Premium growth hacking tricks from Nathan Barnwell: Traditional marketers are skilled at understanding traditional products, but the internet has created a radical redefinition of the word product. For thousands of years a product has been a physical good, but now they are invisible bits and bytes in the form of software products. Products used to only be things like cars, shampoo, couches, and guns. Now Twitter is a product. Your online accounting software is a product. Things you can’t hold, per se, are products. This transition is most responsible for the new age of growth hackers. The internet has given the world a new kind of product, and it demands a new kind of thinking.
The focus and the ultimate goal of all these growth strategies are to achieve growth by gaining new customers. It is not possible to achieve long-term and stable growth without a regular and loyal customer base. You can clearly identify how you must use a growth strategy in the light of various criteria such as market, customer profile, your field of activity and your product. In this context, the growth strategies used by some brands can be read as successful growth strategy examples. Cloud storage, which is used widely today, was a very new technology when Dropbox was introduced in 2008. The way of growth was to persuade people to use such a system instead of the physical storage devices used until then. The growth strategy that the company used for this purpose was market expansion. This method, which is performed through a viral loop, is based on users recommending the system to others. Normally offering 2 GB of free storage, Dropbox offered 500 MB of extra additional storage for each user registered with your referral link. In doing so, users who wanted to have up to 16 GB of free storage space recommended Dropbox to their friends and colleagues. By all means, this kind of viral method was not effective in the first months of the company. It started providing positive results in the following months and the company reached its one-millionth customer at the end of its first year. The number of customers increased to three million in the next two months. Today, the company serves more than 500 million users.
Nathan Barnwell growth hacking strategies: Sometimes the best growth strategy a company can employ is standing out — offering a unique experience that sets it apart from other businesses in its space. When monotony defines an industry, the company that breaks it often finds an edge. Say your company developed an app for transitioning playlists between music streaming apps. Assume you have a few competitors who all generate revenue through ads and paid subscriptions — both of which frustrate users. In that case, you might be best off trying to shed some of the baggage that customers run into trouble with when using your competitors’ programs. If your service is paid, you could consider offering a free trial of an ad-free experience — right off the bat. The point here is that there’s often a lot of value and opportunity in differentiating yourself. If you can “zig when they zag”, you can capture consumers’ attention and capitalize on their shifting interests.
A good growth marketer thinks big and tests small. They can envision anything — even Craigslist! — as a marketing channel, but they also run constant cheap, iterative tests to make sure their ideas can work. When DTC growth guru and investor Nik Sharma worked at Hint Water, for example, every major marketing push started with small, cheap tests — a growth marketing staple. If a small test got splashy results, the company invested more in the strategy. This helped Hint Water avoid expensive missteps, and innovate effectively; the company helped pioneer influencer marketing as we know it today. “Now everybody does it,” Sharma told Nathan Barnwell. “But three years ago, nobody else was doing it and people thought it was kind of sketchy.” That’s the power of growth marketing — it’s an approach that allows you to confidently invest in a new channel. You just test first.
Once you’ve built a testing habit within the growth team (ideally 2–3 tests per week), it’s time to start trying to maximise impact. To drive full impact, you’ll need to be able to test across the entire customer journey (acquisition channels, new customer onboarding, referral hooks in product, etc.). This is where things start getting hard. The highest impact part of the customer journey is usually testing across the first customer experience. One benchmark to consider is that the fastest growing consumer apps generally invest 50% of the product development resources in the first customer experience. It makes sense, because there is no second customer experience if you don’t nail the first one. Find even more information at Nate Barnwell.
Once you’ve determined what you’re growing and why you’re growing, the next step is to determine how much you’ll be growing. These goals should be based on your endgame aspirations of where you ideally want your organization to be, but they should also be achievable and realistic – which is why setting a goal based on industry research is so valuable. Lastly, take the steps to quantify your goals in terms of metrics and timeline. Aiming to “grow sales by 30% quarter-over-quarter for the next three years” is much clearer than “increasing sales.” Next, outline how you’ll achieve your growth goals with a detailed growth strategy. Again – we suggest writing out a detailed growth strategy plan to gain the understanding and buy-in of your team.