The Obsessive Focus on a Singular Goal: Growth.

Sean Ellis is the man of the hour, the one who coined the term “growth hacker” and was also responsible for Dropbox’s initial, and extreme growth. The Silicon Valley is still buzzing about the latest career hybrid. Thus, the recently sought after growth hacker is critical in the success of many startups. Understanding software, databases and coding are all important to growth hacking, making it perfect for a technical marketer with innovative ideas.


So how do you get visitors to your site? There’s three ways:

Push– this is the aggressive approach, the more typical marketing tactic. You find where customers spend time online and place ads there.

Pull- give them a reason to come to you, draw them in.

Product– everyone that uses the product gets more people to use the product, Facebook is a great example of this.

Growth hacking leads to great, necessary and unique solutions to problems; therefore, the product should largely market itself. The internet has given us a new category of products that cannot be held- Facebook and Twitter are products in todays digital world.

A growth hackers goal is to achieve the perfect, product-market fit. That is, a product perfectly designed to fit a specific and critical need for a ultra-targeted audience. Hacking is taking advantage of under-appreciated opportunities.

The image blow highlights many aspects of great growth hacking and metaphorically conceptualizes all that isn’t visible “on the surface.”

Growth Hacking

There is very little commonality between strategies, only a common result. So what’s the mindset? “Forget press releases or advertisements. Let’s figure out something that’s never been done before and is specifically designed to leverage the strengths of our product.”

Sean Ellis reminds us we must constantly “obsess over every element of the customer experience,” because without customer involvement, growth just isn’t feasible. That’s why, understanding and retaining the current customers is key to success.

It is a continuous process that only gets more effective each time around. It’s also much cheaper than traditional marketing tactics because you aren’t trying to sell a product that people inherently don’t want. This idea brings us back to the concept of a market orientation over a product orientation.

KissMetrics gives us some growth hacking tips:

1. Site speed is important, a slow site is a deterrent to customers.

2. Your site needs tons of social proof to add a level of validity, below are some great ways to do it-

Testimonials (the most poplar method- we all know about these)

Logos (of the most notable clients or media outlets that have been talking about you, or even products/services that integrate with your product)

Customer stats (who’s joining? who’s using your product?)

Case studies (tell the story of a particular user experience)

3. On ramp programs- what is the new user experience like?

4. The kicker: A “barebones” homepage is actually what you want! It may seem counterintuitive but potential customers just want to see the essentials in their first interaction. So what businesses are taking this to heart? Check out the homepages of these major players:




5. Integration is also an option, if you have the right platform, one that makes sense. Like Facebook and Spotify for example.

6. Lastly, viral loops can be extremely profitable but it’s important to note that it’s tricky to create because of how many business models are set up.

Although I admit it’s lengthy, this article is one of the best– it is the full scope of what it takes to be a true, growth hacker expert.

 Growth Hacking Venn diagram

Do you have what it takes?!


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