Growth Hacking: How Does It Work?

Growth is the first and foremost goal of any organization. The faster the growth, the better are the returns. While exponential growth may not have been possible a few years ago; simple yet effective techniques can put your business on the fast track to success.


It’s not a marketing afterthought

Unlike what it may seem like, growth is an essential feature within the planning and implementation of an organization’s marketing strategy. Consider the examples of social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The usage of the @ sign to tag people across different mediums encouraged phenomenal growth. Airbnb was allowed its customers to cross-post to Craigslist, a platform that has as many users as the popular social networking websites and is growing by 30%, in terms of users, every year.

“If you double the number of experiments you do per year, you’re going to double your inventiveness.” Jeff Bezos, richest man on the planet

The five fundamentals of growth hacking

While marketing itself is focused on adopting a methodology or a medium that prompts immediate usage of a product/service, growth on the other hand is the penultimate goal of the organization.

Growth Hacking is an intelligent way of combining a few simple but innovative ideas with day-to-day business operations.

It combines marketing campaigns with data analytics and determines the kind of development and design needed for achieving brisk growth.

The concepts of growth hacking can be broken down into 5 steps for simplification:

  1. First, you need to acquire a cost-effective medium to bridge the gap between your product or service and the relevant audience.

  2. Following the identification of an effective channel, the next step is to get people to try the product or service.

  3. Establishing trust among users is important, which is why it is necessary to engage your clients to form a binding customer relationship.

  4. The assimilation of a sense of brand loyalty among customers becomes an integral part from here on. Faithful customers then spread the word and invite their friends/family to use your product, which ensures increased revenues for your business.

  5. Lastly, build a consistent revenue stream for the sustainability of your business through referrals.

So how does it work?

“Tactics first is putting the cart before the horse. You need a process that will help you build a scalable, predictable, and repeatable growth machine.” Brian Balfour

We have discussed the fundamentals but how are they implemented in order to achieve the desired growth? Businesses need to be able to effectively entice their potential audience to initiate the growth of their product/service.

The hook:

HOOKS_model (1).PNG

A trigger can be anything that drives the users to the product or service. There is a bit of diversity in what sort of sentiment needs to be attained from the customer. For instance, the feeling of not having to do, or the feeling of boredom can trigger a person to log on to Facebook. The need to share a moment with close friends can trigger someone to use Snapchat to capture the moment. The emotion itself is classified as an external trigger. The additional features within these platforms such as funny picture filters and status updates are internal triggers that keep you hooked and active on these platforms.

“If you want to go viral, virality must be baked into your product.” Ryan Holiday


Reel them in

The emotional attachment that the users develop with these platforms that results in excessive usage of these medias is further classified as an action. The extent of the action that can be expected from the consumer greatly depends on what sort of opportunity is being provided by the platform. If someone was looking to buy clothes online, and they come across a catalogue ad with various designs of branded articles of clothing, it will be able to drive the customer to the relevant website to explore more.

build anticipation with increased consumption

While the trigger can be identified as an acquisition medium, the action resulting from the behavioral characteristics of the customer is the activation point in the organization’s goal to sell their product/service. An important thing to understand is that the action should be kept simple. A “Buy Now” button on the catalogue ad would get more clicks from people looking to shop more. This likelihood can be derived from the fact that the action carried out by the user is in anticipation of a reward. A straightforward but effective trigger by the business can easily get them more traction for their product.

address their interests

As previously identified, an action would be the result of a user looking to gain something from the offer being presented. For a business selling clothes online, they would want to tweak that level of curiosity of the customer and stimulate their desire to keep them scrolling through the collection. If that is achieved, then the chances of getting increased sales become a possibility. This is also where the business gets to gain the customers’ trust and build brand loyalty.

invest in them and they will invest back

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” Steve Jobs, Apple

Building a loyal fan base is integral for every organization. Once that has been successfully made, the business can then ask for an investment from the customer. This is what businesses can use to use the referral method and create additional streams of income and generate more profits. An additional incentive that gets customers to come back to the business is what is considered as an investment. An offer to get a $25 gift card by referring the website to 5 friends would engage the customer more. The possibility of coming back and buying more clothes would act as an additional trigger that helps the business get additional customers with minimal effort. Hence, investing in the client for them to invest even more in your product in the future.


Growth Hacking can be achieved in a lot of ways, but it is most effective when it follows the basics of creating a habit among the customers and gauge their interest to build loyalty. The need to have a strong team that is motivated to come up with innovative strategies for the induction of such practices in business operations is of utmost importance. A driven team working from within the company allows businesses to address their motivation and attain successive cycles through the hook that shaped customer preferences.

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