It’s quite a dramatic job title “Growth Hacker” and one that is relatively new to 2013. Coined by Sean Ellis and rooted in Silicon Valley, it’s a role that involves a clever mix of marketing, technology and some very out-of-the-box creative thinking and which is winning accolades in both media coverage – for its bravery and creativity – but most of all for its results. Growth Hacking is the art of marrying technology with marketing genius, they are loaded with technical skills and understand how online products are developed and built through coding and can therefore understand where to interrupt or join that code to implement their own hack and meet their marketing objectives.
It’s tricky enough to describe exactly how it works, but if you feel the need to follow or meet any star Growth Hacker’s in person, you can do so at this year’s Growth Hacker Conference suitably held at the Computer History Museum in California or for starters take a look at this well known example from AirBnB (AirBnB’s Head of Growth – Gustaf Alstromer will be at the Growth Hacker Conference) which shows how they targeted millions of users on Craigslist by offering to include the users listing on Craigslist, once they signed up for AirBnB. Obviously this campaign was limited in the time that Craigslist allowed this to happen and before they clamped down on AirBnB who was literally tapping into Craigslist precious subscriber base, however, it did show how hacking code which already exists, can reap massive benefits and propel a new brand like AirBnB into the limelight, all in double quick time. The term growth hacker is speeding its way out of Silicon Valley and doesn’t appear to be on overnight fad, time will tell, however, in the meantime, it may be wise to start thinking of how you could utilise this power tool and even possibly upgrade your technical know-how to do some hacking yourself.
If getting some much needed extra technical skills is required, there are a growing number to choose from and a good place to start might be on one of the short coding courses run at the Guardian – if you feel inclined you can learn how to code in one day or learn the in-and-outs of HTML5 & CSS3 over a weekend. All reasonably priced and would provide a good introduction to get you hacking in no time. Once you are ready to start some creative hacking, check out some tips to help you get started – Hubspot have a few simple starter tips for growing your Twitter account or if you need more, find 35 tips to help you be the best hacker you can possibly be including the skills you should look for in a Growth Hacker incase you need to hire one – books, resources and lots more all at Kissmetrics