What you are about to learn has such tremendous power that you are already under its spell as a consumer, without really realising it.
Growth hacking uses psychology, habitual behaviour responses and seamless technology delivery (this is where digital transformation is required) to ensure people buy more, however, as with all arts there is a positive side and a not so positive side.
The positive side is where the digital experience is seamless. You want to buy a kettle or a pair of trainers and the experience is so fluid that you get to the completion of your transaction with the minimum amount of effort possible.
The less than positive side is that you just wanted to browse for a new skirt as you have an important date coming up that you need to look your best for, but as opposed to finding the options and coming back to decide later; you find yourself observing (or being completely unaware) as your body goes through the unconscious habitual pattern of buying something else that may not even fit you.
Every time you feel like you are making a choice, are you really, or are you just choosing an option that someone else has put in front of you? As you will learn later, what we often think are choices are actually specifically placed decoys to cause bias towards an outcome that was already predetermined as the “choice” the business wants us to make.
It has been stated a number of different ways since biblical times that great responsibility follows inseparably from great power. The more power we attain with the ability to use behavioural psychology to manipulate behaviour, the more responsibility we have to ensure that these tools are used for everyone’s mutual benefit. And not for a huge benefit for a very marginal number, while at the deficit of the masses and their environment!
Que: Mindful Growth Hacker
This is a new role, where someone in your organisation is responsible for the growth of the organisation through a data-driven and optimisation focus. However, they must be mindful of the greater consequences of their actions and have the ability to future plan solutions to problems that haven’t been created yet, by actions they are yet to take. A proactive feedback loop as it were, to help us prevent causing a future we actually don’t want, just in the relentless pursuit of profit today.
This is an unavoidable position if you want to succeed in the new, ethically-minded business landscape that is being demanded by a growing number of today’s customers.
What is growth hacking?
Growth hacking is a data-driven optimisation process that works across the entire customer journey, (from cradle-to-cradle), involving your marketing to sales funnel, product & services development feedback loop, hyper-targeting of sales segments and any other area of the business that can be optimised to influence the overall all profit output of the business.
In short, growth hacking is identifying the most efficient ways to grow a business.
What results can I expect from growth hacking?
Everyone’s results are different, however, I have seen many clients see results that before growth hacking was unheard of:
- A top three Chemist chain see a 400% increase in ROAS (return from advertising spend.)
- A household name in insurance see a 200% growth in revenue from their position in Google
- A commodity business sees an 1800% increase in their subscriptions due to the optimisation of their website user experience.
- An e-commerce store sees an increase of doubling of click-throughs by a simple home page change.
- An e-commerce store increase their revenue by 100% without spending more on marketing
- An e-commerce business double their revenue and half their advertising cost through data science-driven optimisation.
Why do we need growth hacking?
Every business is looking for growth and a growth hacker’s sole purpose is to deliver growth.
The customer also benefits from the growth hacking process, as during the process the whole marketing, sales, product and user experience improves, ensuring that your business demonstrates it cares about its customers.
Over time the business that is best at offering a better customer experience and delivering a better product/service will push their competition out of the market.
What is the process of growth hacking?
- Create personas (know your customers intimately)
- Create customer journeys (know where your customers are at in relation to the process of buying your product/service)
- Traffic optimisation (Attracting to your digital assets)
- Correctly tag traffic sources so they can be measured and optimised
- Maximise the potential of your higher converting traffic sources
- Hyper-targeted advertising to optimise spend versus yield
- Funnel optimisation (Optimising what happens when the traffic arrives on your digital assets)
- Map out your entire marketing to sales process (as a funnel)
- Conversion (revenue)
- Describe what qualifies as a Marketing qualified lead (MQL) and what is a Sales qualified lead (SQL) B2B or
- Map out the online sales funnel with breaking down the transaction to completion
- Ensure that each part of the funnel is tracked with metrics (analytics)
- Context from Quant and Qual analysis
- Produce a series of optimisation tests to validate proposed growth hypotheses (Eg. placing a picture here will double click-throughs)
- Measure the results
- Replicate the winning tests across the whole site
- Rinse and repeat
- Value optimisation
- To create an opportunity for the customer to buy something more expensive/of greater value than their original intended purchase at the point of sale.
- The selling of additional things on the side.
- An exit offer that offers something less, cheaper to those who didn’t complete a transaction and left the point of sale empty-handed.
- Once the transaction has been completed, what else can be sold then to increase the value of the transaction? What can be sold on the back of a completed successful transaction
- Ongoing revenue – subscription
- How can we convert a single transaction or a series of multiple transactions into an ongoing fee for service, where the products or services are converted into a subscription style service?
What are the secrets of growth hacking?
- The psychology of today’s customer
- Most of the time your customer is talking to you, they have already done their research and often know more about the options and the product offered than even your sales staff do.
- This means, today, you need to be part of the research and information gathering conversation to help your audience to be empowered with more information. In essence, you must stop selling and start educating, by helping your customers learn, they will sell to themselves.
- Emotional juice
- It is actually the emotional bonds that you can form with your customers that will create long-lasting relationships. You must appeal to what your customers and stakeholders are feeling as well as what they are thinking. Through this empathetic deep connection, you can form a bond that goes beyond just logical intellect and those bonds are far more difficult to be broken.
- It is these bonds that help companies thrive in the longer term, past the initial short-term gains achieved through tactic and psychological manipulation.
- Psychology Online Consumption
- Content is King. The king is dead, long live the king.
- Content is here to stay, it is through content that we can communicate our ideas with your audience and demonstrate who you are to your customer long before and long after they
- Content marketing is the most high-yielding marketing there is.
- Behavioural psychology
- This is the science to understanding why we behave the way we do, it is concerned with discovering patterns in our actions and behaviours.
Once we can use behavioural psychology to help us predict how humans will behave, we can build better user journeys and customer experiences, which in turn equates to higher sales volumes. This could be from the way the colours used on your website influence behaviour, through to the way words and syntax create different behaviour.
Some examples are:
- Cognitive bias
- “The systematic tendency, used by the brain as an information processing shortcut, to base judgment, memory, decision-making, etc., on one’s personal frame of reference instead of on rational logic”
- Psychology of pricing – behavioural economics
- This is based on the theory that certain prices have a psychological impact
- The way those prices are displayed, in context of what other prices are placed around them – often called decoy pricing
- The wisdom of data – data science
- Getting the golden copy of data – integrating all of your systems (one of the fundamental points of digital transformation)
- How to improve decision making using data to validate your thinking and give insights into what areas to focus on.
- Avoiding friction (Seamless UX – bug-free – a user experience that just works)
- According to “Thinking fast and thinking slow by Daniel Kahneman”, there are two parts of the brain, one that operates fast and one that operates slow…
- When producing a digital user experience, if we are able to keep the users experience within the part of the brain that operates fast and by emotion, without triggering the slower more considered approach, then the transaction is not considered and will have a much higher completion
- So what is mindful of growth hacking?
- Cradle to cradle thinking (as opposed to cradle to grave)
- No planned or perceived obsolescence
- Mindful of why are we creating growth (Profit for purpose)
- Mindfulness is contributing positively across the board
- It is ensuring that everyone’s benefit is considered
- It is about ensuring a pursuit of health in everything you do
- Customers are becoming more savvy and aware – expectations of ethical business practices are rising
What do I mean by mindful?
- Mindfulness is where the individual becomes aware of themselves to the point where they are present with what they are doing, while at the same time observing themselves and feeding back analysis of their conscious or unconscious actions, what is the consequence of their actions now and in the future… it is a way to combat the continual repetition of existing patterns of behaviour and thought.
- Often this results in far better decision making, more innovation and enhanced creativity.
- The now infamous quote, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.’ – With growth hacking we are able to test and measure our actions against proposed results and optimise from there.
- If we truly want to achieve transformation in the world, in our company and in our own lives, then we must develop an ability to consciously observe that which we do without thinking (unconsciously).
It is only with awareness to unconscious behaviour, habits and patterns, that we will be able to change those behaviours, patterns and habits, and start to intentionally take actions that create the results we want.
As opposed to being destined to simply repeat learned behaviour and learned patterns of thinking, that will continue to give us more of the same results as those that we learn them from.