In this post I want to go over the definition of a Growth Hacker or also called, a Growth Engineer. Though the Growth term is sort of loosely used today to mean many things, there are a few definitions that clearly explain what the role of a Growth Hacker is today.
One of the first definitions of the Growth Hacker goes back to Andrew Chen, who defined it as “a hybrid of a marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of ‘How do I get customers for my product?’ and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph…’
This definition has proven to be one of the best ways to describe Growth Hacker, and has been extended by people like Ryan Holiday who defines it as “someone who has thrown out the playbook of traditional marketing and replaced it with what is testable, trackable, and scalable. Their tools are e-mails, pay-per-click ads, blogs and platform APIs instead of of commercials, publicity and money.”
Ryan also states that “growth hackers relentlessly pursue users and growth — and when they do it right, those users beget more users, who beget more users. They are inventors, operators, and mechanics of their own self-sustaining and self-propagating growth machines that can take a start-up from nothing to something.” (Growth Hacker Marketing Book)
While these definitions are great, on a practical level I would add that Growth Hackers are engineers that understand product, users and marketing. They are the people who use a scientific engineering approach to help companies reach product market fit when needed, and through the right product experiences can drive massive user growth.
By combining marketing, product development, data science, user research and experimentation, Growth Hackers are engineers in a unique position to iterate on product building and go-to-market strategies that unlock a product’s potential in a market.
“Exploding user growths at a company happens when the right product meets the right growth strategy.”
Growth Hackers are metric driven, their goal is to identify all the ways a metric can be moved, and use tools such as A/B testing and experimentation to drive high growth.
“Growth Hackers thrive in fast moving environments and rapid iterations of product.”
They heavily rely on Data Science and User Research to understand marketing or user problems. Growth Hackers have become a key part of any companies Growth strategy. They are engineers that can massively growth you user base and engagement at a fraction of cost than traditional marketing strategies would cost. They are the perfect complement to any marketing team.