What Is a Growth Hacker?

Wait a minute – if growth hacking is a legitimate term, then what is a growth hacker? Well, a growth hacker is best known as “a person whose true north is growth” – a term first coined way back in the year of 2010 by Sean Ellis, a famous marketer. He wrote about growth hacking in a number of blog posts, but focused his attention to a growth hacker. A growth hacker is basically someone with discipline, experience, and willpower when it comes to prioritizing and testing any marketing ideas that come to play. After the testing part, the growth hacker takes his time in data analysis in order to successfully interpret the end results and make the best marketing tactic in order to scale further.

Growth hacking is the process in which digital marketers do the exact same thing mentioned above – researching, testing, interpreting, and scaling all possible marketing channels in order to skyrocket a product, a business, or an individual on search engines, thus creating a strong link between growth hacking and search engine marketing. People dwelling in these marketing tactics often work together in teams, and along with social media managers, PPC managers, and copywriters, they make results happen!

But truth be told, almost everyone needs to be a growth hacker in their own area of expertise. It has become vital to be capable of and willing to perform tests on your work to see if they’ll attract lots of attention. It’s pretty mainstream that if you’re not a growth hacker in today’s world, you cannot consider yourself a good marketer at all. Period.

Startups are the ones who rely on growth hackers the most, because they believe in their capabilities of scaling them so high that they will beat almost all of their competitors within a couple of weeks. But that’s not always the case, unfortunately. It takes an insane amount of time to completely check every single marketing channel, to craft all possible email templates for outreaching to public media outlets, to design that landing page perfectly so that the bounce rate drops to a more decent percentage, and to optimize every single page for the indexing, which is what search engines specialize in.

Growth hacking is considered as the intersection between marketing and technology, because all those tests mentioned above can be iterated with A/B testing, which is something marketers do together with developers. A/B testing helps a lot when it comes to continuous improvement. Marketers run these tests for as long as those tests get them to that “Aha!” moment. Those moments always lead to rapid customer growth, increases in visits and decreases of the bounce rate, and so much more of those goodies all marketers aim for throughout their careers.

But there is so much more to it than just coming up with good and crazy marketing tactics – we mentioned data analysis as one of the final steps of this (almost) never-ending cycle. Data analysis is crucial for knowing when and how to apply and track the acquisition, the engagement, the retention, and the referral, which are some of the most important points to track in a visitor’s lifecycle. For some, the most important points may be the CTR from all those Google AdWords campaigns, or the average percentage of people who respond to your Facebook posts over the previous week.

People responsible for the data tracking and measuring need to help you figure out what the key stats are for each of your A/B tests, in order to see improvement along the way.

As mentioned above, growth hacking is a process that’s almost endless, mostly because it keeps iterating over and over again.