An often-cited phrase among business and startups with regards to growth, customer acquisition, and marketing is:
“If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”
But just what is growth marketing? And how has it evolved leading into 2017? Below are some great articles and resources by various folks who are well-versed in the proverbial growth hack.
First, a few interesting facts:
The terms “growth marketing” and “growth hacking” have had strikingly different interest levels based on Google Trends data over the years. Although buzzwords may have shifted over the years the underlying purpose and goals remain the same.
According to Wikipedia:
Growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most effective, efficient ways to grow a business. Growth hacking refers to a set of both conventional and unconventional marketing experiments that lead to growth of a business.
Hacking, Marketing, Growing
These experts and practitioners provide a thorough breakdown of what growth marketing and growth hacking including the history, trends, and even some of the common critiques.
Ted Vrountas at Autopilot offers a thoughtful breakdown of exactly what growth marketing (aka growth hacking) is and isn’t. He also delves into the specific framework used by successful growth marketers. Very useful info for anyone looking to learn more about the space.
Throwing his two cents in, Keith Gill expands on the meaning of growth hacking — having done it unofficially for years now. One key insight brought up in his explanation:
Growth hacking owes much of its foundation to the decades-old “guerilla marketing” movement that took root long before digital platforms.
He also smartly leverages Google Trends while explaining the history of the phrase itself and the various people who claim to have coined “growth hacking.”
Sam Hurley shares a few insights on how to growth hack as a solopreneur. Great, engaging content remains a primary lever for businesses to attract attention from users and potential customers. He also mentions five ways to earn your way to influencer status — like establishing a strong following on at least two social platforms based on your ability to be the expert and thought leader in your space.
This article on torquemag.com shares some fantastic strategies and approaches to growth hacking your WordPress website. The author, Nick Schäferhoff, even includes several different plugins you can take advantage of while honing your growth marketing skills.
For instance, he describes the power of AB split testing. There are even specific plugins that can help you AB test within WordPress before necessarily committing to industry standard tools like Optimizely, Visual Website Optimizer, AB Tasty, Kameleoon, etc.
Someday you will learn to love WordPress like me. In the meantime, you can learn how to hack with WordPress with free AB testing plugins.
Alexander Zayetsev at growthengineers.com offers an extensive list of exactly how businesses are hacking their growth successfully. A couple best practices that stand out for me are #4 — offering value for free to your audience and potential clients is tried and true. Also, businesses can scale faster by spending their money wisely. Best practice #18 allows business to stay lean by leveraging freelance or independent marketing talent. (I know some great people at EM Marketing.)
Growth Marketing Tools, Beyond the Hacksaw
Below are some great articles all about growth marketing tools and resources.
Entrepreneur.com pulls together some of the standard tools beloved by growth marketers in the B2B space. One highlight is Buzzsumo, a very popular and powerful tool to turbocharge any type of content marketing efforts including industry research and more.
Understanding which tools are best for different stages of your marketing funnel is crucial. Liza Mock at Gliffy.com helps guide us through various best-in-show options.
This article has a lot of flavor. Amanda Zantal-Wiener highlights some highly cited resources where growth marketers go to hone their craft. I also love the insightful and benefit-rich content produced by Kissmetrics, QuickSprout, and OkDork.