The realm of startups is revolutionary in many ways, it spurs the development of niche, highly-specialized job positions. One of them is indeed the growth hacker. But what is this all about? Is this, as some may think, marketing redressed? Or maybe it’s another fancy name used to boost one’s salary? Or is it a job for the future in the digital products industry?
Growth Hacker Marketing
A traditional marketer operates within a rather broad field and has a set of valuable skills. However, are they crucial at a startup’s early stage? In the initial phase, do you need someone who can “build a marketing team and manage it”, or “design a strategic marketing plan aimed at reaching corporate goals”? I say you need something else when launching a startup, and that one thing is growth.
A growth hacker isn’t a substitute for a marketer, nor he is better than one. A growth hacker is simply different. All the decisions he makes are driven by growth. Every strategy, every tactic and initiative are implemented with the intention of inciting further development.
This unrelenting focus on growth has given rise to multiple methods, tools and best practices, which simply weren’t a part of the traditional marketing arsenal up until now, and as time goes by, the gap between the two positions widens.
Growth hacks for startups
An organic growth hacker is a unique position complementing the activities of an online marketer. My job involves the broadly understood SEO and link building activities. Search engines still are the most fundamental way of navigating the web, and ignoring this simple truth is very irresponsible. SEO plays a major role, and for many businesses it’s the number one method for driving traffic into the customer acquisition funnel. I strive to stay up to date with the search engine requirements posed to website admins and test what and why improves visibility and thus boosts organic traffic. I analyze what the competition does, trying not only to match the actions of the best of them, but more importantly implement my own improvements. Once I find the way to attract users to a product, my next goal is to prompt engagement. I want them to take action involving the product I lead them to, say, visit the App Store and download an application. It may seem that eliciting this desired action allows one to rest easy, but here’s where the ever-important retention comes in. There’s a whole team of people working on keeping our gaming app users engaged, though.
by Anna Świerczek, Organic Growth Hacker at Reality Games.