Changing your Marketing from a cost centre to a Profit centre
There has been an evolution of the generic marketer, to that of a Growth Hack Marketing Specialist.
Lynne McCarthy boasts over 20 years senior marketing experience in various industry verticals, both local and international, with key experience and knowledge of the Cyber Security, IT, ICT, Automotive, Retail, Manufacturing, SAAS, Services, Finance and Engineering verticals, to mention some.
With over 40 contactable, local and international references & a proven track record of revenue increasing marketing projects, Lynne has set the bar as a Growth-Hack Marketing Specialist internationally, serving on the international board of Chief Marketing Officers.
Growth hacking is a process of rapid delivery of ROI across various marketing channels to ensure growth in market share. Growth hackers are the marketing guru’s that facilitate this challenge from a strategic to an operational delivery. Growth hack marketing is now part and instrumental in the sales department; as growth hack marketing specialists ensure that go-to-market strategies deliver revenue within the sales pipeline.
A traditional marketer has a very broad focus, and while their skill set is extremely valuable, it is not as necessary early in a business’ life. In the first phase of a business, you don’t need someone to “build and manage a marketing team” or “manage outside vendors” or even “establish a strategic marketing plan to achieve corporate objectives” or many of the other things that marketers are tasked with doing. Businesses need one thing, and that GROWTH & ROI.
Every decision that a growth hacker makes is informed by growth. Every strategy, every tactic, and every initiative, is attempted in the hopes of growing business. This absolute focus on growth has given rise to a number of methods, tools, and best practices, which simply didn’t exist in the traditional marketing repertoire, and as time passes the chasm between the two disciplines deepens.
Traditional marketers are skilled at understanding traditional products, but the internet has created a radical redefinition of the word product. Traditionally a product has been a physical thing, but now they are invisible bits and bytes in the form of software products. Products used to only be things like vacuum cleaners, encyclopaedia sets, cigarettes, cars, etc. All of the sudden Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on, has become a product. Your online accounting software is a product, in other words you can’t hold, per se, your products. This transition is most responsible for the new age of growth hackers. The internet has evolved into a new kind of product, and it demands a new kind of thinking.
For the first time, because of this redefinition, a product can play a role in its own adoption. A product like Facebook allows you to share their product with followers or friends to make your own experience on their platform better, vacuum cleaners can’t do that. A product like Dropbox can give you free cloud storage if you get a friend to sign up with them; cigarettes don’t do that. If you don’t come to grips with this new classification of products that the internet has produced, you won’t fully grasp the term and meaning of “growth hacking”.
Growth hackers understand the latent potential of software products to drive business, and it’s their responsibility to transform this potentiality into a faster and broader reality.
Despite the importance of product, it would be foolish to restrict your activities to only the product. The same internet that redefined product has also redefined distribution, and not all distribution is within the product. Those with a strong understanding of how people interact online will be able to use that knowledge for the sake of their business growth.
The term “hacker” is sometimes used to refer to someone who is ahead of the curve. They will use whatever is at their disposal to create a solution that might have been overlooked by others. A “life hacker” would be an example of this use of the term. This same attitude is found in growth hacker, because they are forced to be ingenious if they are going to achieve growth. Paths to growth are not usually obvious and it takes extreme creativity to find them.
The term 'hacker', is sometimes used to refer to a software engineer, and while a growth hacker may or may not be a programmer, they use technology based solutions to achieve many of their goals. Growth hackers will use software, databases, API’s, and related tools to grow a business. If a growth hacker is also a programmer they can sometimes make progress more efficiently, but this isn’t required. However, a growth hacker must understand technology very deeply to be successful. If a growth hacker isn’t a programmer they will still have to understand programming enough to coordinate others who do write code. Remember, products are now technology based, and mastering the technology will be essential for growth.
The term 'hacker', is also used to describe someone who gains unauthorized access to a system. They break into something without permission. A growth hacker will not hack in the illegal sense of the word, but they will push the boundaries of what is expected or generally advised. A popular idea within computer hacking is “zero-day exploits”, which are security holes which create instant vulnerabilities once they are known. There are zero days between the knowledge of the security hole and the exploitation of the security hole. Likewise, a growth hacker will take advantage of similar kinds of exploits. When a new social platform releases an API a growth hacker might use it to gain users before the API is “fixed” to close the hole they used. Growth hackers are on the lookout for system weaknesses which will allow growth.
Growth hacking is an interesting trend that gives us glimpses into the future of internet based companies. There has often been a barrier between the product team and those responsible for acquiring users for the product. The coders build. The marketers push. It seemed to work for a while that way. Now, those in charge of growth have to learn what an API is, and those in charge of programming have to think about the customer experience within the product. Worlds are colliding. This cross pollination makes sense. If growth really is the lifeblood of an organization, then why growth wouldn’t be woven into every aspect of the organization. Even customer support should be done by people that think about growth because angry customers churn. And designers should design with one eye on growth because beautiful art alone doesn’t always acquire users. The future of internet companies, and the teams that build them, will not look like they did yesterday.
Up to recently, growth hacking is relegated to start-ups, but eventually, growth hacking will be a part of fortune 500 companies. Start-ups generally lack resources, and the established relationships, that would allow them to be effective with the tactics of a traditional marketer, so they are somewhat forced to growth hack. However, there is nothing about growth hacking that cannot be applied to larger corporations. If growth hacking can work without resources, imagine what it can accomplish with resources.