Jennifer Roebuck, Non-executive Director at 7thingsmedia, picked up a few digital insights from her time at annual US festival and conference, South by Southwest (SXSW). Here she tells Figaro Digital about the evolution of growth hacking since the 90s and what this means for businesses now
As one of the early growth hackers in the late 90s, I was excited to see how growth hacking has evolved and what new techniques startups can leverage to grow their customer base. Sean Ellis, Founder of growthhackers.com and Tammy Camp, Founder of Action Factory, shared a very practical approach to growth hacking that can be implemented by anyone, in my opinion.
Are you actually prepared for growth? You need a sound product, solid analytics and at least a basic email system to help with email marketing. It might sound silly to suggest these things, but both Ellis and Camp and often find that one of these key factors are not in place.
Once you are set up, the first step to take is to survey existing customers to understand why they use your product and whether they can live without it. If at least 40 per cent of your customers cannot live without it, then your growth hacking journey will be much easier. If the outcome of the survey is low, then you need to strengthen your product before investing in media and other customer acquisition methods.
Another common approach to growth hacking is to create viral product enhancements. Candy Crush and Pinterest were quick to implement these tactics, helping to drive growth from within before investing in media.
Ellis and Camp also shared quick and simple tools to use online that can enhance your ability to track customer engagement, market intelligently and improve your website. Segment.com came up a number of times at SXSW, and the predictive experts were also a fan of this tool. Usertesting.com was another favourite along with KISSmetrics and Mixpanel. All of these tools allow you to gauge deeper insights without IT help and complex implementation. So listen up small ecommerce business owner—you have other options besides Google Analytics.
Even with all this in mind, the same rules apply that we used in the 90s. Test, test and test some more. The more experiments you do each day, the more you will learn. If you feel limited by your website or app technology, then try doing 30 ad word tests or email marketing tests per day. All this fuss over A/B testing is worth it!