future of growth hacking

The Future of Growth Hacking

I never even considered taking a taxi in London. As a student there was no way I could justify the luxury. The hostels I stayed in while on holiday were a far cry from the five star hotels I dreamed of. A spa day? As if. Of course a student nowadays could afford all these experiences thanks to growth hacking.

Growth hackers have taught us that anything that gets customers is marketing – from “P.S. I love you. Get your e-mail at Hotmail” to “Sent from my iPhone.” Companies that barely existed a few years ago – Uber, Airbnb, and Groupon for instance – are now worth billions and billions of dollars. Their ubiquitous existences’ as if antiquated.  

@RyanHoliday describes a growth hacker as a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph. Growth hackers are engineers leading teams of engineers, he says. 

They irrigate growth by revitalising ancient marketing techniques – instead of knocking on people’s doors, we now “refer” our friends. They design a product that demands to be “referred”. Traditional marketers struggle to grasp the ingenuity behind the term. Growth hackers use tactics that no one would have previously described as “marketing” for a growth hacker doesn’t see marketing as something one does, but rather as something one builds into the product itself. 

@chiefmartec says growth hackers won’t persist as a specialisation – just as the technology they use will soon become outdated. That’s not to say that the growth hacker movement is going away but that growth hackers will become the new de facto marketers. Whether marketing is conquered by growth hackers or growth hackers are assimilated into marketing is an inconsequential distinction that will only matter to the people who make it happen. Just as digital marketing skills are essential for every marketer to have today, growth hacking skills will be essential for every marketer to have in the future. And those pioneers who are ahead of that curve will have a powerful edge that’s great for their careers.

The end goal of every growth hacker is to build a self-perpetuating marketing machine that reaches millions by itself. In terms of the future of the technology and ingenuity that enables this the possibilities are endless for growth hacking is more of a mind set than a tool. It’s success unprecedented and future limitless.

With the highest number of smart phone users ever – an estimated 2 billion consumers worldwide are expected to own a smartphone by 2016 – and with creation of the hundreds of apps everyday – new unhacked markets and audiences are emerging even as we speak. As we become more willing to disclose personal information to applications and they learn more about us growth hacking may no longer merely refer a friend to us but actually become our friends.

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Lynn Harvey



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