In a wave of new buzzwords and key terms, “lean startup” is one that actually has a definitive place in the start up business world. The strategies outlined in the overall technique are tried and true and have helped product developers worldwide succeed.
A lean startup is exactly what it sounds like – a startup business focused on lean practices to save time and money. The lean startup model is quickly becoming the go-to paradigm for entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses. Centered around the concepts of designing a minimally viable product, or MVP, and quickly getting it into the hands of customers in an effort to help get advice on future design iterations, lean startup techniques are a mainstay of modern business development.
Growth hacking fits perfectly into this strategy, as it employs marketing techniques on a more grassroots outreach level. Learning to reach the right customers on a level that is more personable can have a much more positive outcome on sales and brand recognition than spending piles of money on television ads. A growth hacker, similar to a marketer, is tasked with ensuring the growth of their company or product. Unlike a marketer, however, a growth hacker’s entire job revolves around growth. Where a startup company may lack the funding to hire an entire marketing department, a growth hacker can provide a one person solution to overcoming low product awareness.
The differences between marketing personnel and growth hackers can be somewhat subtle. Both of these groups essentially have the same goal in mind; however, the grassroots strategies employed by growth hackers can be a lot more successful for smaller businesses. Using social media, creating viral content, and offering exclusive deals to customers who refer others successfully are all examples of techniques that a growth hacker might employ to drive a company upward in terms of sales and recognition. Where a marketing department may focus on getting a product in front of as many viewers as possible (think the Super Bowl), growth hacking is a more target-oriented practice. Growth hacking is an innovative, evolving, and wide reaching method of marketing. Over saturation of mass marketing techniques like television ads and mail outs may work well for larger corporations, but for the budding lean startup, those costly techniques are hardly an option.
By taking advantage of myriad potential marketing tools available thanks to social media and widespread internet use, growth hackers are well versed in finding ways to creatively market a specific product. The ‘shotgun’ technique employed by many larger companies can be effective, but a more accurate and precise advertising and growth campaign will undoubtedly have a more positive outcome with a lower price tag.
By using a growth-specific approach to amplifying consumer knowledge of and access to a brand, the marketing plan is refocused to put targeted metrics at the forefront, helping the lean startup to get products or services to its market as quickly as possible while avoiding expensive business start up costs and using grassroots feedback to modify its offerings according to what its clients or customers actually want.