The business world is so caught up in the latest marketing fads – from Big Data to virality to social media – that it has forgotten to ask the most basic question: “How can I get more customers?”
For example, a company hopes its product will “go viral,” but it will continue to use traditional advertising strategies to achieve that goal. The truth is that you need to overhaul your entire business, not just your advertising if you want to grow your customer base.
That’s the crux of the Growth Hacker Marketing approach. Today’s successful marketers know that the product itself is the best way to attract new customers.
With that in mind, Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday describes the simple and cost-effective growth hacking strategies used by successful companies like Dropbox, Instagram, Twitter, and Groupon.
You may be wondering if you should read the book. This book summary will tell you what important lessons you can learn from this book so you can decide if it is worth your time.
At the end of this book summary, I’ll also tell you the best way to get rich by reading and writing.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Growth Hacker Marketing Book Summary
Lesson 1: The first step in growth hacking is to find out what users need and want from your product.
If you want to grow your business, you should use growth hacking strategies.
Having a product that people want is the first step of growth hacking. After all, it doesn’t matter how well designed your prototypes are if there’s no market for them.
It’s important to remember that traditional marketers didn’t always put much emphasis on satisfying consumer needs; they believed that with a good marketing strategy they could sell anything, even things they didn’t want.
Growth hackers, on the other hand, take a different approach and aim to meet the needs of a niche market with one product (a concept known as “product market fit”).
The goal is for satisfied customers to become advocates for your brand, recommending your business to others for free and saving you marketing costs.
Therefore, the question “How does this product meet people’s needs?” is essential in determining product market fit. Is it practical? Does the product improve people’s lives?
Instagram, for example, was originally launched as a social network with optional photo features, but its developers quickly realized that users were most interested in the ability to enhance their photos with filters. They focused on this aspect, found the gap in the market for their product, and became so successful that Facebook bought them out for $1 billion.
Adapting a product to the market seems difficult, but it’s actually quite simple if you just pay attention to what consumers want.
Some authors blog a lot before they write a book. In order for them to write books about topics that interest their readers, they can use the feedback they get online to gage interest in various topics.
To make sure their final products are well received, authors can now solicit suggestions for covers and titles from readers online.
Lesson 2: The best way for a young company to grow its customer base is to focus on the right demographic.
Increasing the visibility of your product is the next step in growth hacking. For the simple reason that even the best product in the world will not sell if no one buys it.
Entrepreneur Aaron Swartz, before co-founding Reddit, created a collaborative encyclopedia (like Wikipedia) and a website called WatchDog.net (similar to Change.org). Neither project was successful, although they both represented novel and innovative ideas from Swartz.
Growth hackers, like other marketers, strive to avoid this outcome by developing efficient growth strategies. Unlike conventional marketers, however, Growth Hackers focus on innovative strategies.
A classic example of a Growth Hacker’s ingenuity is adding an “invite-only” feature to attract attention. The first version of Dropbox did just that.
The fact that the service was invite-only contributed to its exclusivity. The result was a rapid increase in the waiting list from 5,000 to 75,000 people. Now that anyone can sign up, there are more than 300 million users of the platform.
This kind of expansion can be duplicated by following one simple rule: Focus on the right people, not everyone. It would be a huge waste of time and energy to advertise to the general public, as only a few of them will end up buying from you.
Growth hackers prefer to target early adopters, those who are willing to try new technologies and trends, rather than the general public. The reason is that engaged buyers are more likely to spread the word about your business in their social circles, which leads to organic growth.
For this reason, Uber offered free rides during SXSW 2013 to attract influential (and taxi-dependent) techies and hipsters. Instead of spending money on advertising, which would have reached a lot of people but not as many early adopters, the company waited a year to launch this promotion.
Lesson 3:In the third phase of growth hacking, you focus on spreading awareness of your product.
Viral has become the most commonly used term in the last decade.
And while many people still think that every product has an equal chance of going viral, growth hackers are aware that there is a method to the madness.
So how do you decode virality? Growth hackers, on the other hand, ask themselves very simple questions like, “Why would customers share this?” How easy is it to share? Should we even mention this product?
You can think of it this way: When someone shares your content, they are essentially doing you a favor without it costing them anything. To make it really worthwhile, you need to give your customers something they’ll be happy to tell their friends about. To achieve this, you only need to follow two steps.
First, you need to get people to share your product. And second, you need to encourage collaboration.
For example, Groupon ran a promotion called “Refer a Friend,” in which customers received a $10 credit after their referred friend made their first purchase. Groupon incentivized its customers to recommend the service by offering discounts to those who told their friends about the service.
In addition to sharing incentives, advertising is a critical factor in getting the word out about something. As pioneering viral researcher Jonah Berger noted, a product or idea is more likely to become popular if it stands out.
Such was the case with Spotify, the music streaming service that benefited from Facebook’s large user base after integrating its service with the social media giant. Its success was due to the fact that when people saw their friends using Spotify, they wanted to try it out.
Apple also did a good job of leveraging its customer base for free advertising. For example, Apple made sure its customers acted as free walk-ins by making iPod headphone cables in white instead of the usual black color.
A fundamental principle of growth hacking is to raise awareness of a product or service in this way without spending a lot of money.
Lesson 4: In the fourth growth hacking phase, the focus is on customer retention by improving the product.
Once they have attracted customers, many marketers pause. Job well done! they exclaim.
However, if you keep this up, you will eventually lose customers who are dissatisfied with your services. Focusing on customer retention after the initial acquisition is critical to long-term success.
To put a retention-focused marketing strategy into action, it’s also necessary to identify an appropriate metric against which to evaluate progress. Fortunately, there is a wealth of tools available to measure the percentage of visitors who become paying customers.
Different companies use different metrics to determine conversion rate (the classic example is the percentage of website visitors who make a purchase), but once you know your metric, you can work to improve it.
For example, many people signed up for Twitter after it received a lot of media attention, but only a fraction of them ever used the service.
To increase the low conversion rate, Twitter hired growth hackers who independently found that users are more likely to stick with it if they make a conscious decision about which accounts to follow on day one.
Instead of giving new users a pre-made list of 20 accounts to follow, Twitter encouraged them to find ten people to follow themselves. This change proved successful in getting more people to use the service.
Twitter’s approach is in line with one of the key principles of growth hacking: think about how you can make your service more attractive to inactive users so they come back regularly.
This is critical because increasing retention is the surest way to increase ROI (the amount of money earned relative to the money invested). It is more cost effective to re-engage inactive users by improving the service they already have than to attract brand new users.
Market Metrics, a market research firm, estimates that 60-70% of a company’s net profit comes from repeat customers. Acquiring a new customer, on the other hand, typically results in between 5% and 20% profit. This means that both the profit margin and the return on investment are lower when a new customer is acquired than when an existing customer is retained.
Now that you know all about growth hacker marketing, we can let you in on a secret: The author also used many of the strategies we talked about to promote this book.
Growth Hacker Marketing Review
Growth Hacker Marketing is a great book I’d like to recommend to anyone who is interested in marketing.
Marketers who specialize in “growth hacking” have devised a plethora of simple, low-cost, and innovative strategies to assist businesses of all sizes in rapidly expanding. The line between marketing and product development has become increasingly blurred as a result of growth hacking.
It is critical to constantly check in with customers to ensure that they understand how to use your product. Users will quickly become frustrated if your service is not straightforward and easy to use, which may result in customer loss.
You can teach customers more about your company by creating a tour and rewarding them for completing it. Dropbox, for example, does this by rewarding users with extra space after they’ve watched a video tour of the service.
How To Get Rich By Reading and Writing?
You must be an avid reader who is hungry for knowledge if you are reading this book summary. Have you thought about making money using your reading and writing skills?
Thanks to the Internet, the world has undergone a massive change in recent years. Blogging has now become the best way to make money online.
Since no tech experience is required, as long as you’re good at writing, you can easily start a blog that generates cash flow for you while you sleep.
Warren Buffet said, “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”
Instead of looking for a 9-5 job and staying in your comfort zone, it’s better if you become your own boss as soon as possible.
Find out how to build a blog and become a wealthy blogger today!