How to Apply Digital Growth Hacking in our Startup?

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Digital Growth Hacking

Digital Growth Hacking

Digital growth hacking is the action of executing different strategies to promote business growth. This process concentrates exclusively on the growth of your business and startup. It is normally utilized by startups in the beginning period, who wants to maximize the growth during a short period of time with less budget.

The main principle of growth hacking is testing a marketing idea very quickly and cheaply. Besides, we use data to analyze the outcomes and to iterate, optimize, implement, or even change the experiment. Essential components of this process are running A/B tests and checking data with analytical software like Google Analytics, Optimizely, and Mixpanel.

Actually, with a digital growth hacking strategy, we want to acquire as many customers as possible with less cost. One of the famous examples of growth hacking is Dropbox. When their customers invite new users, Dropbox rewards their existing customers with additional storage. We will discuss this with more detail in the rest of the article.

In general, the concept of growth hacking is simple. Increasing brand awareness and besides, encouraging audience engagement to promote the product or service they provide are the goals of digital marketers. Growth hackers have a focus on growing the business. It is not important for them that what department it may include.

For finding the best strategies in order to grow the business, growth hackers usually take all aspects of the sales. To get new customers and keep them with lower costs they find or even create new ways.

In digital growth hacking, anything you do from the execution of a strategy to even the implementation of a tool, or also developing a technique should be related to the growth of your business and startup. It might seem obvious that the main goal of digital growth hacking is the growth of your business. However, the important point in it, and what makes growth hacking such a valuable practice, is the flexibility of it. There is not any difference whether you are a one-man startup or a multinational corporation, digital growth hacking does not discriminate and anyone can employ it.

Although finding ways for reaching new audiences sounds like marketing, growth hackers take the extra steps to exceed expectations. Growth hackers’ tasks are related to many areas of the business such as marketing, product development, and engineering. There are no limitations for digital growth hacking, and these tech-savvy professionals rely on data-driven results to guide their way. Conversion optimization and also A/B testing are important for growth hacking success, and it allows companies to see where improvement is needed.

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But what are the differences between Digital Growth Hacking and Digital Marketing?

Differences between Digital Growth Hacking and Digital Marketing?

Marketing for a service or product through digital channels like the internet, social media, and mobile devices is digital marketing. Digital marketers usually focus on the relationship between a brand and its customers for achieving the trust needed for future conversions.

On the other hand,  acquiring new customers and increasing brand awareness is key for digital marketing success. What help digital marketers to reach their marketing goals are creating resourceful content, social media engagement, and utilizing SEO strategies

Digital growth hacking is different from digital marketing and they are not a substitution for each other. Also, digital growth hacking and digital marketing are essentially linked to each other. The shared mentality behind both of them is an emphasis on creativity, experimentation, and measurement in order to achieve the goals.

Growth hacking for startups and businesses is a discipline that can be used in a marketing team. These two concepts complete each other.

The mentioned two concepts share the same fundamental principles. They can share the same metrics, increased engagement, conversion, and retention. The key difference between them is the scope of their goals. A marketer could use the engagement rate for analyzing the overall goal of building brand awareness. But a growth hacker could set a goal of increasing social sharing by 50 percent. Marketing activities can have a broad focus that includes any part of the funnel, while growth hacking depends on setting highly defined, achievable goals for reaching a specific, singular outcome.

Examples of Digital Growth Hacking


As we mentioned Dropbox is one of the most successful examples of digital growth hacking. It grew its users with a referral program that got current users of the platform to invite their friends. They increased their users from only 100,000 to 4 million users in just one year. Dropbox market value reached 12 billion dollars when it became publicly-owned in 2018. Dropbox was great in employing digital growth hacking.

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Airbnb is another successful example of growth hacking. They figured out that they could easily reach their target audience through Craigslist. At that time, Craigslist was a place for cheap vacation rentals. Airbnb made it possible for a host to publish their listing straight to Craigslist with just one click. This Craigslist post referred people back to the Airbnb listing.

Also, it was certainly a risky tactic because Craigslist did not have this functionality. Therefore, Airbnb basically had to build the backend themselves to make it possible. Although Craigslist eventually caught on and made it impossible for this functionality to work anymore, it had already helped Airbnb for growth. Airbnb took their company to the next level with just some creative ideas and custom code.

How can we implement digital growth hacking in our teams?

Be careful that your idea does not have to be so huge that it requires years for development, however, it should be noticeable enough to attract new customers. Like what Dropbox and Airbnb did, you can easily take resources that already exist and use them in creative ways. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel but you just need to use it differently.

Behind any effective digital growth, hacking activity is a rigorous, structured process that’s rooted in iteration and scalability. It is not important that you are a startup and small business or a large organization, or B2B or B2C, this process can be customized and incorporated into a successful growth strategy.

Enhance Your Product: Analyze the needs and preferences of your target market and then use this data to enhance your product and service. Growth hackers call this the “product-market fit”. Before using it as a catalyst for growth, it is important to make sure what you are offering is as strong as possible.

Define Measurable Goals: A growth hacker’s success lies in defining precise and actionable goals that will lead to business growth. This issue will limit your desire to broaden your focus. It also maximizes the time you can spend on your approach for testing and refining it.

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Test Your Approach: Digital growth hacking is supported by creativity and experimentation. Experimentation is essential for gauging what will and won’t work for you. Keep your tests simple and record the data such that you can implement the best combinations to enhance your growth.

Analyze Performance: Analytics is crucial to stay on track with your goals. As you chart your progress, this data can also be used to adjust and adapt to other areas of the process accordingly, from your product to your goals.

Optimization: There is value in the “learning-by-doing” concept even if optimization involves the implementation of an entirely new approach or refinement of a previous effort. Success will certainly come with a little patience and practice.

Finally, you should know that whatever your marketing need or your budget is, you can find a solution. Take considerable time to find ways for automating and improving your marketing campaigns such that you can focus on your business. Maybe you cannot solve all of your problems, but you can certainly solve the big ones. Focus on what has the biggest return for your effort. There is no need to overwhelm yourself with software, tools, or initiatives that don’t provide a clear return. Marketing on a budget can be a lot of fun and work well if you know what your goals are.

Besides, make all your efforts about solving problems, growing your audience, and extending your brand. Obviously, great products and services help sell themselves, however, you need to set that growth plan in motion.

And with a lot of simple ways to launch growth, there has never been a more exciting time for seeing what your brand can really do.

If you are interested in other marketing strategies, you can find our articles about 7 Important Metrics for Startups to Hack their Marketing Strategy and 5 Marketing Strategy Templates: Implementing Classic Planning tools in the Digital Era in our blog.

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ARDOXSO Weekly Blog currently has 5 members at its editorial board and publishes about 250 articles annually on ARDOXSO blog.

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