RIP: Here Lies Traditional Marketing, Here Comes Growth HackingMarketing was once a fairly concrete collection of methods; things companies did if they wanted to grow business. They were things like throwing launch parties, getting celebrity endorsements, advertising on billboards by the overpass: the tenets of traditional marketing that businesses have been doing for a long time. But that’s changing now. As companies like Dropbox and Instagram break the rules—and get amazing results—more and more companies are laying traditional marketing to rest as they turn to what marketers have dubbed “growth hacking”: methods that acquire customers in nontraditional ways that scale. Some of these techniques are more complex than others, but they have one thing in common: they break the rules of traditional marketing and approach growth in a creative, sometimes in-your-face way. Here are some examples.
Incentivize Social Media Engagement
Social media is an increasingly necessary part of today’s marketing campaigns. Most companies strategically place “Follow Us” and “Like Us” buttons on their blogs and webpages; others incentivize social media engagement by offering a Facebook coupon code for their product or something similar in exchange for a page Like. Dropbox did something different. With each Like on Facebook or Follow on Twitter, Dropbox gave the user a 125MB space increase in Dropbox. Not only is it a great reason for a user to engage with Dropbox on social media, but it also provides Dropbox with another platform for their product to be spread. And while a user can Like your page for a coupon code and then Unlike you immediately after, this keeps them on as a user, even if they decide to Unlike. Growth hacking at its finest.
Trim Your Ad Fat
Part of what has taken marketing out of the hands of Mad Men types and into the hands of engineers is the ability the tech side has to measure success. That’s what makes tools like call tracking one of the simpler growth hacks out there. With the ability to measure the calls that a business is generating with its different online and offline ads, one is able to know conclusively which ads are worth the money and which are not. Trimming ad fat is a critical part in not only saving budget but finding out where a business’s customers actually are. Instagram started as a social networking site until it realized that users really just wanted to share photos. Knowing where your customers are and what they want is key in targeting. Spending money on traditional advertising may not only be harmful to your budget, but to the future of your company.
Another cool thing that engineers and techies are doing to contribute to the era of growth hacking is using technology to automate activities that move leads through the sales funnel. Traditional marketing and growth hacking have similar goals, obviously: moving users down the sales funnel. The difference is that growth hackers use technology and automation to make this happen. Using familiar assets like email marketing and informative content, the growth hacker automates communication at every stage—initial inquiries, nurturing, etc.—to optimize the process and measure its effectiveness. Things like A/B testing and analytics are the growth hacker’s best friend.
Integrate Where It Matters
When you want customers to sign up, you have to make it easy. Dropbox knew this when they made their homepage signup-driven, and BranchOut knew this when they integrated with Facebook to lower signup friction. Users didn’t have to enter information about themselves or go through a long process: BranchOut leveraged that information from Facebook and skipped those steps entirely. If you’re not a web-based business, think of it this way: when a customer or prospect is calling, you want to have their information on hand already. The initial conversation can cause the kind of friction that BranchOut knew was causing users to bail before signing up. If you’re taking calls from customers, consider finding a CRM integration that pulls up your caller’s contact info before you even answer the phone. It’s an easy hack that removes a problem area that may be hindering your growth.
Growth hacking is an uncomfortable process for marketers who have gotten comfortable with the traditional ways of growing business. But the way things are going, it’s better to branch out now before you get left in the dust of a rapidly evolving landscape of growth.
Want to learn more about CRM integrations and strategically trimming your ad fat? Download the free Definitive Guide to Voice-Based Marketing Automation to learn about these growth hacking techniques and more.
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