Growth hacking is experimentation focused on quickly scaling rapid growth in the early stages of a company. This concept helped Daniel Rodriquez build Animusoft, a machine-learning and analytics company powered by drones. By combining his technology with Dell computers, Animusoft is finding the most efficient ways to grow their company and impact.


Unpacking Growth Hacking

By Laurie Shiers

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You’ve heard it mentioned in social circles and in startup conversations. You may have used the term yourself. But do you know what growth hacking really means and how it works? You are about to find out, and it will change the way you think about marketing your business.

 

Growth Hacking (v): A nascent process of rapid experimentation and iteration across marketing channels and product development whose purpose is to identify, employ and evolve the most effective, efficient ways to grow a company.

 

Necessity is the mother of invention… and reinvention.

 

When the dot-com bubble burst, marketing budgets everywhere were slashed.  Entrepreneurs were required to do more with less. A new mindset and a sharp new set of tools were born.

 

Today’s megabrands like Airbnb, Dropbox, Facebook and Twitter don’t spend a penny on traditional marketing. Instead, they rely on growth hacking to reach more people than any TV commercial or billboard ever could. The Internet and social media tools have made it possible to test, track, scale and improve, and that’s precisely whatgrowth hackers do. Their methods are often audacious, brilliant or both: Airbnb initially leveraged Craigslist’s massive traffic to lure likeminded users. Facebook made it possible to access contacts from any email tool, not just the most popular ones. Hotmail added “Get your Free Email at Hotmail.com” at the end of each email a user sent, thereby allowing the product to sell itself.  

 

Smaller brands, like Miami-based Hair Construction, are also using creative hacks to reach more of their core audience. Part content and part tech company (providing education and tools to hair dressers via technology) Hair Construction cross-promotes—instead of competes--with major beauty brands and famous hairdressers. These partners use Hair Construction’s Stylez app platform to promote themselves beyond the usual channels. This exposes Hair Construction’s content to more of their audience without having to spend millions of marketing dollars. The company always had this strategy in mind but it took time to build. Hair Construction’s Cory Hoffart advises entrepreneurs to start by “engaging with the core audience one at a time, day by day so that your company isn’t dependent upon one big partner to take their business to the next step. You’ve got to create your own noise first.”

 

With growth hacking, products and businesses are tested and modified after they are in the marketplace, and until they reach just the right customers in the most resonant and actionable way. This sweet spot where products and customers are in perfect sync, is called PMF, or Product Market Fit, and it’s the heart of the growth hacking process. PMF invites iteration well beyond the product’s first introduction. Ego is tossed aside in favor of a collective evolution where the customer’s voice is part of what ultimately becomes the final product.

 

LiveNinja is one promising startup currently redefining their product market fit. After launching in 2012 as a marketplace to buy or sell expertise on a range of topics via video chat, the company received numerous requests from experts who wanted to include the videos on their own site. Recognizing a gap in business to consumer communication, LiveNinja pivoted to offer businesses a way to connect with their customers through video. Just two months ago, LiveNinja beta-launched a comprehensive communication platform. “We’re getting LiveNinja into the wild and collecting user feedback,” says Carolina Leon, Director of Marketing at Live Ninja. She adds, “A growth hack is only going to be successful if you are targeting the right audience.”  She and her team are gathering data to do just that.

 

When it comes to product and business development, employing technology that supports your vision and can handle rapid growth is vital. The Dell Latitude 13 offers a suite of high performance features to maximize efficiencies and keep you connected longer. It’s also the first to use 4-antenna technology that fully enables WWAN – providing the most dependability and flexibility in communications. Such flexibility allows businesses to expand quickly without skipping a beat or missing a sale.

Improving quality of product, and improving the way you are communicating value, those are the first steps of growth hacking.
— Lorenzo de Leo, Managing Director of Rokk3r Labs

Not ready to grow it alone? There’s lots of help on the horizon. Entrepreneurs and corporations alike partner with Rokk3r Labs in-house strategists, creatives and engineers to launch exponential companies.  Rokk3r applies their methodology any stage in their development, from shaping the vision, analyzing the business opportunity and defining the strategy to assembling a team and co-funding the company.

 

Happy Hacking!