Growth Hacking: The Definitive Guide (2019)

This is still a work-in-progress article, thank you for your interest.

This guide contains everything you need to know about growth hacking.

Okay, so you’re officially fired up about growth hacking but maybe you’re unsure about how to get started. No problem! We understand that growth hacking can be a little intimidating at first. That’s why we’ve created this definitive guide.

Read along, email it to yourself for later, or jump to the section that interests you most:

What Is Growth Hacking?

Growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across the full customer journey and entire funnel, on all functions of the business (marketing, development, sales, etc.) to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business.

It was coined by Sean Ellis back in 2010, in his famous article Find a Growth Hacker for Your Startup. And since then it's catching fire!

Check out the Google Trends report. I know you wish your startup grew like that!

Is It Too Early Or Too Late For You?

One of the biggest mistakes is trying to force growth prematurely.

Growth hacking should be used to accelerate growth after you have validated product/market fit. If your startup is not there yet, don't even waste time reading this article, go back to work!

What if you are a later stage startup that has already grown up to a certain size without growth hacking. That's great news! By implementing a growth process you can grow faster than today.

If you have just validated your product/market fit, it's the perfect time for you to invest in growth hacking.

Can You Apply It To Every Business?

Many people think growth hacking can only be used for tech startups. That's not true!

Growth hacking is a process that can be applied to any business model in any industry. Whether you are an e-commerce, SaaS, marketplace, gaming, or even a traditional business, you can always benefit from growth hacking.

Even if you don't have a scalable business model you can still use growth hacking.

Is It A Low Cost Way Of Growing?

I love this question! Because I think so many people misunderstand growth hacking.

Here's a classical statement:

"Startups don't have enough budget for marketing, so they have no choice but to growth hack."

This is true but misleading. Because it implies three things:

  1. Growth hacking is a replacement or substitute for marketing.
  2. If you have enough budget for marketing, you don't need growth hacking.
  3. Growth hacking is a cheaper form of marketing.

All three are absolutely false!

Growth hacking has nothing to do with the amount of your budget. Regardless of your marketing budget, you should apply growth hacking. It will actually help you use that budget more effectively. In other words, it is a cost-effective method for growing your business.

And growth hacking is not an alternative to marketing. It complements marketing. I am going to cover the relationship between growth hacking and marketing later in this article. So stay tuned!

To sum it up, yes, the need for growth hacking came from startups that had no budget and no time to grow their businesses. But this doesn't mean it is a cheap form of marketing that only applies to startups.

How Is It Connected To Marketing?

Alright, let's dive into this huge discussion now.

Is growth hacking separate from marketing? Or does it replace marketing? Or is a subset of marketing?

To answer these questions, we have to look at marketing from a historical perspective.

When you think about marketing, either traditional or digital, the main goal has always been building awareness and generating leads. For that reason, marketing teams have mainly focused on awareness and acquisition.

For example, in your marketing team, you might have some people working on content, social media, email marketing, PPC, webinars, etc.

But who's going deal with the other phases of the customer journey? Is it the product team? Is it the customer success team? Or how do you make sure these teams are aligned towards a common growth goal?

Actually this was one of the main reasons why growth hackers emerged. Someone had to take care of the entire funnel. Someone who could understand both the customer and the product.


What Is Growth Marketing?

Growth marketing is often times described as “growth hacking grown up”, in which marketers use data and agility to scale revenue.

How Is It Different Than Growth Engineering?


How Do You Find Growth Strategies?


Do You Need A Growth Coach Or Consultant?


What Are The Top Growth Hacking Conferences?


What Is The North Star Metric?


Why Do You Need A Growth Process?


What Are Some Growth Hacking Tools?


What Are The Top Growth Hacking Blogs?


What Are The Top Growth Hacking Courses?


What Are Some Growth Hacking Examples?






Read for more

How To Find Growth Hacking Ideas?


What Is A Growth Lever?


What Is A Growth Experiment?

More experiments you run, you will

How To Build A Growth Team?

read this

Who Is A Growth Hacker?

read this

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