“Growth hacking” – apparently coined by Sean Ellis – has been around for a few years.

It is an approach to digital marketing driven by data and a continuous cycle of experiments and analytics. It embraces the key pillars: customer attraction, acquisition, and retention.

growth hackingLike “lean startups”, people love using “growth hacking” as an all-encompassing concept. If you’re a growth hacker, the use of tools, data, and measurement is the recipe for success.

Personally, I don’t like the term “growth hacking” because it suggests marketing is a digital laboratory. Run a few experiments, test your results, and, voila, marketing magic.

Growth hacking isn’t magic.

It’s agile or opportunistic marketing (which, I guess, doesn’t have the same cache as growth marketing!).

It’s marketing that rejects the “set it and forget it” approach. Instead, growth hacking is a series of adjustments to optimize overall performance.

As someone focused on strategic planning, messaging and brand positioning, the ability to establish and re-validate things such as value propositions, key benefits, and Website copy is invaluable.

The marriage of creativity and data is fascinating.

On one hand, creative concepts are constantly tested and improved. On the other hand, creativity, in some respects, becomes subservient to data.

I like the idea of “agile marketing” because it suggests a flexible and responsive approach to marketing. It’s not about hacking something to make it work better, but a different way of doing things.

More: I recently read “Hacking Growth” by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown. It is an in-depth exploration of how to use growth hacking to drive growth.

For anyone curious about how growth hacking emerged and how it can be applied, “Hacking Growth” is comprehensive and uses real-world examples to illustrate its arguments.

It is not, however, a light or easy read. I read it in small bites to understand the concepts.


I work with fast-growing companies looking to grow even faster with marketing that actually works.

My strategic and tactical services, which harness the power of storytelling, are driven by frameworks and processes to create strategic messaging, brand positioning, marketing strategies, and content. If you want marketing that makes an impact, let’s talk.

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