Six takeaways from Ryan Holiday’s Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising, as embodied by the following excerpts…
1. Adopt the Growth Hacker Mindset
If you wait until your organization gives you something to market/sell, then you’ve probably already lost. Growth hackers get involved during the development and design phase to ensure they help build something that people want:
“A growth hacker doesn’t see marketing as something one does, but rather something one builds into the product itself.”
This isn’t about the tools, which change depending on the task; it’s about “finding clarity in a world that’s been dominated by gut instincts and artistic preference for far too long.”
#Data #Objectivity #Quantitative
2. Establish Product-Market-Fit
It’s time to stop guessing what people want. You can’t sit in your office with your colleagues discussing what would be cool or what you think potential customers would want. A better strategy is to get a minimum viable product (#MVP) in front of your customers to ensure that you’re meeting their needs.
“Product market fit is a feeling backed with data and information.”
Don’t try to market or sell something that people don’t want and that you didn’t believe in.
3. Make Mistakes Quickly
Oh, you spent 2 months planning a campaign? What happens when you launch that product and it doesn’t resonate? How much time and money have you wasted? If your retention stinks, the last thing you need to be doing is revising your marketing strategy for a static product that nobody wants (see #2).
“Growth hacking fundamentally reduces the costs of being wrong, giving us freedom to experiment and try new things.”
Spend your dollars on product improvements. Keep refining and improving your product until users are so happy they can’t stop using it and want to tell all their friends about it. Then help make that process seamless.
4. Have Relentless Focus on Growth
Unless you’re a big brand, awareness, building a team, and managing vendors don’t matter yet. Stop thinking so broadly. Save those awareness dollars and hone-in on acquisition. Your growth hacking strategy should be testable, trackable, and scalable.
“Instead of bludgeoning the public with ads dominating the front page of newspapers to drive awareness — [growth hackers] used a scalpel, precise, and targeted to a specific audience.”
If you build something people inherently want, that fulfills a need and/or solves their problems, they’ll take care of the awareness for you.
5. Redefine Marketing
It was only a few years ago that we were talking about digital/social. Good marketing (slowly) shifted from spending lots of money to shove your message down consumers throats to having genuine conversations with people.
And now, while those social/digital tactics can be a component of your growth hacking strategy, it goes beyond that. We can build stuff people want, design for sharing and virality, iterate early (and often), and scale efficiently.
“The definition of marketing is in desperate need of expansion. In fact, anything that and everything can be considered marketing — so long as it grows the business.”
It’s time to stop trying to buy attention and to start building a self-perpetuating marketing machine.
6. Retention trumps acquisition
Sometimes, you have to stop thinking about more, more, more user growth, and focus on the users you do have. Get the most out of what you do have, and you’ll creates evangelists.
–Romeo (hattip Ryan L. Stephens)