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There has been quite a lot of uncertainty, scratch that, there has been a lot of ambiguity associated with the term “Growth Hacking”. What does “Growth Hacking” really imply?
Here is a brief overview about the term “Growth Hacking”

So right off the bat, we’ll get straight to the question at hand.


Sean Ellis coined the term “Growth Hacker” in 2010.
Growth Hacking is a practice mainly adopted by startups, or those with very limited capital to spare for a paid media advertising campaign, or rather Growth Hacking is adopted by those companies whose sole focus or “True North” as some call it, is growth and nothing BUT growth. At The very core of this conceptual being, is Growth: it is of paramount significance. That is the primary objective upon which Growth hacking is based upon, every action carried out no matter how varied it may be is for the penultimate purpose of, you guessed it, Growth. This “Growth” that we’re referring to is the growth of a product’s/brand’s market awareness and exposure which would undeniably lead to product development which becomes possible through combining the various traditional marketing skills/analytical skills with product development skills.

A product nowadays doesn’t necessarily mean a tangible product. Facebook is a product which in reality is an intangible social networking platform, similarly Airbnb which is an online website for renting out lodgings is also a product.
Facebook, Airbnb have widely used  “Growth Hacking” and still continue to do so.

The primary focus of a Growth Hacker is to fully optimize the functioning of engine optimization, website analytics, content marketing and the principles attached to marketing. Growth Hacking is closely linked to low cost innovations and utilizing social media for the creation of a “viral loop” i.e. a perpetual coil of connections that will help in spreading (like a virus) the name of your brand.
You need to absorb the patterns in your data and understand what in your product is genuinely attracting users and through them more users, and then create solutions that help engineer that to happen more quickly and more often.

Growth hacking aims at extracting every ounce of efficiency from every platform available at its disposable, it certainly is cost effective especially when there isn’t enough capital available for an all out paid advertising campaign but more importantly why go for paid advertising when you conjure up greater levels of product/brand awareness with nothing but heightened levels of innovation and ingenuity.
Instead of paying heavily for advertised marketing, Growth hacking aims at frenzied viral marketing.
Suppose there isn’t any adequate capital available to carry out the product promotion/awareness campaign. How do you overcome this hindrance?

Growth Hacking then becomes your home away from home which adopts marketing with a different focus at hand that is mainly a belligerent focus on growth thereby constructing the product’s potential growth. The common denominator is always growth, what it also needs is a “viral loop” a “customer coil” through which the company gains its fanfare.
A new customer hears about your product, he/she will definitely spread the word to other connections and so on and so forth, and like this your viral loop is created. Needless to say, for those who have efficaciously “Growth Hacked” have an efficient burgeoning loop on board.

Airbnb is the most prominent example that pops into mind. For those of you who aren’t aware of Airbnb, this will be a nifty piece of information and a very worthy example low cost innovation.

Since its inception in 2008, Airbnb: to put it simply is a website to rent out lodging. Suppose you have an extra unused room in your house, you can put it up on their website for other travelers/guests to see. It connects hosts to travelers and vice versa. The interesting tidbit is the fact that they generate their revenue without actually owning a room.
Now how did Airbnb gain such fanfare? How did it create that “Viral loop” that “customer coil” of a user-base?
The stroke of ingenuity executed Airbnb was that, to form an active user base they leveraged Craigslist which was already a “pre-established” interactive platform having a vast user-base for posting ads of all kinds. So, as the Host rented out his lodging through Airbnb, Airbnb also posted the availability of said lodging up on Craigslist, through some intense coding Airbnb gained access to Craigslist for growth purposes. This simple idea fortified with low cost innovation led them to tap into the untapped reservoir and voila, the product redirected traffic to itself with no extra intermediary required. Instant gratification. But now, it looks like Craigslist has corrected the vulnerabilities which allowed this integration. Now there is a FAQ answer on Airbnb’s site that says they no longer post to Craigslist. This goes on to show that openings should be seen and capitalised upon as all growth mechanisms have a life span.

The concept of Growth hacking varies from industry to industry and from company to company but the one factor  which remains consistent across all the boards is, Growth, budget becomes secondary to growth. The versatility of the concept of Growth hacking is what makes it universally applicable and maybe what makes it ambiguous only because it could have multiple definitions. Growth Marketing seems like a hybridization of the various components of marketing and the amalgamation of marketing plans and strategies to receive maximum output. Growth marketing seems to be a testament to the dynamism, ever evolving nature of the marketing industry.

DAI Team

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