacktics is to provide an understanding and step-by-step implementation of these ‘technical’ components - and to help our students build a foundation of tracking and systems. With this base layer and framework in place, we then help our students build ROI-driven marketing and automation.
The Hacktics' E-Course on Building, Tracking and PROVING Conversions
Hacktics has announced an offering for their first online E-Course for digital marketers, marketing teams and online entrepreneurs entitled, "How To Build a TRACKABLE, Sales Funnel...Without Having to Hire, Or Be Held Hostage by, A Tech Guru."
After completing this e-course, students will be able to setup Tracking & Conversion systems and know where to find the evidence in Google Analytics. This course provides a blueprint and framework for building a trackable sales funnel and covers Facebook Ads, Google Ads, YouTube Ads, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, UTM Generators and even a "Tracking, Optimization and Conversions" Deliverables Checklist.