As the word goes, necessity is the mother of invention. With literally no marketing budget, startups are forced to seek the optimal and probably most basic method of seeking customers: Focus on who they are and where they are. You can’t spend millions of dollars to construct your manufacturer and mindshare before influencing the consumers to buy your product. So, what would you do? You tweak your product until it meets their needs and you hit the viral button to create growth sky rocket exponentially. It is a matter of survival for startups. You have no luxury of time nor money because it is a matter of life and death for your business. The complete company is focused on a single goal: Get the product right for the customers to justify the existence of the startup.
We will have a term because of this: Growth Hacking. This term was coined by Sean Ellis in 2010 where he blog of a growth hacker as “a person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential affect scalable growth “.This term was introduced by Andrew Chen to a broader audience through his article: “Growth Hacker is the new VP Marketing “.
Growth hacking is a mindset and it must be the mindset that all employees should embrace, no matter startup or large enterprises. If you are in the marketing department, engineering, product or sales, everybody knows that the customers are the middle of our business. Without customers, the business enterprise would not exist. Period.
Ryan Holiday’s “Growth Hacker’s Marketing” says that growth hacking starts with “Product Market Fit “.Growth hackers believe that products – even whole businesses and business models – can and must certanly be changed until they are primed to generate explosive reactions from the initial those who see them hire a trusted hacker. Ryan shared that the growth hacker’s mindset is one where we treat our product and services as something malleable and were able to change and improve until we find its best iteration.
In fact, this is aligned to the look thinking process where you will find three key iterative steps to the look of a remedy: Inspiration, Ideation, and Implementation. The procedure itself is not really a linear one. It goes by way of a roller coaster of divergence and convergence before the solution gets sharper and sharper with the iteration of input processes, peeling the onion till you can clearly see the wants of one’s customers.
Bill Gross did a study greater than 200 startups to know which of the factors are the most important in the success of startups: Team/execution, Idea, Business Model, Funding, Timing. To his surprise, the number one most important factor is timing. It doesn’t matter when you yourself have recommended with a good team to create it happen. If the timing is too early, your visitors are not there. Too late? Your visitors might not choose your product. So, how do startups like Airbnb get the timing right? The straightforward idea of creating a platform where those who wished to rent out their space to strangers online can lose to this kind of great success? Actually, which was not their original idea. They successfully hacked the growth by constantly tweaking their product to generally meet the sweet spot of Product Market Fit. In 2007, the business enterprise started as a means for the founders to show the family room of their loft apartment into a small bed-and-breakfast. The founders named it Airbedandbreakfast.com and create air mattresses on their floors, offering free homemade breakfasts to guests. They expanded the idea later to a target travelers going to conferences who wished to rent an instructor or place to stay once the hotels were all fully booked. After much tweaking, it became a platform where you could rent any kind of lodging imaginable.
So, how did Airbnb get the timing right? Timing of product launch is key. But how do guess what happens is the right time? Not having a product and determine the timing to move. It is definitely an iterative process where we tweak the product till it fits what your target customers want.
Be clear who are your visitors and see what they require now. The product market fit mindset must be ingrained into every member. Growth hacker is not really a job description, it is a mindset. How do you hack the growth? Growth is tightly linked to customers. When customers can be found in droves, your growth sky rockets exponentially. So, who are they and where are they and what do they desire is the main element to drive this. Growth hackers are those who know the language of engineers and the likelihood of utilizing the right tools to track data that could let them know what their customers are screaming at them.
It is about putting the customers at the center. Who’re they and where are they? Talk for them, interpret their responses using a data-driven approach. Redesign the product to fit their needs, monitor again and repeat. It can be achieved through physical interaction through interviewing or observing the customers. It may be online where we use data analytics to find out what the customers are telling us. It is all about experimentation, learning and tweaking till we hit the tipping point.