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7 Reasons Why Start-ups Need To Hire Growth Hackers Or Growth Managers Disrupting idea or a category-defining product can not change the world until it reaches in front of the right audience

By Neernidhi Samtani

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In the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki recalls an incident of a young author having a master's degree in English literature, asking for advice on the secrets of writing a "best-seller' book who got offended when she was told to learn sales and marketing by him. After all the hard work on her content, she didn't think she would have to stoop so low as to learn how to be a salesperson.

Reaching the Right Audience

It's a no-brainer that a disrupting idea or a category-defining product can not change the world until it reaches in front of the right audience.

While many start-ups and traditional businesses still place marketing in other/miscellaneous column of the balance sheet, they fail to account for the paradigm shift happening in the world. On average, an Indian is spending over 3.5 hours on apps every day, out of which 70 per cent accounts for social networks and entertainment.

At the same time, tech-savvy businesses have learned about the pulse of the generation and are spending billions of dollars on online marketing channels and digital transformation.

Hiring A Growth Manager

Hiring a growth manager rather than a digital marketer is best-suited to early stage start-ups who need massive growth in a short period of time on smaller budgets.

Andrew Chen introduced the term to a wider audience in an article, titled Growth Hacker is the new VP Marketing, in which he wrote growth hackers "are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of "how do I get customers for my product?' and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and open graph".

How Growth Manager will Scale Your Business

Here are all the reasons why early stage start-ups should hire a growth manager.

Deriving product-market fit: A growth marketer helps in identifying early adopters of your product, putting your product in front of the right set of audience who will pay for the product/service. For the growth marketer, it's not just about putting it in front of as many random people possible who might or might not pay. By gathering continuous feedback and using multiple iterations and significant revisions of the product, the aim of the growth hacker is to attain the stage where the product becomes a "must-have'. DropBox hacked its initial growth by providing additional storage to early adopters who referred friends; the ones who would refer for extra storage were the ones really looking for a product like theirs.

Rapidly testing persuasive copy, campaigns, viral strategies: Growth hacking is all about experimentation rather than a formula-based approach. Your growth hacker should be a master of writing persuasive copy. Running multiple simultaneous tests on the sales or ad-copy, running multiple campaigns at once to arrive at the best-performing ones is the job of your growth hacker. This will justify spending only on the best copy and the best campaigns.

Optimizing landing pages and campaigns: Your growth hacker is a UI/UX rockstar who will design highly engaging and converting landing pages. This is established by the ability to run multivariate A/B tests to optimise copy, images, email capture pop-ups, call-to-action, APIs and plug-ins. A white label SEO service company, The HOTH, tweaked their landing page to gain 844% increase in opt-in leads by optimising the value proposition and eliminating all unnecessary elements.

Udemy changed its course page design from a clunky three-column design to putting the headline, subheadline and promo video front and center, with a much more obvious CTA button to make the value proposition seemingly clear, which increased the click-through rate by 246%.

Qualified lead generation: A growth marketer will define the marketing funnel specific to your business by designing lead magnets that convert. Differentiating huge traffic from quality leads is the factor which helps lowering CPL (cost-per-lead). A growth marketer will be able to drive enormous traffic and generate qualified leads through a multi-channel strategy by integration of earned, owned, paid and shared media, in a way that optimizes costs.

AirBnB was able to drive major initial traffic by redirecting craigslist vacation rental traffic to their own site through a few Web hacks and setting up automated emails to visitors already looking for vacation rentals. The traffic and thereby booking conversion exploded when they "optimised' their content by offering free photography services to listings.

Driving increased conversion rates: Traffic and leads become nothing but vanity metrics for your business, if they do not convert into a sale. A growth hacker will be able to nurture leads through email marketing or social, providing continuous value through case studies, webinars or even free consultation. A growth hacker is a conversion ninja who is able to use "retargeting' to convert leads like a pro.

Marketing automation: Even the best funnels cannot explode growth at scale without marketing automation. A growth hacker will be able to design and implement viral loops which acquire leads through lead magnets, nurture them through conversational automated sequences with an end goal of making quality conversion with the prospect likely to retain.

Product design-marketing integration: The best growth marketers will design the marketing viral loop entwined with the very fabric of the product DNA. The product's potential growth and the marketing funnel is built into the product's features itself rather than building an infrastructure to do a lot of marketing. Growth marketers are expert in building product features that work as a marketing tool instead of "buying' a customer.

Twitter's "suggested users to follow' feature is a quintessential example where the feature itself pushes the user to engage and hence retain (through data analysis, Twitter found out that a user is more likely to tweet and hence engage if she crosses a tipping point of following nine users).

You will see television advertisements and brand endorsements of Pepsi, Nike or Cadbury but a growth hacker will make you wonder, "Who does the marketing for Facebook, or Twitter or Airbnb?"

Neernidhi Samtani

Founder & CEO - United Edupreneur

Entrepreneurship Evangelist & Marketing Strategist
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