I see this a lot nowadays. Especially with the startup culture booming, I get to hear words like “Marketing Ninjas” and “Growth Hackers” a lot. And what I understood about Growth Hacking definition, how you can use technology to acquire customers exponentially.
But in the mainstream media, Growth hacking is about spending least money to acquire maximum in the shortest span of time!
Growth hacking by definition is a race. A race for customer acquisition!
Now if you are business and you are contemplating ways to growth hack, congrats you must be a great marketer.
But let me tell you one thing today, Growth hacking is about creativity and how you can be creative enough to communicate your story to an audience who cares and are willing to give some time of their lives to be a part of your journey.
But to be a great growth hacker, you need to be a kick-ass marketer. And to be a great marketer you need to understand what the ROI of your marketing efforts is.
Now how many startups you have seen who have been growth hacking or seem to be growth hacking a lot? I am sure plenty of them. Because they talk about traction and user acquisition.
But if you care to review their P&L, you would know what a mess most of them are in.
In a race to growth hack, they are forgetting other crucial aspects of marketing, such as:
- Repeat Users
- Customer Service & Experience
- Developing brand evangelists
See, you have to understand that selling below your cost price or hacking your way to get people to buy your product works in the short term. Maybe you have investors willing to burn their money for you. But what happens when money dries up? Will your customers keep coming back to you when you stop offering massive discounts? How will you sustain your business then?
A marketer needs to think of ways to keep users engaged and make them loyal.
Why does a Nike never sell at crazy discounts? Will they lose market share if a new shoe brand comes up offering same quality products at 50% rate? No!
Why has Patanjali managed to capture a large market share from other big retailers? Did they growth hack? No! Are they selling at less than cost price? No!
This is because; customers do not buy simply because something is cheap. They buy into a story; a story that Nike and Patanjali have been able to create. And they have brand advocates who would go to any length to talk about Nike and Patanjali to the masses.
So if there is one thing that you want to take away from this Episode, it is this – Treat marketing as a marathon to delight your customers and make them your brand advocates and not a hack that gives you exponential returns in short time. This is True Marketing and the foundation that builds strong businesses.
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