“A growth hacker is someone who has thrown out the playbook of traditional marketing and replaced it with only what is testable, trackable and scalable.”
— Ryan Holiday, Growth Hacker Marketing
While larger enterprises have been slower to adopt new strategies and lead-generation techniques, marketers at smaller businesses and agile startups realized that digital marketing offers them a way to reach their audience in a much more targeted and cost-effective way. Enter growth hacking.
Shunning traditional and expensive marketing channels like television, radio and print, growth hackers tend to focus on social media and digital marketing opportunities. Outsiders incorrectly believe that growth hackers focus on these mediums because they are cheap — and they are — but the biggest reason is that they are trackable. For growth hacking, your greatest resource is data analytics, which provides the key to targeting and refining your marketing strategy.
In fact, data-driven marketers are more than six times more likely to achieve a competitive advantage by increasing profitability and five times more likely to improve customer retention than those not focusing on data.
Collecting the Data
The first step in putting together marketing-based growth hacks is ensuring that you are collecting the right data on your current audience and programs. Whether you are using social media, email marketing, blogging, personalized video or other marketing strategies, ensuring that the solutions and platforms you are using are able to provide you with data on clicks, traffic and leads generated is critical.
Aggregating the Data
In order to determine which growth hacks are going to be best for your business, you need a complete view of how your prospects are responding to your offers. Knowing a particular Facebook post got a lot of “likes” isn’t as helpful of knowing how many of those likers took the next step and visited your website, or converted according to your set goals.
Lead management campaigns integrating more than four digital channels outperformed single channel campaigns by 300%. However, the results, trends and opportunities in these campaigns can only be understood by viewing all of your channel analytics in a single solution.
Becoming Data Driven
Once you have a platform in place for aggregating and analyzing data, you can begin segmenting your audience and testing offers — essentially creating the foundation of a data-driven marketing strategy. Start by identifying personas, a characterization of ideal customer types, and then create a set of lead-generation campaigns to target them with compelling offers. Experiment with as many different marketing channels as you can to determine where you see the highest conversion rates.
Once you take some baseline readings, you can begin the real work — testing and refining lead-generation campaigns over time to boost engagement and conversion rates. This will include making small changes as needed: writing a new subject line, changing the tweet’s hashtag, adding a video link, or changing your transmission time, etc. From there you can analyze lead results and use the intelligence to continuously optimize conversions from each and every campaign you run. You’ll be able to see what your audience is responding to as you continue to segment your target markets.
For many, this is a complete mindset shift. But in the end, a data-driven marketing strategy is the fastest path to optimizing lead generation results, developing a loyal customer base and increasing revenue — the definition of growth hacking.
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