What’s common between companies like Dropbox, Groupon, AirBnB and Twitter ?
These companies are using unconventional marketing strategies, better known as “growth-hacking” for acquiring more customers, increasing revenues and being in a better competitive position. Most new age start-ups are leveraging these techniques by focussing on low-cost alternatives to traditional marketing, e.g. using social media, viral marketing or targeted advertising instead of buying advertisements through more traditional media such as radio, newspaper, and television.
Growth hacking is an umbrella term for strategies focused solely on growth. It is usually used in relation to companies who need massive growth in a short time on small budgets. It is particularly prevalent with start-ups when the goal is rapid growth in the early stages of launching a new product or service to market.
Some of these companies have created a dedicated growth-hacking team, made up of marketers, developers, engineers and product managers which specifically focuses on building and engaging the user base of a business. A study from Saleschat found that within companies employing growth hackers, 53% tracked an increase in revenue, 52% tracked the number of new customers, 59% tracked customer acquisition cost, and 53% tracked the number of new leads.
Some of the prominent examples of growth-hacking include Dropbox, which rewards existing users with additional storage for inviting new users. It saw a tremendous amount of growth by giving away free storage for referring friends. This technique is especially useful for start-ups who don't have money to spare but can offer something else of value.
On the other hand, online global lodging company, Airbnb, used Craigslist to find and market to people looking for affordable accommodation. Airbnb realized they could leverage the scale of Craigslist and tap both into their user base as well as their website by adding automated listing generators from Airbnb with the feature called "Post to Craigslist".
Annie app uses retargeting technique to grow users with minimum expenditure. When a user leaves the site without taking the desired action, a retargeting pixel will "follow" the user around the web and offer targeted ads to gently redirect the user back to the site.
Looking at the need of companies to differentiate themselves without spending too much on marketing, unconventional strategies like “growth-hacking” can prove to be immensely useful for new age start-ups.
Credits : Akhil Handa,Manish Kulkarni