Growth hacking is a buzzword that anyone in the world of startups, tech, SaaS, or digital marketing in general will have heard at least once if not a thousand million billion times. It sounds spectacular, like you’re gaming the system to achieve phenomenal business outcomes, all while spending almost nothing! This is totally misleading. For one thing, that’s not what growth hacking is. For another, growth hacking is what we’ve always done at Rock Candy Media, even if we are widely considered an ad agency.
What is growth hacking?
Here is the current definition at the top of the Wikipedia page:
“Growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing funnel, product development, sales segments, and other areas of the business to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business.”
Basically, with every product or service you need to sell, you have a problem: getting people to buy it and remain loyal. To solve that problem, you have an extensive toolbox of various techniques and strategies to try out. You can’t know for sure which tool is right for the job, so you have to try out all of them. You carefully monitor the results to determine which tool is where your money and energy should be spent. Then you stay on the lookout for better, faster, more efficient tools to grow revenue even faster.
You use analytics data from the marketing efforts and from the product, if it’s a piece of software, to improve both the advertising efforts and the product development. It makes sense that, if the goal is to sell more of something, you would want to improve both the product and the methods through which you sell it.
There’s no “trick” to growth hacking. There’s no low-effort, high-reward key to massive marketing success. This process took two paragraphs to explain but it takes hours upon hours to implement. And it never end. It’s a process of constant optimization and evolution. A growth hacking service or firm can never offer you a surefire solution, but rather a methodology that is more likely to produce results than a more passive, less analytical and holistic approach to marketing.
Why do we growth hack?
The reason Rock Candy Media never stuck to the confines of so-called traditional marketing is a simple business reality: if our clients don’t make money, we don’t make money. If we were to come up with a brilliant ad campaign but it sent prospects to a trashy website with a weird product and a strange pricing structure, our ads would be worthless. It would not take long for the client to realize that our brilliant campaign was adding zero value to their broken marketing scheme and we would be fired.
When clients come to Rock Candy Media, they aren’t just looking for an Austin-based marketing company. Usually they turn to us because they want to make more money. Simple as that. And to do that, it usually takes more than a clever advertising campaign and a PR push.
So growth hacking services aren’t just how we bring value to our clients, it’s literally how we grow our own agency.
So is growth hacking good or bad??
It’s good. But you need to understand what it is. If you’ve read this far, you should understand the true nature of what “growth hackers” or “innovation agencies” do compared to what they may preach. Growing a business is never a straightforward proposition, so don’t trust anyone who would make it appear to be so.