“Growth Hacker” Marketing

The latest book I’ve been reading is another of Ryan Holiday’s Titled Growth Hacker Marketing. For a long time without actually learning what was behind this term I was again’st the term as it seemed to be one of those “YOU CAN DO ANYTHING JUST FOLLOW ME” type entrepreneur traps. When I saw individuals like Gary Vee talk about it I would hear it without any real backup on how to to carry this out. It was always something like “You have to HACK your way” and not really explaining the philosophy behind this.

Reading Ryan’s book on the subject I learned the actual mindset behind this phrase, which above all else IS a mindset. To put it simply the mindset is that anything that gets you customers/readers/subscribers is marketing. Efficiency with your time and money as well as originality to a point are some of the most important factors in this philosophy. In his book Ryan gives many case studies around the subject. One thing I’ve noticed is that the best application often involves giving away whatever it is your selling for free. To the right people of course. An example was Uber, and making it’s service free in Austin during SXSW which has one of the biggest concentrations of tech influencers in the world. After using the service for free they were quick to tell their also influencial friends or write about it in their blogs.

The more I thought about it, making your marketing strategy oriented toward the user as possible is one of the most central qualities in many of the example strategies. Say you’re writing a book, finding those who would benefit from reading it the most and giving it to them will make them extremely vocal about how good it is. Even if most of the people they tell wouldn’t benefit as much as them they will really sell up how good it is. Of course this is secondary to making the book actually beneficial to a number of people.

I want to finish this off with a question. Does this new kind of marketing that seems infinitely more effective and efficient make traditional marketing agencies obsolete? Is it more with it for a company to contract or hire a dedicated growth hacker rather than pay a company for assistance? It’s hard to imagine a business that wouldn’t benefit more from going with the premier. If you’ve got an example of the latter I would love to hear it!

As always, thanks for reading!


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