Start Up Growth Hacking Management in 5 Easy Steps!
We all have dreams. Dreams to independently generate income from a hobby or skill that we are passionate about. Be it to give our children a future, live peacefully on a deserted island with sufficient air conditioning and unlimited WiFi someday, or sail around the world in a luxury yacht when we retire, those goals are woven into our dreams. We start our own businesses in the hope to reach our goals sooner, and get away from the depressing pressures of working for someone else.
With the doors open to our four walled dream catchers, comes the reality of marketing and managing a business. However in today’s day and age, that all is done through Growth Hacking, a fancy name for digital age marketing coined by Sean Ellis. At every step of the way, growth hacking is used for customer acquisition, engagement, transaction, retention and referral.
But first: Why should start ups incorporate growth hacking? Why should existing large corporations bother with this concept?
The nature of the internet has forced businesses, new and old, large and small, to focus all their efforts on growth. Direct sales pitches and broad based advertising no longer works, because consumers base their buying decisions on the results of online research. They don’t just Google your website, they investigate your heart, body and soul! Allow me to explain:
- The company’s heart: Consumers want to know that the company share their values and interests. They want to know that they are dealing with real people, who also face real issues and love the same things they do. What you say online and how you say it is about more than just your core business. It is about how you fit in with your customers.
- The company’s body: Consumers don’t just research your products. They research your online reputation. How you interact with them and others, your reviews and the way you handle bad press goes a long way!
- The company’s soul: There is something to be said about the sense of community, belonging and value your business can offer them. People want to connect more than ever, because the internet (though it opened up so many ways of communicating), it has left us feeling more disconnected than ever.
The ever changing consumer behavior and spending habits of online users forces product designers, marketers, sales staff, customer service staff and all other departments within a business to change their thinking and tactics in order to keep up. Growth hackers use their knowledge of their products and avenues of online distribution to find ingenious, technology based concepts in order to fit in with the new way of how consumers shop.
“There are hundreds of Growth Hacking tools and ideas to use. But how do you manage it?”
- Start Up Growth Hacking Management Step 1:
Have actionable goals for every step from customer acquisition to customer referral! How are you going to attract new customers? How are you going to engage with them? What do they need to make the leap from browser to purchaser? What can you do to retain them as a loyal customer? How can you turn them into brand ambassadors and encourage them to refer your products or services? If you don’t know how, then boy! You are going to want to stick around for next week’s post!
- Start Up Growth Hacking Management Step 2:
The next step to manage not just your growth hacking tactics, but how they fit into your goals, is through Analytics. Track content creation metrics in terms of size, length, and visuals. Track content created by others as a result, content shares, likes, and devices used. Track content shared in terms of location, demographic, times, KPI’s and platforms. Analytics don’t just inform you when your goals have been reached. It can shape and help you redefine new goals, and it can eventually be used as historical data and be used for relevant tracking metrics of new growth hacking tactics. Easy right?
- Start Up Growth Hacking Management Step 3:
By leveraging your existing strengths to build plans, goals and tasks, your business can funnel it’s best resources to follow the path of least resistance. What the hell does that mean? Let’s use your product knowledge as an example. During customer acquisition, engagement and retention you can leverage the product knowledge you have, to plan content for your company blog, newsletter and social media campaigns. Much easier than trying to spit out something intelligent to say, which will take much longer and more resources! Thereby you can manage not only the content you put out there, but also set time efficient tasks which fit into your goals.
- Start Up Growth Hacking Management Step 4:
Before you put your goals into action through whatever growth hacking tactic you have chosen, the best thing to do is to make up a Hypothesis for every possible eventuality and outcome. “Oooh….kay, sounds easy, but why?” I hear you ask. Having a list of possibilities of what could go wrong, what you hope to achieve and what you think will happen, and comparing that to what had actually happened, will help you manage future growth hacking ventures. As your start up grows you will be less likely to repeat past mistakes and try new things.
- Start Up Growth Hacking Management Step 5:
When all is said and done, nothing beats control groups and A/B Testing. Whether you want to acquire new customers, engage with them, turn them from a visitor into an user or buyer, or keep them on as loyal customers, and convert them to brand ambassadors, running experiments and tests continuously is the best growth hacking management step for your start up. It is the wash, rinse and repeat to your business cycle, because you will know what works and how to achieve your goals faster and better.
There you have it. Start up growth hacking management in 5 easy steps. You might wonder why I did not start with growth hacking tactics first. Would you put the tenderized steak on the barbecue before prepping the grill and starting the fire? Yeah… didn’t think so either. Lucky guess I think. Next week tune in for the 3 P’s of Growth Hacking. The ultimate tactics to attract, keep and turn your visitors…Vampire style! Blah-blaaah Blah!