Back in 2003, SirDavid Brailsford, the performance director of British Cycling, had an impossible challenge ahead of him. The Olympic Games were about to begin and the team he was coaching hadn’t won a single important cycling tournament since 1966.
Best Growth Hacks to Get Customers
Instead of getting discouraged, Brailsford used the concept of marginal gains to improve the performance of the team. He made a list of every little detail that when into riding a bike, from the ergonomics of the bike’s seats and the weight of tires, to the nutrition of riders, and he improved them by 1%.
The British Team Sky won two gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games, their best performance since 1908. Under Brailsford’s leadership, the team won eight gold medals and 12 silver medals at the 2008 Olympics, Tour de France in 2012, and eight gold medals at the 2012 Olympics.
Brailsford might not be aware of it, but he managed to hack the growth of the British Team Sky.
What Is Growth Hacking?
Growth hacking is the process of speed-testing your products across different channels to determine the most efficient and cost-effective way to deliver a message. The term was introduced by Sean Ellis back in 2010, and it soon became a favored concept among marketers.
A growth hacker will leverage various methods to get insights and find the right message for grabbing the attention of his audience. The idea is to find a method that is effective and start with it. In some cases, it can be a traditional marketing tactic, but most of the times it requires marketers to think outside the box and come up with innovative ways of getting the audience’s attention.
Growth hacking has quickly become an essential part of the culture of successful businesses. Uber, AirBnB, Instagram, WhatsApp, Spotify and other cloud hosting services have used growth hacking to identify untapped acquisition channels, make small improvements, pay attention to feedback, and continuously optimize through a meticulous, analytical approach. They’ve built billion-dollar companies in this process and gained a massive following.
How Is Growth Hacking Changing Marketing?
There’s no longer a clear line between product development, marketing, and customer relations, so everyone must work together. The secret is integration and growth hacking is the best way to ensure that every aspect of a business is integrated.
Marketing is still the discipline of driving awareness, demand, and sales. What has changed is the way marketers try to achieve these goals. Instead of focusing solely on people, marketers today have made technology, the center of their approach.
They use tools to growth hack almost anything, from apps and blogs, to products. For instance, HootSuite reported that by simply adding the sentence “PS: I love you,” together with a link to their homepage in all emails, they managed to generate more than 12 million new users in just one year.
How to Growth Hack Your Way to Marketing Success
⇒ Build It First, Test It Later
It used to be that marketers would spend months developing a campaign and only release it when they were certain that it would drive the results they wanted. Nowadays, young marketing professionals have developed an agile mindset.
Take Brailsford approach as an example. He tested various types of bicycle tires at the same time to find the best ones. In the long run, he managed to improve the performance of the team. Your marketing strategy should be no different. Create a campaign, test it with different audiences, measure the results, and make improvements.
⇒ Prioritize the Consumer
Your commitment should be to your customers. When you are launching a new campaign, it’s easy to think of a negative customer feedback as a personal assault to your brand. But, all feedback, even negative one, is good for your marketing plan. It can help you optimize your message and improve it so that it reaches a larger audience segment.
⇒ Think Small, Act Big
Many marketers often think that they need money to develop and implement successful campaigns. But, that’s not always true. Brailsford, for instance, only focused on improving 1% of each process and managed to get outstanding results. You can do the same. Focus on making small improvements on every aspect of your campaign, and soon enough you will see the improvements you were hoping for.
Growth hacking hasn’t changed marketing per se, but it has certainly changed the way marketers think about driving awareness and sales. While traditional marketers brainstorm and analyze a marketing plan before implementing it, growth marketers simply test to see if something works. So, if you want to keep pace in this competitive world, you need to start hacking your growth. 🙂