It’s no surprise that growth hacking is very much alike marketing especially when you consider its put out there by a marketer (Sean Ellis). But the very reason why it’s not the same thing is explained by the man himself:
“After product-market fit and an efficient conversion process, the next critical step is finding scalable, repeatable and sustainable ways to grow the business. If you can’t do this, nothing else really matters. So rather than hiring a VP Marketing with all of the previously mentioned prerequisites, I recommend hiring or appointing a growth hacker.”
Okay, this in not yet another “let’s put up a quote about the topic and try to convince readers it’s correct” kind of post. So, if you are not sharing his thoughts or don’t believe it proves anything; keep reading.
The truth is the ‘concept’ of Growth Hacking did not take off by what Sean said. Yes, the guy who invented the term was and is great at what he does and by being the ‘father’ of the term he started all this buzz. But the real acceptance started after that. Early adopters of the industry started talking about this concept. Then it sky-rocketed when Andrew Chan helped us clarify Sean’s perspective. So, the big shots and smart ones in the industry said “Hey, this is a whole new collection of existing skills and process which creates a system”.
That is how we got to having this explanation of the term on wikipedia:
“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.”
So in short yes it includes marketing skills and tasks even requires it in most cases. But you need more than that. You need a product mindset, a business management mindset, a technical perspective that can save time and money. You need to be able to understand the full AARRR metrics and thrive on more than one of them. The acquisition part doesn’t cut it.
Of course, -like any new term- Growth Hacking got it’s part of ” this is facebook/google/instagram/etc. marketing because well that’s what i’m doing” spin off’s. This happened to SEO when it came out as people thought it was ‘getting links’ because that’s what they were used to. Now, it’s a standalone discipline with tons of practices without a doubt. I believe this is what’s going to happen to Growth Hacking.
Slowly but steadily the industry will understand that Growth Hacking is a system, it’s a way of doing things with a clear set of targets. Rather than bag of tricks or updating your bids on adwords (not that these cover what marketing is. Only referring to those who think this way). At least it’s a thousand percent more than that. It’s a mindset.
Do you agree? or Don’t you? Leave a comment and let’s discuss further.