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Updated: April 23, 2021

What is Growth Hacking? (Part 1)

Growth Hacking: the new buzz term in marketing. But what does it mean and who benefits from it? In this article, we will explain what growth hacking is, who benefits from it and (more importantly) why, and how you can locate a growth hacking agency to better serve your company.
What is Growth Hacking? (Part 1)

What is Growth Hacking?

A Growth Hacker, first defined by Sean Ellis in 2010, is “a person whose true north is growth.” They are extremely skilled at experimenting with and prioritizing marketing approaches for their clients. They also religiously analyze their results to see which tactics were the most successful and should be scaled out further. Frankly, if a marketer doesn’t define themselves as a growth hacker in today’s day and age, they are probably significantly behind on the new terminology, practices, and strategy leading today’s marketing world.

Who Benefits From Growth Hacking?

Growth hacking, as I’m sure you can guess, benefits all marketing clients regardless of size or budget. However, some of the biggest benefits of growth hacking go to startup companies. Why? Traditional marketing tactics can be very expensive – buying media, spending loads of money on development and creative – all without very much guidance from clients. It was a very expensive trial and error model that startups simply couldn’t afford to take part in. The benefits of growth hacking are measurable for smaller companies, as it enables them to take time to really find out where their customers are and what they respond to without emptying out their wallets.

How to Find a Growth Hacking Agency

When searching for a growth hacking marketing agency, look for these three categories:

  • Budget True growth hackers are not concerned with how much money is going back in to their pockets at the end of the day. People who are truly gifted growth hackers are passionately about the process and driven by the challenge of finding the best solutions for your company – regardless of how much return it gives them.
  • Timetable Growth hacking is experimentation and experimentation, when done correctly, can take a lot of time. If you approach an agency and they promise to get you in and out in a month with X% increase in your sales, they are not adequately utilizing growth hacking techniques and we suggest you keep looking.
  • Communication Because the process of growth hacking can take a long time, it’s crucial that you partner with a growth hacking company that has excellent communication skills. While there’s no need to check in daily, you should request weekly or biweekly updates on what the agency has tried and the results from those experiments. In addition to knowing that your hard earned money is being well spent, the findings from the less than successful experiments may give you some insight into other aspects of your company.

Comrade as Growth Hackers (Check out our portfolio)

At Comrade, we pride ourselves on coming up with custom “hacks” for our clients. We take the time to get to know each client, the employees, the product, the history and everything else that makes that company unique. We then use known digital growth hacking marketing strategies, customize and test them with the client’s current consumer base. Here are just a few of our favorite growth hacking experiences.

Schaumburg Dental Studio (View the Case study)

Starting with a static existing site, we began by conducting a complete rebranding of www.schaumburgdentalstudio.com. After meeting Dr. Jig and his team, it was clear that the friendly demeanor and personalized approach to dental care were lost in their existing marketing and branding efforts. After several months of research and testing, SDS went through a complete brand revival. A new logo was designed, consistent messaging was established through powerful promotional videos, and accounts were created on various social media platforms. Finally, a new, dual – purpose, website was built to cater to existing clients with daily updates andpotential new patients with promotional offers.

Granite Selection (VIEW the CASE STUDY)

When we partnered with Granite Selection, formerly known as paylessforgranite.com, we wanted to shed that identity and become known as the company with the largest selection of stones, highest quality of customer service, most advanced technologies, fast and professional installations AND competitive pricing. We started with a complete redesign of the website which included extensive A/B testing. We also established a new brand based on customer feedback, made the site mobile responsive, and created interactive tools like a custom 30-second Quick Quote calculator, kitchen visualizer tool, and stone selector. We also established a helpful blog with design ideas, care tips, and guidance for finding the right stone type for you and updated their “Recent Projects” page.

RNM Recruiting (VIEW FULL CASE STUDY)

RNM Recruiting is a technology permanent placement firm who specializes in placing passive, yet highly talented applicants with companies who would have otherwise overlooked them due to their lack of aggressiveness. We were hired by RNM Recruiting to update their existing, dated site. In addition to bringing them into the 21st century and make them more attractive to technology businesses with mobile responsive capabilities, interactive map features, and streamlined design, we also helped them rebrand themselves with a new logo, tagline, and icon that better represented the company and their goals. We then ensured that this new branding was consistent from their site and promotional content. Additionally, inspired by the effectiveness of the Comrade Web website, RNM Recruiting sought to create a more casual, approachable online aesthetic.

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About the Author
Sasha Berson
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Comrade Digital Marketing, a Chicago-based marketing agency dedicated to solving client’s most pressing digital challenges.
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