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What is growth hacking?

Definition: Growth hacking is achieving rapid and scalable growth with innovative marketing strategies based on data, ideation, experimentation, scaling, and automation.

Contrary to traditional marketing methods that rely on slow incremental progress, growth hacking is focused on finding scalable, innovative solutions to drive significant growth in a short period of time.

Growth hacking streamlines marketing efforts by testing the strategy on a smaller audience before scaling to a larger group and automating the process, ultimately leading to cost efficiencies. 

To achieve this, growth hacking combines different digital marketing techniques such as SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and others, as well as product development, user engagement, and customer acquisition strategies.

It is commonly used by startups and small businesses that need to grow quickly but have limited resources. 

Growth hacking framework

  1. Ideation

The first stage of the growth hacking framework consists of data collecting, problem definition, and ideation. First, the team gathers information on the users, competition, and market. Then, they define a market gap,  customer pain point, or an unmet need, after which the team decides on an objective or goal.

During the last step, the team brainstorms ideas, solutions, and potential marketing strategies.

  1. Experimentation

The second stage is experimenting with growth hacking strategies, so the team prioritizes and implements the best ideas gathered in the ideation phase. Usually, the team experiments with a small user base and waits for results before implementing the strategy completely.

  1. Scalability

If the experimentation phase has gone well, the next stage involves scaling or implementing the strategy fully with a wider audience. Once the strategy has been implemented completely, the team can view results and measure the success of the previous stages.

  1. Analysis and Moving forward

During the last stage of the growth hacking framework, the team ensures that the strategy is incorporated fully into the company's operations and that they will benefit from it constantly. The stage involves refinement, automation, and constant optimization to drive continuous improvement and growth.

Examples of growth hacking


One growth hacking strategy that Slack used to reach a large audience is - integration with other popular tools and using their customer database.

Slack allowed integrations with Google Drive and Trello to acquire new users and drive growth quickly.


Mindmesh used another growth hacking strategy to acquire a  larger customer base –  the freemium model. The freemium model is based on allowing customers to get your product’s basic features for free while leaving premium features for paying customers. 

This strategy is great for acquiring a large customer base quickly, gathering feedback, and getting recommendations.


DropBox used a referral program to acquire more leads and drive growth. Extra storage for every user who invites a friend. This strategy leaves happy customers while quickly gathering a larger customer base and converting more buyers.

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Article FAQs

What is a growth hacker?
A growth hacker is a marketing specialist working in a start-up, tech company, or marketing department. Their job is to find new and economical solutions to drive growth, scale, and reach objectives.
What is the difference between growth hacking & traditional marketing?
Traditional marketing is less experimental and more focused on using the whole budget, existing channels, and pre-determined marketing strategy ( running an ad on TV). In comparison, growth hacking is more dynamic, cost-effective, experimental, and finds innovative ways everywhere ( discounts to early adopters who spread the word).
What are growth hacking strategies?
Growth hacking strategies are ways to quickly grow a business by acquiring customers through various economic, dynamic, and scalable ways. Growth hacking strategies include social media ads, influencer collaborations, and limited-time offers.

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