Demystifying Growth Hacking
In collaboration with ErasmusX, MAcademy hosted an interactive workshop about growth hacking. During this session on the 9th of November, Jonathan Flores demystified this buzzword which is omnipresent within the marketing field. Jonathan Flores from EramusX was one of the first growth hackers in Europe. At the time, he started working at one of the first startups in growth hacking, named Rockboost.
MAcademy is created to bridge the gap between students and required business knowledge and skills that arise in the work field. This training cycle that takes place throughout the whole academic year helps to provide students with professional marketing and data-related skills.
Together with ErasmusX, which is an innovation hub of the Erasmus University and stands for disruptive growth and innovation, MAEUR organized an intriguing workshop. To get a better understanding of this form of marketing, it is essential to mention that there is one word missing to understand its meaning; because it’s growth system hacking.
This marketing practice is about finding the weak spot in a system to then exploit and repair the weakness so the system can improve and grow. Companies and their practices are looked at as a system on itself. This way of thinking is based on the approach to marketing that changed when technology became apparent, as engineers started to do marketing and utilize this way of thinking in ‘systems’. Growth hacking focusses on being customer centric, having alignment between departments as the overall business goal is the OMTM (One Metric That Matters) and breaks down into supportive goals per department, being metric driven and solely focusing on growth. Although you might expect that there would be common practices to grow a business, there are no silver bullets, and it will take time to learn and iterate, to see what works best for a respective organization. Some key mindsets of a growth hacker are; being a hustler, curious, experimental, taking initiative, think like an engineer, focus on data, build things that do scale and have a diverse skillset.
During the event, we demystified growth hacking through 7 pillars. The most important and foundational one is ‘mindset.’ It is important to move away from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, where it is believed that intelligence can be developed. This entails embracing challenges, learning from criticism, finding inspiration in other success, and being persistent.
The second pillar addresses the ‘team.’ Growth hackers often work in small teams where members have a diverse, T-shaped skillset; having broad knowledge and deep knowledge of a few specific skills, such as marketing automation or SEO. The main areas in which growth hackers excel are creative marketing, automation and engineering, experiments and data.
The third pillar is measurement. What are good metrics, and do they deliver value to the customer? Here the OMTM plays a role, often being CLTV or CAC (Cost of Acquisition).
The fourth pillar makes it clear that it is essential to listen to your market and market needs and wants, to create a customer desire map with hopes and dreams, pains and fears, barriers, or uncertainties.
Furthermore, ‘product-market fit’ is essential to establish growth and it is important to not only focus on your product, but also the following customer touch points that consumers will have with your brand when they buy your products.
Then traction describes that there are multiple channels companies can utilize, but often they tend to use those that are known to work for their type of company or industry.
Lastly, the last pillar is optimization which is an ongoing process in which the OMTM is placed at the center of operations.
After this informative session with lots of practical examples, the students had the possibility to network with each other and ask questions to Jonathan or the MAEUR board during the networking drinks.