the difference in practice that I learned from the WAU team – WAU
Growth Hacking is both a very feared term and a point of curiosity for companies in different sectors, and in marketing it would be no different. Understand how Growth Hacking works in the practice of marketing teams!
It is very likely that, even without knowing exactly what it means, you have already read, heard in a lecture, blog or seen two people talking about “Growth Hacking”.
It is no coincidence that the term is once again a trend and the search for the word goes up considerably.
But after all, what, in practice, is the difference between growing and marketing? Should you hire a Growth Specialist? Is it possible to specialize someone on your team?
These doubts are common and many companies, although they do not know exactly what Growth is, feel obliged to have a professional in the area.
And what I want is to demystify the work of Growth Hacking and show how you can apply it in practice
What is Growth Hacking
In the literal translation, Growth means “growth” and Hack are “loopholes”.
Thus, doing Growth Hacking is the same as finding loopholes that can make your business grow.
In practice, the big difference is the 100% focus on growth strategies.
But this I already have.
Okay, except that in addition to the mentality, you really need actions that can lead you to this growth.
After all, the most difficult part, in fact, is to be able to put your ideas to the test and discover these loopholes in a proven way, generating real results.
So there are 3 important aspects within Growth Hacking that do not work if they are not integrated:
- experiments with data analysis;
- automation; and
This is, of course, a fundamental part of Growth Hacking.
Simply doing more of the same will lead to the same results, but trying new things can make you grow exponentially and in a short time.
Therefore, it is essential that you think outside the box and develop strategies that you have never considered so that you can really find the “gaps” and find good opportunities.
Experiments and data analysis
It is the practical part of creativity, which will often be the big difference between doing Marketing and applying Growth.
Although it is cliché, good ideas on paper do not bring any results. And, at the same time, without analyzing them carefully, you will never be able to prove whether or not you achieved your goals.
It is what makes these actions scalable, so that the results are truly exponential and not just an isolated action that brought a legal return for your company.
Does this mean that every Growth action will depend on automation? Do not.
But possibly this is a part of your marketing that has great opportunities and chances are you haven’t used them all.
Growth is also a mindset
Once again adhering to the clichés, but this needs to be made clear. Growth teams need to think outside the box.
It is very easy to try to start developing this methodology, but in a short time you will find yourself doing more of the same.
So I say it’s a mindset: more than good ideas, it will be necessary to implement new routines, do tests, take risks and always make the most of all strategies so that their actions really become scalable and represent significant impacts on their results.
Remembering that Growth is not restricted only to Marketing, but any strategy that contributes to an exponential growth of your business.
A structural and scalable change in your sales team, for example, is also Growth.
Why some companies do Marketing and others do Growth
Because, as I already said, it is very easy to do more of the same: to know the market trends, to go after what your competitors already do … and with that generate a constant but insignificant growth in the short and medium term.
So should I eliminate this type of action?
Of course not. These are the actions that give security and stability to your business and that allow you to do Growth experiments.
But as we like to say here at WAU: “What brought you here will not be what will lead you to your next goal”.
Therefore, Growth and Marketing are two things that may or may not happen simultaneously in a company.
Not everyone who does Marketing uses Growth Hacking strategies, but possibly those who do Growth are doing Marketing.
How can I apply Growth Hacking in my company
Start by not settling for the results you are already generating, regardless of whether you consider them incredible, average or bad.
But in addition, you need to get your hands dirty – daily. And for that there are some prerequisites.
Know your market and your persona
Before a game, it is essential to know the rules and the participants. Without this, you will possibly have trouble setting up your strategy.
So, before you even start, make sure you know your persona and your Hero, her journey, your product and your Job to be Done, your market and your competitors from other markets.
Without that, there are high chances that you will spend a lot of time aiming at the wrong target to try to reach your goal.
Get the right resources
If you are thinking of growing, you need to have the right resources at hand. And we are not talking about an unlimited budget for testing – after all, your company needs to pay the bills and generate a profit.
What I mean is that you are going to need an experiment-driven budget and that people are going to need some tools.
An automation platform? An Excel? A course?
The big move that can make a boom in your business is not the same as what would work for me.
Here at WAU we have another phrase that automatically comes out of any WAUer’s mouth: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
It may seem contradictory, but you really can’t let these resources limit you, but at the same time we know that at one time or another they won’t be enough and you will need more – especially when the results start to show.
Get the right people
Yes, just like any other job, there is a profile of people for Growth:
- That do not focus on problems, but on solutions.
- Who are not attached to their ideas.
- Who is not afraid to test, make mistakes and assume their mistakes.
- That recover quickly.
- That has an analytical profile.
- Let them be innovative.
Growth are innovative ideas that make you grow quickly. So without these requirements it is very likely that the person will not develop.
It may seem scary, but it is impossible to make Growth without giving autonomy to your team.
And I think this is one of the biggest differences that we have in the WAU team today and that made us grow so fast in such a short time.
If for each new test a person has to ask the supervisor, who will ask the manager, who will take the idea to the CMO, who will confirm with the company’s CEO, this process will never be scalable.
Of course, again, you have to have the right people, in which case you trust.
The idea is not to allow them to take the company’s entire budget and spend on Ads for a totally innovative keyword, but to let them know that they can test, make mistakes and that this will not be the end of the world, knowing the limitations of their function but also enabling them to take risks.
An important aspect of Growth is the agility, not only in the results, but in the validation of the hypotheses. And without autonomy, this work will become impossible.
Don’t assume, test
“This is definitely not going to work.” “Ah, our persona doesn’t like that”. “I prefer green”.
These are phrases that do not exist within a Growth team: actions need to be based on data, not assumptions.
So, no idea is bad until proven otherwise – and as long as it doesn’t put your business at risk.
Now, do you have the resources to take the test? Test!
Because, in addition to learning from mistakes and documenting them so they don’t repeat, you’ll find the best opportunities through ideas that seemed obvious or obviously a mistake.
Document your experiments
I don’t know how many people have joined our team in the past 2 years and how much our structure has changed.
And it is very likely that, especially with growth, it will happen to you too.
Thus, documentation is important so that people do not repeat tests that went wrong, nor those that have already worked but now no longer work.
Measure your results and cross data
The first aspect is obvious: you will only know if your action worked if you can calculate its results, such as ROI and CAC.
However, isolated data says things quite differently from crossed data.
For example: this X experiment was very good! Very good in relation to what? Was it better than stock Y? Okay, it generated more sales, but what was the cost?
So analyze the results of each action and make comparisons of them with others that have already happened – and again this will only happen if you have everything documented.
Make a mistake
But it is quite common for marketers to insist on error, especially if it is in fashion or when the person gets attached to an idea and continues to replicate it, even without generating any results.
As I said, your actions need to be based on data. They say that this planning did not go very well? Have a beer and move on to the next idea.
Wasting time on the same actions that do not generate returns is also losing money, however innovative they may be.
Study and encourage your team to do the same
This is a point that is behind our values, and that is certainly a great differential, especially in the long run: learn new things and recycle old ones.
There is not a single opportunity that does not make you learn something or get a good insight, however much a lecture with the most beginner theme possible.
In addition, there are online courses, books, blogs, and other sources of information that need to be part of a Growth professional’s routine.
I, for example, only specialized in Vendarketing because my head invited me to take the Sales Enablement course at Hubspot.
I only wrote this blogpost after reading the book Traction, by Justin Mares and Gabriel Weinberg, and after seeing a lecture by a Growth professional.
And all these things added to several others made me have insights, whether for a new offer, a new channel or a new partnership.
It will never be enough. But without it, it won’t be enough.
Growth is a very difficult thing, but very possible.
In the end, what you really need is to lose your fear: both the action and the practical part.
Above all, doing Growth Hacking is constantly stepping out of your comfort zone, and we know it can be very tiring, especially when things don’t produce the result you expect.
But in practice, no traditional company has such an absurd difference from a Startup – where most of these experiments take place.
The two want to get out of the commonplace, solve a problem and, of course, sell a lot!
Only you need to start.
You don’t need a team of 10 people focused on Growth, but it’s nice that they all have this mindset or that at least one of them can apply these concepts.
Oh, and one more tip: we did a very complete material on Growth Hacking, in partnership with Inbound, especially for Inbound Marketing professionals. Check out: