The High-Tech SeedLab supports early-stage high-tech ventures to successfully launch products and effectively manage their businesses. Within our 10-month acceleration program, participants not only receive a monthly stipend and access to coworking space but they also benefit from tailor-made coaching sessions as well as workshops.
One of the most in-demand workshop topics by our participants of the 2020 batch was ‘Customer Growth & Traction’. For this reason we teamed up with a Growth Hacking guru for a full-day workshop to give our teams a brief insight into the world of Growth Hacking.
You never heard about Growth Hacking before?
Here is what you need to know and how to take the first steps into the world of Growth Hacking:
The pioneer of Growth Hacking
‘Growth Hacking’ is a term first coined by Sean Ellis, founder and CEO of GrowthHackers, in 2010 to describe the growth approach used by hyper-growth companies like Amazon, Facebook and Airbnb. Ellis worked as a marketer for Dropbox where he helped set up the company’s famous referral program. (Remember when you were asked to invite your friends to Dropbox and you both would end up earning more storage space in return? Consider this as one of the first growth hacks which led to an impressive +3900% in user growth in just 15 months.) He also advised many fast growing companies like Eventbrite on how to grow even faster and co-authored books which are considered the ultimate resources on growth.
What is Growth Hacking?
Growth Hacking combines several strategies focused solely on growth. The overall goal of Growth Hacking strategies is generally to acquire as many users or customers as possible while spending as little money as possible.
There is no predefined toolset for Growth Hacking. Instead, it can be seen as a specific mindset you need to develop. The perhaps number one rule you need to remember at all times is this: it is okay to fail. The process of Growth Hacking naturally comes with failure and it is not only alright but even more crucial to fail in order to further develop your strategy. Overall, the key is to use a combination of creative marketing, intensive web analysis and process automation. Every single touchpoint with potential customers can be seen as a possible communication channel. The analysis of user feedback indicates whether or not you are going into the right direction and is the ultimate base upon which next steps are determined.
While the term Growth Hacking was initially used in relation to early-stage startups who need massive growth in a short time on small budgets, it can in fact be implemented just as effectively at a large established company as well. Growth Hacking is designed to work on the largest scale (company-wide) or the smallest scale (a single project or campaign).
What is a Growth Hacker?
A Growth Hacker is someone who uses creative, low-cost strategies to help businesses acquire and retain customers. Sometimes Growth Hackers are also called growth marketers, but Growth Hackers are not simply marketers. Anyone involved in a product or service, including product managers and engineers, can be a Growth Hacker.
Overall, Growth Hackers tend to be obsessive, curious and analytical:
- They focus solely on strategies related to growing the business
- They hypothesize, prioritize and test innovative growth strategies
- They analyze and test to see what’s working
The ideal Growth Hacker knows how to set growth priorities, identify channels for customer acquisition, measure success, and scale growth.
However, Growth Hacking is a team sport and works best with a team that combines different competencies such as sales, marketing, product development and coding.
First steps into Growth Hacking
Once you have created a product, make sure to test it thoroughly in order to find out if there is an actual need and people are willing to pay for it. This will help you gather data so you understand your key buyer personas and can set the right growth marketing tactics accordingly.
Don’t just stop there and lean back. Instead, update your product regularly, and keep on collecting customer feedback to always make sure you’re on the right track. At the same time, market your product to foster continued growth, and track the success of those results. The use of A/B testing and other conversion optimization techniques are absolutely crucial for effective Growth Hacking.
In the end, Growth Hacking really is all about a crazy idea coming to your head. Don’t be afraid of failure and simply follow your instinct. While it might be unusual at first, a short, well-executed test can quickly show you that a crazy idea sometimes pays off in the long run and results in successful Growth Hacking.
Ever booked a hotel via booking.com and experienced FOMO (fear of missing out) because the hotel you had your eye on only has one available room left? The company is a great example for using not just one single growth hack, but many individual measures. And they do it successfully by playing with the hopes and dreams, pains and fears of their customers. You are afraid your trip might get cancelled last minute? Booking.com got you covered by indicating the option for free cancellation. But don’t think about it too long because 38 other people are also looking for rooms at this hotel right now.
Do you want to turn your idea into a business and be part of a motivated group of like-minded entrepreneurs? Applications for the High-Tech SeedLab Batch 2021 open in October 2020. If you have questions about the program or your application, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This program is financed by the European Social Fund (ESF), as well as the State of Berlin.