Growth Hacking

What is Growth Hacking?

Growth Hacking is a work methodology that tries to improve the positioning of a company in a market with the minimum possible investment. The term was coined in 2010 by Sean Ellis, founder and CEO of Qualaroo. In his own words, a growth hacker is a person whose main goal is growth. Each strategy applied by a growth hacker must be focused on the growth of the company in a specific sector. Growth hacking strategies stand out for their flexibility and are applicable from small companies or start-ups to large multinationals. It is based on the Lean Start-up philosophy.  

Growth Hacking  and Digital Marketing 


Growth hacking is not a substitute for online marketing, but rather they are two intrinsically linked concepts. Both activities share the same philosophy and may even share the same metrics. The main difference between the two is the scope of the objectives. While in online marketing the social engagement ratio can be analyzed to measure brand positioning, in growth hacking it can be an established KPI of a 50% increase, for example.  

Characteristics of Growth Hacking 

This work methodology has the following characteristics:

  • Based on analysis:  Since the priority of a growth hacker must be growth, it is essential to analyze the results to know if said growth is occurring and how.  

  • Creativity:  This is a philosophy that encourages creativity to explore new avenues for growth.

  • Innovation:  Innovation is another key point, since what worked recently can stop working quickly.

  • Experimentation:  Since it is a work philosophy that encourages new growth techniques, these must be properly tested to know the results.

  • Learning:  The sum of innovation and analytical capacity should result in learning applicable to successive strategies.

  • Adaptation:  Due to the changing digital world, the methodology must adapt to new technologies and discard others as obsolete.

Advantages of Growth Hacking 

Growth Hacking has become popular in recent years because it offers multiple advantages for companies:  

  • Increased brand positioning:  The objective of growth hacking is to improve the situation of a brand or company in a specific sector, increasing customers, sales, users and loyalty.  

  • Differentiation from the competition:  Innovation and creativity seek to create a difference with the competition in the sector.

  • Increased sales:  One of the ultimate purposes of growth hacking 

  • Database generation:  The growth of the database will increase the base of potential clients and the way we communicate with them.

  • Cost reduction

  • Profit Maximization

  • Increased engagement or interaction of users  

Growth Hacking Techniques 

Some of the most popular Growth Hacking techniques are:  

  • Use of social networks

  • Viral content:  Generation of content that users voluntarily share on their networks to increase reach at no cost.

  • Quick responses to users:  Support tools can be very helpful when growing a company.

  • Forums and communities

  • Welcome emails

  • Lead nurturing

  • Create content for third party websites

  • Creating a sense of urgency (e.g. limited offers)

  • freemiun services

  • Gamification

  • Rewards for linking or sharing

  • Experience customization

  • Retargeting ads

Functions of a Growth Hacker 

Among the functions of a growth hacker we can find the following:  

How to implement Growth Hacking in your company or business  

To incorporate a successful Growth Hacking strategy , it is advisable to follow the following points: 

  • Perfect the product:  It is key to carry out an analysis of the needs of the market and consumers to perfect the product or service in order to respond to these needs. This is known as “product market fit” or “matching the product with the market.”

  • Establish measurable objectives:  Goals must be measurable to be able to know the performance of the strategy in a clear and concise way.

  • Carry out tests:  Creativity and experimentation are two key elements, so it is key to carry out tests periodically to know if the strategy is offering the expected results, and discard what is not working.

  • Analyze the results:  Analytics are essential to monitor objectives.

  • Optimize:  Based on the analytics and results, optimization strategies will be carried out to improve results.

Growth Hacking Success Stories 

Some companies that have successfully applied the Growth Hacking philosophy are the following:  

  • Airbnb:  Saw huge growth by offering an integration with the CraigList advertising platform, which allowed its database to grow exponentially.

  • Dropbox:  Offered more storage space to people who shared this cloud storage tool on their social networks.

  • Uber:  Applied gamification to the appointment system and greatly exploited “word of mouth.”

  • Tinder:  Analytics are essential to monitor goals.

  • Hotmail:  Used the footer of the emails sent to obtain millions of new users.

  • Instagram:  The integration with multiple platforms, allowing the sharing of images, generated a very rapid growth in users on this social network.