Each week, DailyTekk connects you with leading experts on a given topic as part of our Understanding series. This week we are focusing on explaining growth hacking. Yesterday the experts explained real examples of growth hacking in action and today you’ll learn what it actually takes to hack growth. Stay tuned; tomorrow we’ll wrap the series by discussing the future of growth hacking. Last week we focused on Gamification.
Josh Elman: The short answer is you can’t really “hack” growth. Any attempts at artificially creating growth patterns such as spamming friends on Facebook or Twitter, or hacking App Store download charts may result in spiky numbers, but rarely adds retained users. It’s kind of like eating empty calories. Instead, you have to search through your data from your more active and passionate users and discover the deep core patterns that encouraged those users to become active. And then you have to build sustainable features that help attract users on a continuous basis such as good viral flows or great SEO landing pages, and then an experience that helps users quickly understand and become active within your product.
Paul Rosania: Measurement, prioritization and speed. Growth hacking is about learning, and in order to do that, you have to measure. Defining the right metric to optimize is a critical first step. Optimizing that metric is about experimentation, and growth hackers quickly learn not to trust their intuition. In that regard, a robust A/B testing framework is a growth hacker’s best friend. (Unfortunately, none of the off-the-shelf tools are that great.) Once you know what you’re measuring and have the right tools in place, the next step is to brainstorm ideas. I like to get generative with team members, in a “no idea’s a bad idea” environment. Later, I’ll go back and guess at which ideas are the best places to start. I try to balance development time against potential impact, which is a combination of the percent of customers the idea would impact, and the potential increase I expect. When in doubt, I pick the ideas I can execute fastest.
Sean Ellis: The number one requirement for effective, sustainable growth hacking is to start with a “must have” product experience. Then an ideal growth hacker has the following characteristics:
- Understands the potential of networks
- Understands human motivation and psychology
- Tenacity (relentless testing)
- Disciplined process oriented
To drive authentic growth, ...