What is Growth hacking?

Sean Ellis coined the phrase “growth hacker” in 2010.

What do you mean by growth hacker?

Every decision happens by thinking only about growth at the backside of the mind. Every tactic, strategy and initiative is attempted hoping to grow in the future. Growth is the sun, growth hackers revolve around.


Growth hacking


What does the “hacker” mean in the phrase “growth hacker”?

Software hacker:

  • Growth hackers use databases, software and related tools to grow a startup.
  • Growth hackers cum programmers can sometimes make efficient progress since they know the best of both the worlds.
  • Mastering the technology is very essential for growth hackers.

Ingenious hacker:

  • Creative growth hackers often fall into this category.
  • Paths to grow aren’t straightforward and simple and it often requires growth hackers to be creative enough to find them and thus help a startup to grow.

Illegal hacker:

  • Growth hackers who go for the extra mile fall under this category.
  • They push beyond boundaries than what is generally advised.
  • These growth hackers are on the lookout of system weaknesses and try and see how it can help them in the growth of their startups.

What are the tools used by a growth hacker?

  • Viral Acquisition: Leveraging built-in product features to encourage existing users to share your product with new users.
  • Paid Acquisition: Ex: Google AdWords, Facebook ads and so on.
  • Content marketing: Increases brand awareness and site traffic.
  • Email marketing: Growth hackers who not only increase the number of new customers but also encourage them to spend more money.
  • Search Engine optimization.
  • Hacking by understanding what’s a better version of a website – A/B Testing.

What are the common misconceptions about growth hacking:

  • Growth hacker must be a developer: This is not necessary however coders who are growth hackers do have an upper hand when it comes down to growing a startup.
  • Growth hackers see opportunities for growth only online: This isn’t true. Growth hackers can also see opportunity for growth offline.
  • Growth hackers have a cohesive and deep view of their product: This needn’t be always true, growth comes in different stages. In early stage, smart startups try to vampire traffic from platforms and forget about generating their own. In later stages, a startup has to build in loops and grow organically.
  • Growth hackers are magicians: Growth hacking isn’t a joke! Trust me, it doesn’t happen overnight and it isn’t simple or straightforward either. Growth hackers are more confident about their process, not always on the ideas they think of.

Characteristics of a growth hacker:

  • Believes that learning is a continuous process.
  • Enjoys pushing beyond limits.
  • Loves to solve problems.
  • Hunter like instincts.
  • They think only in terms of growth.


So how do you go ahead and implement growth hacking in your own company?

Start a blog

  • A blog is an essential tool which helps in the growth of a startup.
  • It could be a simple infographic, Instagram photos, Slideshare and so on. The content will attract visitors, content is king.
  • The better one becomes at creating content, promoting the same and market it the better one will be at growth hacking.


Build your brand

  • Building your brand will enhance growth hacking.
  • Elon Musk, Richard Branson et al. are the well-known growth hackers of all times. They didn’t approach growth like any other typical markets out there. Instead they hacked their way in and made a difference.
  • A computer and a good internet connection is all that you need. This is the era of digital marketing. These are the basic building blocks for building your personal brand.
  • Spend enough time on your social profiles and engage online and build your brand. Though it will take some time initially, this is definitely worth it.

Harvest email addresses.

  • Email marketing is more effective than Facebook and Twitter. It has more potential compared to the latter and also pulls in orders at a relatively higher rate. This field is one of the old field and it still continues to grow.
  • If your goal is to hack some growth for your startup then here’s a quick and dirty way to do so. You’ll have to create an email opt in form for visitors to enter their details and you can harvest email ids.

Hire a growth hacker.

  • Since a growth hackers field has become big and vast it is always advisable to hire growth hacker who are experienced in the field.
  • Perform a reality check before you hire anyone, because anyone could carry the title “growth hacker” because it sounds trendy and they may not even know what it is all about.
  • Be careful when you select a growth hacker, ensure you perform a careful selection, vetting process.

Understand your data.

  • Growth hacking is all about data.
  • Data doesn’t mean numbers, data is information. You must try and understand the content performance information, customer acquisition data information, customer information and other related information. It isn’t just Google Analytics

Try and find out other tools which will let you dig deeper and .give data in other actionable ways. Aggregate data is worthless, try and understand your data, this way you’ll be have a more focused and a better idea when it comes to hacking your growth.



Impressed? Would you want to go ahead and be a growth hacker?

It’s quite simple. All you have to do is try out things, make mistakes, learn from it and repeat the process. Necessity is the mother of invention and here’s a secret – Most growth hackers learned out of necessity.


At Recro we combine Design Thinking, Lean and Agile to help you achieve market-leading  performance.

We partner with our clients with the aim to transform their business challenges into growth opportunities.