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Growth hacking myths debunked

Julianne Leybag
16 October 2017 3 minute readShare

With the varying misconceptions that surround growth hacking, it can be easy to get lost. Here are five of the top growth hacking myths.

Growth hacking is a relatively new concept in business. As such, it is very prone to various myths and misconceptions coming from individuals and institutions who have yet to understand what it really means.

For business owners looking to hire a growth hacker or learn how to do growth hacking themselves, it is important to know the truths to prevent falling into the trap of these misconceptions.

Some of the well-known myths and accompanying facts about growth hacking are listed below.

Myth #1: Growth hacking is the same as digital marketing.

Truth: Growth hacking focuses on product engagement, not marketing.

Growth hacking and digital marketing may have a lot of similarities based on their end-goals and KPIs, but at its very core, growth hacking is mainly focused on product engagement and not marketing.

Growth hackers are mostly focused on boosting product engagement activities that are data-driven and don’t really adhere to usual marketing strategies. The process involves everything from product design engineering to audience feedback.

Moreover, growth hackers are focused on driving growth by investing heavily on user and product experience and by taking advantage of all available growth platforms.

Unlike digital marketing, whose main focus is the message sent to the audience, a growth hacking marketing strategy is about all aspects of product engagement and ensuring each truly caters to the needs and preferences of the business’ audience.

Myth #2: Growth hacking only works for start-ups.

Fact: Growth hacking works for all kinds of businesses.

A lot of start-up businesses use growth hacking in addition to their marketing strategy. Thus, a lot of people misconstrue growth hacking as something that would only work for start-ups.

However, bigger businesses have bigger budgets for marketing and growth hacking purposes. Given the high success rate of growth hacking, large corporations are more likely to use this strategy to maximise its features and benefits.

Larger businesses might not have a dedicated growth hacking department or a growth hacker employee, but more often than not they also use similar product engagement strategies that bank on engineering every phase according to the audience’s preference. This lets them gain a competitive edge in the market, which is basically is growth hacking.

Myth #3: Growth hacking is the secret to achieving unbelievable growth.

Fact: Growth hacking isn’t magic—it still involves a lot of work.

A lot of growth hacking examples bank on their ability to achieve exponential growth. While growth hacking does have the ability to help businesses and products grow, it still involves a lot of elbow grease. Growth hackers need to put in a lot of effort just to make sure that their projections are met and the process flows smoothly.

The main premise of growth hacking is exhausting all possible phases and areas of a product to ensure each specifically caters to the needs of customers.

This is usually done by incorporating concepts such as the scientific method, data design, and engineering. While growth hacking is driven to deliver the best results possible, these results might not be as instantaneous as some business owners may think. In fact, it could take anywhere from a few months to a year before results become visible.

Myth #4: Growth hacking is just a bunch of programming codes that are incorporated into marketing strategies.

Fact: Growth hacking is more than just computer code.

It can’t be emphasised enough that having an extensive knowledge of computer codes and programming doesn’t necessarily make up an excellent growth hacker. While it’s true that a bit of programming is needed when ensuring a product achieves its growth end-goal, it’s not always about being an excellent programmer.

A true growth hacker can be from any field, such as an online marketer, brand manager or a design engineer. True growth hacking involves being versatile enough to jump to various areas—such as marketing, logistics, management, distribution and engineering—and push boundaries wherever possible.

Growth hackers must be able to achieve everything from product engagement to growth hacking an entire marketplace—and this involves more skill than just knowing programming languages.

Myth #5: Growth hacking involves a bit of illegal manoeuvring.

Fact: Growth hacking is not about “cheating” the system.

Growth hacking does not make use of any illegal manoeuvres to achieve growth and does not cheat the system.

While the term “hacking” is commonly associated with something illegal, growth hacking is called such because it looks for shortcuts within the traditional system. These shortcuts are then studied and tested to ensure they deliver the biggest growth leap in the shortest time and most efficient method possible.

Growth hackers must also be well-versed in all relevant fields so that efficiency is ensured and any weak spots are addressed immediately before it slows down product engagement and growth.

Growth hacking myths debunked
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Julianne Leybag

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