Growth hacking can be somewhat of a vague term to people new in this field. This is something I’ve also noticed when talking to new prospects for our Growth Hacking Traineeship. I often get questioned on what it actually is that Growth Hacking could do for their business and what problems it could help solve. To answer these questions I thought it would be helpful to summarise the most common challenges I’ve seen during my time at The Talent Institute from all the companies applying and participating in our partnership in our traineeship.
In order to do so, it is sensible to make a distinction between the type of audience you are trying to target with your marketing efforts. B2C companies, generally speaking, have different goals and challenges when it comes to online growth in comparison to B2B companies. However, you might be surprised to see that there is also quite some overlap in their digital struggles. Below you will find a list of common challenges for each sector.
B2B companies often hire a Growth Hacker to :
- Improve the tracking and the analytics of their website and create personas
- Create, implement and improve their inbound lead generation structure
- Optimize the top of the funnel of the current online marketing strategy
A famous dutch saying “Meten is weten” (measuring is knowing — but this doesn’t sound very catchy does it?) is connected to the first challenge companies have when it comes to online growth. Growth Hacking is all about data and experimentation, but if you are not tracking or analysing your data the right way then what’s the point? Knowledge is power (this saying works better), understanding your data and the people you are trying to target is crucial when it comes to online growth, but something companies often struggle with.
Ok great, you are now able to track and analyse everything that is going on on your website and acquisition channels. So what now? Within B2B online marketing, your website and online channels are often not your core business, but they still have specific goals. Whether it’s downloading a brochure, a whitepaper, a product demo or maybe subscribing to your newsletter. But how do you improve these goals? That’s where Growth Hacking comes in. By using rapid experimentation, a Growth Hacker could, for example, look at ways to lure more people to your website or find a way to have more users downloading that whitepaper you’ve worked so hard on. They are bringing in leads for your sales team to convert to paying customers. Sounds nice huh?
But again, it doesn’t stop there. Another important aspect of Growth Hacking is the focus on optimizing your efforts. By trying out new things at a rapid pace you will quickly find out what works, and more importantly what doesn’t. These learnings will result in an organization that is in a continuous learning loop and always basing their decisions on the one thing that never lies; data.
B2C companies often hire a Growth Hacker to :
- Improve the tracking and the analytics of their website and create persona’s
- Acquire and activate new customers through paid and unpaid experiments
- Retain current customers and increase the revenue per customer
As mentioned before, B2C companies face different challenges when it comes to their online marketing. But don’t be fooled, if they don’t track their data well or set-up their analytics correctly, they are also throwing their money away by advertising based on the wrong information. The observant reader will start to notice a pattern: Data, by some considered even more valuable than oil. Growth Hackers are in love with data, and they will always make sure all decisions are based on the data which can help solve a lot of challenges.
So where does the difference lie between B2C and B2C companies when it comes to Growth Hacking. Quite simple, let’s take an online bookstore. As a B2C Growth Hacker, you are trying to, first of all, lead traffic to the website and of course have these customers buy books. Customers need to be acquired and activated. To optimize this process Growth Hackers need to run experiments to try and improve these phases of the marketing funnel. Noticing any overlap with B2B practices? Whether someone needs to subscribe to a newsletter or buy the book ‘Hacking Growth’ by Sean Ellis, they need to be activated or persuaded to do so.
A common misunderstanding is that Growth Hacking always costs money, although this is partly true, it doesn’t have to be. In essence Growth Hacking was created to find clever ways to ensure growth without spending too much money or time. Therefore, unpaid or cheap efforts such as SEO and email marketing can be of great value, especially during a crisis such as the one we are facing at the moment.
Ok, let’s continue. You have customers, they are paying you, perfect. As you might have figured out, it again doesn’t stop there. Within your existing customers lie new opportunities, perhaps you can upsell or cross-sell to these customers, or have them refer their friends to your company. By again experimenting and testing with for example referral programs you can find hidden value in your existing customers. This is exactly where a Growth Hacker his or her expertise lies, finding new opportunities, trying out new things and quickly finding out what works and just as important, what doesn’t.
Hopefully, by now you have come to the conclusion that Growth Hacking can help solve a lot of challenges that you as a company might face, whether you are targeting a business or customers. I would love to hear what problems you are facing to discuss how Growth Hacking could be of value because trust me, it will be.
Guest blog by Tom Doornik, Business Development @ The Talent Institute