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Growth Hacker Marketing

A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising

By Ryan Holiday
  • Read in 12 minutes
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  • Contains 7 key ideas
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Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

Growth Hacker Marketing charts a major departure from traditional marketing practices, relying heavily on the use of user data and smart product design. This book illustrates how today’s top technology companies, such as Dropbox and Instagram, have used this strategy to gain millions of users.

Key idea 1 of 7

Growth hacking is a new, low-budget form of marketing aimed at rapid growth.

Today’s top internet companies, like Dropbox and Groupon, are now household names, but how did they build up their brands so quickly?

Instead of taking the traditional approach to marketing and buying huge billboards and newspaper ads, these companies used growth hacker marketing, a low-budget approach which differs from conventional marketing.

For instance, while traditional marketers ask, “How can I get customers?”, growth hackers use technology to answer that question, tracking user behavior and adjusting products accordingly.

Consequently, this new approach requires growth hackers to work on products, breaking down the division between marketing and product development – and in the process, redefining marketing.

Because for today’s start-ups, marketing is no longer about using big budgets to help big companies secure a one-percent annual growth rate; rather, it’s about using a small budget to help a small upstart become the next big thing.

After all, most start-ups can’t pay for traditional mass media marketing campaigns. So to attract a massive customer base, they have to get creative. And that’s why Instagram, Dropbox and Twitter have all used growth-hacker techniques to reach millions of users.

It’s also important to note that growth hacking aims to achieve rapid growth by continually improving the product. This is not the case for more traditional approaches; for traditional marketers, the most important stage occurs before a product is launched, when marketers build up “buzz.”

But growth hackers don’t have to launch a product by throwing a party and inviting celebrities. For them, the most important stage occurs after the launch, when they get busy measuring everything they can (from click rates to Facebook “likes”) and applying what they’ve learned to improve the product, with the aim of boosting growth.

And since these start-ups aren’t developing consumer goods like laundry detergent, the products don’t have to be perfect at launch, but can be optimized over time.

If you’re interested in trying growth hacking for yourself, press on! The next blinks will describe four steps you can take to growth hack your product.

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