Growth Hacking: “Unicorn” Lessons

In recent years, growth hacking has emerged as a top priority for modern product organizations. We all want to capitalize on the next big thing or pioneer the next breakthrough. Most importantly, product managers need to figure out the best way to continuously drive growth for long-term success. In the tech world, it’s very easy to go from boom to bust. As a result, we need to be smart about the ways in which we look to grow. I would like to share lessons from startups that illustrate growth hacking at its best.

First, growth does not come from one department or source. As Dave McClure outlines, it’s a cross-functional process that involves several contributors. For example, marketing is viewed as the sole driver for growth. This is mainly because marketing drives acquisition and activation.

However, product teams play a huge role in making sure that users are excited about what you launch. In order to drive growth, the first experience with a product needs to be unforgettable. Furthermore, product teams ensure that the on-going experience continues to deliver value to more customers.

Most importantly, growth hacking will never happen if you don’t have product/market fit. As product managers, you have to create solutions that deliver clear value to customers. In other words, your new product or service needs to be a must-have by a large audience. For example, but one area that I look at is how customers would feel if they didn’t have your product.

It may seem strange to look at product viability from a negative perspective, but the idea is to test if it truly is a must-have. Ultimately, if a customer tells you that they would be upset if they didn’t have your product, then you know it’s essential to their daily routine.

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About the speaker
Sean Ellis GrowthHackers, Chief Executive Officer Member

Sean Ellis is credited with coining the term “growth hacking” in 2010 and has played key early growth and marketing roles at several companies that have exceeded billion dollar valuations including Dropbox, Eventbrite, LogMeIn, Lookout and Uproar. He led marketing at both LogMeIn and Uproar from customer zero until IPO filings and is now the founder and CEO of GrowthHackers, an integrated community and workflow system for the next generation of agile growth organizations.

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