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Make your company grow. If you are a Marketer this is what you think about from dawn to dusk. And by now you know very well that traditional digital marketing tools alone are insufficient. That's why since 2010 more and more people are talking about Growth Hacking, a series of highly innovative marketing techniques used to make companies grow at the speed of light, using a groundbreaking way to manage the sales funnel.

Is Growth Hacking different from Digital Marketing?

Yes, there are significant differences in the approach and how Growth Hacking works compared to traditional marketing:
  • Objective The company marketing manager sets several objectives, ranging from brand recognition, to the sale of a new product, to the development of the reference market. The growth hacker has only one goal: to expand the company quickly, in a matter of months, and at the most in eighteen months.
  • Tools A digital marketer uses advertising and the main digital promotion channels. A Growth Hacker uses all his creativity to develop new ways of creating the funnel and selling the product to get immediate results.
  • Skills A marketer also has knowledge of and uses traditional and offline marketing techniques. The Growth Hacker works using only digital technology, and above all employs the most innovative and experimental tools

The Growth Hacking Funnel

In marketing, the sales funnel is the process that guides the potential customer to purchase.  The word 'funnel' conveys well the action of directing a large number of users to the end point. Many will get lost on the way, but many will follow the flow and carry out the desired action, be it a purchase, subscription to a newsletter, or sharing content. The Growth Hacking funnel, is the fastest, it was conceived by Dave McLure - an investor, entrepreneur and co-founder of hundreds of startups - it has as a 5-step acronym A.A.R.R.R.
  1. Acquisition The acquisition phase is when you collect data from potential customers, through forms and the landing page of the website, digital PR and SEO off page activities. The data generally acquired is the email address, first name, last name and mobile phone number. Other acquisition channels include events and data collection methods carried out offline, during trade fairs and project presentations at conferences, or by encouraging word of mouth. The problem in these cases is budget, while less cost-effective channels, such as social media advertising, can probably provide more relevant and targeted results, the Growth Hacker, being creative, must be able to meet the challenge by offering good value deals and new sales strategies.
  2. Activation In this stage the potential customer carries out an action, such as subscribing to a newsletter or downloading a freemium version of software or app. You activate this by focusing on user experience and tracking data about registration on the site, or the activation of software to test the product, and the marketing preferences, which should be updated continuously.
  3. Retention This is the stage in which the report is consolidated. This involves leveraging engagement using upselling techniques, offers of discounts linked to previous purchases and other information. The customer must be looked after and kept informed, especially if he or she shows a passion for the product or the particular market. At this stage it is beneficial to publish interesting information through a company newsletter or blog. You can adopt marketing automation strategies to send information and appealing sales offers. Sometimes it's a question of making tailor-made offers for groups of customers, and in this the Growth Hacker is assisted by effective tools that can carry out CRM and marketing automation activities. Retention is a key phase of the Growth Hacking funnel, and if set up well, it will deliver results.
  4. Referral A satisfied customer is an excellent brand ambassador and is more likely to talk about the company and the products it offers to friends, family and colleagues. Word-of-mouth - as every Marketer knows - is the most sought-after customer acquisition vehicle because it is efficient and cost-effective. So how can word of mouth be generated? Some Growth Hackers make social sharing arrangements available and provide incentives for their endorsers to encourage them to engage in 'word of mouth' referrals.
  5. Income The goal of a company is to generate profits and grow. In this last part of the funnel, the Growth Hacker is called upon to measure the financial results of each individual channel. It is no longer a question of calculating the number of visits to the site but rather of checking through which sales channel and product promotions have transactions been generated. This is a fundamental phase, which is focused on results. The data analysis will enable the funnel to be optimised, favouring the channels and commercial initiatives that have yielded the best results.

How to become a Growth Hacker

Undoubtedly, this professional profile is in great demand in the market. The perfect Growth Hacker combines a creative approach with scientific expertise and data in search of scalability. To become a Growth Hacker you must acquire specific knowledge of the most effective digital marketing tools and data analysis, which are constantly evolving. That's why a Growth Hacker can never stop studying, always learning from companies that have achieved excellent results using this strategy. A  Masterclass in Growth Hacking offers the skills to manage rapid growth without improvising delivering inspiring results.
Article updated on: 09 August 2023
Talent Garden
Written by
Talent Garden, Digital Skills Academy

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