Growth Hacking Myths #5 : Growth hacking is getting more users

I particularly love this one as it’s one of the most abused cases. The reason is usually to match it with whatever online advertisement platform one is using. So, that the market for online ads (and a good service commission of course) is increased. Don’t get me wrong, i’m all for online advertisement if it’s done right and ads value to both brand and customer. But growth hacking can not be memorialised only with paid or unpaid user acquisition.
 
One thing we need to clear before we go any further user acquisition is vital. Whether you do it with an ad or email marketing or PR stunts. If no one comes through the door you don’t have a business. period. Thus, it becomes a very important milestone for growth hacking as well. Having said that it’s only the 25% of the whole story.
 
I come across lot’s of early stage start-up’s and the #1 reason they want to talk to me is to get more traction and that’s fine! That’s an important part of what i’m doing as a consultant. But when we start talking about retention, revenue or referral then i start seeing the milkyway running across their eyes (well in most cases). Because they’re usually so desperate to get more people using their product, they never thought about how to keep them or get them to refer to others. You might think they have time and they should get as many people as they can. I disagree. getting lots of traction does not mean you succeed. If that was the case i would ask them to put pair of boobs onto every creative they have. Boobs always get traction. Actually, there was an experiment about this back in my uni days that they gave us as an “extreme example” but i couldn’t find the link. (Be warned; you shouldn’t search for it. I’ll need to clear my history after i write this.)
 
To give it a proper context, as growth professionals we need to make sure we cover all 5 AARRR metrics to achieve true and sustainable growth. To do this, we need to reverse engineer what we do, how we do it and most important as Simon Says why we do it. That is how we cross the chasm. Which is i believe what we get paid for.
 
So, next time someone tells you they are into growth hacking, ask them how they plan retention. Boy will you have fun