November 28, 2017 |

What Exactly Is ‘Growth Hacking’?

As we wrote in a previous post, the startup world has a unique vocabulary of its own. We last explored the infamous term “hustle”, and how it has sparked debates in entrepreneurship circles about what constitutes success and a solid work ethic.

Today, we’d like to examine another esoteric phrase: “Growth Hacking”. If you’ve ever looked on a website like The Hub, you probably have already seen job listings for “Growth Hackers” in addition to social media managers, sales professionals, and digital marketers. But what exactly is a Growth Hacker, and how do they differ from marketers or salespeople?

A Unique Role

It’s no secret that the key to a startup’s success is rapid growth. Startups run on limited funds, and often only have enough resources to stay in operation for a set period of time. This means entrepreneurs must allocate company resources to positions that will have the best chance of growing the business. “Growth” can mean a few things: acquiring new customers, building a social media following, or courting new investors. In this case, the “Growth” part of a “Growth Hacker” takes on a meaning that involves all of these elements. Growth Hackers are more than just marketers or salespeople, they are experienced startup professionals who know how to search for, identify, and seize opportunities. They’re a jack-of-all-trades, able to cultivate social media followings and perform outreach to potential clients.

Do I Need A Growth Hacker?

Startups especially strapped for cash might want to consider contracting a growth hacker until they reach a size where they can employ more team members. Marketers and growth hackers are not interchangeable nor better than each other – they’re just different.  Marketers absolutely want to grow the business, but they have other concerns as well. For instance, marketers need to focus on building sustainable media partnerships, acquiring and training quality junior marketers, and in general have a much broader portfolio of responsibilities and skills. In contrast, growth hackers are focused on one single goal: growth.