Hacking Growth

Written By James King

4 min read

Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown - Hacking Growth

Think of the Growth Hacking methodology as doing for market-share growth what Lean Start-Up did for product development, and Scrum did for productivity. It involves cross-functional teams and rapid-tempo testing and iteration that focuses customers: attaining them, retaining them, engaging them, and motivating them to come back and buy more. - Amazon Product Description

In a nutshell description

Hacking Growth provides a detailed breakdown of how companies are creating dedicated, multi-talented teams who harness data, rapid experimentation and technical know-how to drive huge growth, often with little marketing spend.

Authors Sean Ellis and Morgan use mutltiple case studies to demonstrate the fundamental principles of growth hacking, including their personal experiences such as helping to grow Dropbox's users from 100,000 to 4 million by rewarding users with extra storage for inviting friends to use the service.

They go on to demonstrate how growth hacking strategies can be used to drive growth at all stages of the customer experience, from initial acquisition to activation, monetization and then retention. They go into detail about high-level concepts such as the philosophy of building growth innovations directly into a product's design (such as Adobe gameifying their tutorials - leading to a 400% increase in users upgrading to a paid version), rather than treating marketing as a seperate function tasked with selling an already-built product.

And then there are deep dives into specific tactics used by successful growth teams such as how to run successful weekly meetings and how to approach choosing the most suitable metrics on which to focus.

Why I love this book

I work in data and have a background in marketing, so Hacking Growth referenced a lot of ideas and techniques I was already familiar with but it presented them in such understandable and actionable ways that I found myself bursting with new ideas and really excited by possibilities I hadn't previously considered.

I had always previously assumed growth 'hacking' meant taking short cuts and favouring quick wins over long-term, sustainable growth. I was wrong. I am now convinced that being part of a growth team must be one of the most exciting roles to take on within an organisation due to the opportunity to combine creativty with a highly systematic approach, and an opportunity to make a clear impact on the bottom line.

Quotes to make you think

“There is no question that stalled growth is one of the most pernicious and pressing problems for today’s businesses, and that’s not just true for start-ups, but for just about any business, large or small, in just about any industry you can think of.”

“To determine your value metric, Campbell recommends asking yourself three questions: Does the value metric align with where your customer perceives value? Does the metric scale as the customer uses the product more? Is it easy to understand?”

“Remember that a core tenet of growth hacking is experimentation all through the customer experience funnel: not just customer awareness and acquisition but also activation, retention, revenue, and referral.”

“One of the cardinal rules of growth hacking is that you must not move into the high-tempo growth experimentation push until you know your product is must-have, why it’s must-have, and to whom it is a must-have: in other words, what is its core value, to which customers, and why.”

Read this book if…

You have any interest in marketing, data, product development or business in general.

Some good further reading/watching/listening

Where to get it

About the Authors

Sean Ellis coined the term 'Growth Hacking'. He is the founder and CEO of GrowthHackers, has directly led growth at Dropbox, LogMeIn, Lookout, and Eventbrite and has also provided coaching and workshops to some of the world’s fastest growing companies.

Morgan Brown is a growth product manager at Facebook and a startup marketing veteran with more than 15 years helping early stage companies find traction and breakout growth.

Publication Date:

April 18, 2017

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