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Growth hacking Seven steps to more growth

Published on 22.07.2020 by Claudia Maire, Digital Product Manager, Post CH Ltd

What is behind the buzzword? Is growth hacking also suitable for my company? And if so, where do I start? We answer all these questions.

The growth hacking approach helps companies implement ideas for achieving a common goal quickly and quantifiably. Hendrik Lennarz provides a broader definition: “Growth hacking is a process. It optimizes the interplay between agile and customer-centric product development and a scalable business model, the testing of the most successful marketing channels and a continuous implementation and optimization process.”

The cornerstones of growth hacking

Growth hacking has been strongly marked by Sean Ellis, who was very involved in the success of Dropbox, among other things. The overarching goal of the approach is growth. That much is rather obvious. However, in today's fast-moving world, it is very easy to lose sight of a common goal.

This is precisely where growth hacking comes into play, focusing on three core elements:

  • A common, overarching mission: this is often associated with the “north star metric”. You will learn what that is all about in this blog post.
  • The right mindset must be embraced throughout the entire organization: the desire for continuous improvement is at the very heart of the matter. A pronounced culture of learning from mistakes, a willingness to experiment and courage are an advantage.
  • Data, data and more data: this is the essential basis for impact-oriented experiments and measures.

Are you wondering if growth hacking is suitable for your company? Just answer one simple question: does your company focus on growth or on maintaining the status quo? If growth is the answer, read on.

More than marketing

Growth hacking is often associated exclusively with marketing. It should nevertheless be seen more as an interdisciplinary function within a company. Unlike conventional marketing, the framework incorporates the entire customer journey and every touch point. To experiment both quickly and successfully, an agile team with experts from different specialist units such as marketing, product management, user experience, data processing, development, sales and support is required. Even the Executive Board must be specifically included in the process, giving the project its full support. This is because to ensure the successful introduction of growth hacking, changes to the organization, structures and culture are essential.

How do I get started?

Here you will find a few tips about how to get started with growth hacking:

  1. The first step is to form a growth hacking team.
  2. You should then define the common mission, goals and KPIs (key performance indicators).
  3. The team must then collect ideas and hypotheses to be checked through experimentation.
  4. Define a way of prioritizing these ideas, for example by using the PIE method (potential, importance, ease).
  5. The first experiment is defined and prepared. It is important to ensure there is a consensus about which assumptions and goals the experiment pursues and how these will be measured and checked.
  6. Analyze the results and summarize your findings. It is particularly important to answer the following questions: what have we learned and what can we use for further experiments? What do we want to do better next time?
  7. Share your findings with the team and define the next steps together. This enables you to retain what you have learned and to make successful experiments a matter of course in the long term.

And the cycle begins again. Start the next experiment.

The growth hacking learning process: brainstorming, prioritization, experimentation and analysis.
Source: Introduction to Growth Hacking by Sean Ellis

In the long term, growth hacking can therefore not only lead to more growth but also to an impact-oriented use of resources thanks to a continuous learning process.

Why I would call on growth hacking again

The framework helped my team to focus on a common goal and, more importantly, to cooperate across teams. Once the foundations are in place, you can enjoy experimenting and learning together. We were able to test new ideas more quickly and reject, at an early stage, those which did not provide the desired success. That helped us to make more effective use of the limited resources and to create better customer experiences.

But please don’t expect miracles: you need to have the right mindset and a healthy dose of perseverance. Hendrik Lennarz puts it in a nutshell: “There is no single growth hack that sends a product shooting through the roof overnight.”

Interesting

Claudia Maire, Digital Product Manager, Post CH Ltd

As Product Manager in the Digital Commerce Competence Center, Claudia Maire is responsible for, amongst other duties, the shipment notification service. She deals intensively with agile and customer-centered methods to further develop her products in line with customer needs, and enjoys trying her hand at new things. She has many years’ experience in marketing and product/project management to draw on for support.

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