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WTF is Growth Hacker Marketing | Mike Mango

Why does that term keep showing up on my feed, what does it mean?

Why do I care?

Is it going to change the way I look at Marketing, will it help me get a new job, will it teach me to code?

To figure this out I had to read Ryan Holiday’s “Growth Hacker Marketing”.

It was a quick read that I can summarize in 5 bullets:

  • Hack = Ideas
  • It’s NOT free
  • The term meant for start-ups, but could be used
    on anything (I’m growth hacking you right now)
  • It’s all about data
  • It’s nothing new

First, I recommend this book at anyone looking to learn about start-ups or understand how some of the most influential companies today (Airbnb, Dropbox, Instagram) started.

But, after the first chapter I question how “different” it truly is to the way most people market a product. If the product is good, people will buy it.  That could be said about anything from a computer to a sports team.  I always find it funny how sports marketers try all these crazy promotions, giveaways and various other marketing tactics, but a simple way to sell tickets is to have a good product (the team).

It’s my belief that when most people hear the term “Growth Hacker Marketing” they think of something that is free and illegal.  I’m here to tell you both are wrong, well maybe not 100% legal all the time (Right Bittorrent). But for sure not free.  Instagram got big by partnering with Facebook, that wasn’t cheap.  Airbnb sent professional photographers to take pictures of their top listings, definitely not free.  And, Dropbox gave away storage if you shared it with a friend, storage = dollars.  Yes, some of these tactics didn’t require “advertising” dollars, but it still took some creative juice, and the ability to implement and target the right consumers, which cost a lot of time and effort.

To me, the biggest takeaway from the book is to listen to what the consumers want, instead of forcing it on them.  Something I feel should be a basic tactic marketers use into today’s millennial, hyper-sensitive, sharing economy. But I might be wrong.

“It takes a great man to be a good listener”

-Calvin Coolidge