Traditional Marketing is Dead: Long Live Growth Hacker Marketing

Marketing is dead!

Marketing as you know is done. It’s over. We can move on now. The powers of the traditional campaigns, press releases, air time, 30 second spots, distribution lists, the bloody Yellow pages,  and I could go on and on. Its all dead. No one needs to be told what to buy, we Google it. 

What do you do in a world where everyone has access to enormous amounts of information?

You figure out a way to use that to your advantage obviously. What Ryan Holiday does is look at trends, finds curves and tends to fling himself with no holds bar into the edge of business. He’s on the forefront of communication strategy, I mean he could teach several classes at Harvard on advertising, marketing, consumer behaviour, social psychology, just name a few.

There’s something new afoot! Growth Hacker Marketing the term coined in 2010 in an article by Sean Ellis talking about startups and their unique business savy and avoidance of traditional marketing means.

Out of necessity a new a new type of marketing is born, welcome Growth Hacker Marketing

Testable, trackable and scaleable.

The pursuit of sustainable growth. Taking a company from nothing to something.

Under the news laws of the universe (mostly because of the Internet) you can’t use traditional means to get your “brand” out there. At this point you may not have a clue as to what your brand is anymore! Hint: you don’t control it whatsoever. No, growth hacking has everything to do with exponentially growing your organization far past where you ever thought possible. Here it is…

Growth Hacker Marketing

  1. Product market fit
  2. Finding your growth hack
  3. Going viral: turn 1 into 2, 2 into 4 and so on
  4. Close the loop: retention and optimization

1. Product market fit

“The number one way marketers fail is trying to market a bad product.” The marketing team is usually called in after the specs have been decided upon, the products already shipped and all they have to do is “create awareness”. “Just advertise a little, can’t you?”, “I heard Facebook is free, lets use that!”. 

I prefer Seth Godin’s take on product market fit, “advertising is the tax for the unremarkable”. Meaning, those who don’t have to advertise to sell their wares possess something very special. Something extremely valuable, product market fit. They fit so well into their market that their customers fans will ensure they don’t have to advertise.

2. Finding your growth hack

So what’s the one thing that you can do to your company today that will guarantee a better tomorrow? What’s the one secret you know that none of your competitors knows? What’s the one idea that’s going to put your organization on the map? What’s your thing?

Similar to Jim Collins’ The Fly Wheel Effectwhatever your growth hack is it will almost certainly increase in value over time. Your “IT” factor, your “Blue Ocean”, your “Free Prize Inside”, the reason people talk about you behind your back. That will be your growth hack.

3. Going Viral (turning 2 into 4, 4 into 8, 8 in 16)

One of the most difficult stages because it’s hard to plan to go viral. There are so many unknowns to guarantee a product/campaign will go viral, all we can do is push you in the right direction, to increase your odds of going viral so-to-speak.

When Gmail first launched you couldn’t just “join” you had to be invited(scarcity can create virality). Dropbox paid you in online storage to invite your friends to the platform and gave even more storage away when you took the online tutorial (an educated consumer is a better consumer). Giving away storage was very inexpensive for Dropbox, but to an end user one free Gigabyte of data is a big deal.

Facebook doesn’t have a “marketing” department, they have a “growth” department. When you realize you don’t necessarily need “marketing” but instead an idea that will spread like wild fire, you’re starting to get it.

4. Close the loop (optimization and retention)

“Your job is to work on customer retention.” -Eric Ries

Now the final step is to connect back with current customers and see where you’re failing, where you’re doing really well, and what you can change. Retention of customers is a very important signal that you’re on to something.

Optimize how people purchase your product or service. Its the ol’ Mark Cuban, “make is incredibly easy for customers to buy from you or you’ll find your customers buying from someone else.” You can always improve some part of your process, whether that be at the product level, the after purchase followup, or in research and development. Anything to add value to your end users experience.

Growth Hacker Marketing

  1. Product market fit

  2. Finding your growth hack

  3. Going viral

  4. Close the loop


Ryan Holiday Quote

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