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Hacking Growth: How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success Hardcover – April 25, 2017
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“In an increasingly erratic business landscape where new competition can emerge overnight, customers’ loyalties can shift unexpectedly, and markets are constantly being disrupted, finding growth solutions fast is crucial for survival. Hacking Growth provides a compelling answer to this urgent need for speed, offering companies a methodology for finding and optimizing new strategies to increase their market share and quickly.”
—Eric Ries, bestselling author of The Lean Startup
“It used to be that designers and engineers were responsible for developing new products, data teams were responsible for number-crunching reports, and marketers were responsible for acquiring and monetizing as many customers as possible. But today’s companies can’t afford to be slowed down by organizational silos. Here, growth-hacking pioneers Ellis and Brown show how to break down those traditional barriers and marry powerful data analysis, technical know-how, and marketing savvy to quickly devise and test ways to fuel breakout growth.”
—Nir Eyal, bestselling author of Hooked
“Ellis and Brown have accomplished what we’ve been talking about for twelve years, which is to compile and organize an accurate view into the inner workings of an emerging discipline. Their wisdom (plus the anecdotes and stories) have rarely been discussed outside of a small circle of people, and they give real insight into how digital growth hacking is done at the highest levels. As all companies become digital, this is a must-read for anyone in business.”
—James Currier, managing partner, NFX Guild
“There is nothing more important for any business than attracting users and customers to your products. The tools to do this in today’s online-driven world are very different from the past. Hacking Growth will teach you how to think like a marketer of tomorrow. You will learn how to do deep data analysis, and how to think about developing features into your products that drive growth directly.”
—Josh Elman, partner, Greylock Partners
“Marketers realize that marketing as we’ve known it will be replaced by growth hacking. So what is it, how do you do it, and why do you need to? Morgan Brown and Sean Ellis help you ask and answer those questions in this brilliant book, made for those new to the art and science on how to hack growth.”
—Geoffrey Colon, Communications Designer at Microsoft and Author of Disruptive Marketing
"Two of the best marketers I know, Morgan Brown and Sean Ellis, have written a fun and accessible guidebook to growth hacking and marketing. If your mandate is to drive high leverage growth, then is book is your new best friend."
—Patrick Vlaskovits, New York Times Bestselling Author of Hustle and The Lean Entrepreneur
"Hacking Growth is the definitive guide to building authentic, sustainable, compounding growth for your company. If you want to know how proven growth practitioners at fast-growing companies do what they do-- pick up this book." --Annabell Satterfield, Growth Mentor, 500 Startups
"A terrific book [that] belongs up there with Geoffrey Moore, Eric Ries and Steve Blank’s books as a fundamental part of the canon of StartUpLand" -- Jeff Bussgang, Harvard Business School Lecturer, and general partner at Flybridge Capital Partners
About the Author
Sean Ellis is CEO and cofounder of GrowthHackers.com, the number one online community built for growth hackers, with 1.8 million global users. Sean coined the term "growth hacker" in 2010, and is the producer of the Growth Hackers Conference. He regularly speaks to start-ups and Fortune 100s and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Fast Company, Inc.com, and TechCrunch.
Morgan Brown is a startup-marketing veteran and launched GrowthHackers.com with Sean. Both speak regularly at major conferences including SXSW, TechWeek, HubSpot, and others.
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I recently interviewed an author of a marketing book who maintains that if you, as a marketer have not read Robert Cialdini’s seminal book published in 1984, "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion", that you simply cannot be taken seriously as a marketer. He’s absolutely correct. There’s another book that is going to be added to the list of books that marketers must read to be taken seriously, and that is “Hacking Growth.” And the reason for this is because marketers are too focused on traditional marketing and not on the financial realities of their companies.
A recent McKinsey study of publicly traded companies showed absolutely no correlation between marketing investment and growth rates. Another study of CEOs views of traditional marketing, conducted by the Fournaise Group, reported that 73% of CEOs think marketers lack business credibility and are not-effectiveness focused enough.” And 72% of CEOs agreed with the statement that marketers “are always asking for money but can barely explain how much incremental business this money will generate.”
Growth hacking enables companies to achieve breakout growth without pouring money into outdated and horribly expensive marketing campaigns with questionable business value. Devising features that get consumers to love a product or service and spread the word to their friends, and create hacks to reach customers in new, measurable ways, is taking the place of cash-guzzling marketing and ad campaigns, and the upside is enormous. Traditional marketing is a bit like bloodletting to cure a patient. It was done for centuries and continued because it was generally believed by experts to be beneficial. But it wasn’t.
So if you think of traditional marketing as bloodletting, think of growth hacking as modern medicine. Put simply, every company needs to grow their base of customers in order to survive and thrive. It's about how to engage, activate, and win them over so they keep coming back for more. It's about how to adapt nimbly to their ever-changing needs and desires and turn them not only into a growing source of revenue, but also passionate investors and an engine of word-of-mouth growth for your company.
Growth hacking is a new fundamental business methodology that all companies, and every founder, every corporate team leader, and every department head and CEO who needs to meet high expectations, produce meaningful results, and achieve their business goals with limited investment and maximum return on their marketing dollars must adopt.
"Hacking Growth" is the first practical, accessible, step-by-step playbook to hacking growth - written by one of its founders and in collaboration with one of its most expert practitioners, that can be adopted by any team, department, or company of any stripe.
And to listen to an interview with Sean Ellis about "Hacking Growth", visit MarketingBookPodcast.com
Another one of those high impact, general organizational innovations is the rise of the Growth function. I have written about this phenomenon a fair amount. The founder of this movement is Sean Ellis, a brilliant marketer who has been a part of successful startups like LogMeIn and Dropbox and become so passionate about the growth movement that he started a company and community dedicated to it: GrowthHackers.com. His book is a terrific one and belongs up there with Geoffrey Moore, Eric Ries and Steve Blank’s books as a fundamental part of the canon of StartUpLand (since, as everyone knows, entrepreneurship is like a religion).
I have long admired Sean’s work and have had him as a guest in my HBS Entrepreneurship class. I preach the use of his “40% test” to all my startups and students (i.e., would > 40% of your customers be very disappointed if your product were to disappear?). Thus, I had high expectations when I learned he was writing a book that would codify his decade of experience launching, building and advising growth teams. Reading the book, I was not disappointed.
Sean and Morgan cover the key elements of what the growth function does, how to build it, operationalize it, measure it and ensure success. Chock full of case studies and practical examples, the book gives a practical guide for the practitioner. In addition to synthesizing his best blog posts (and others) on the topic, it covers new ground by providing more detailed, pragmatic frameworks (e.g., how to measure and prioritize growth ideas using the ICE method: assessing impact, confidence and ease). It also introduces a concept I love, “channel/product fit”, which provides six factors for ranking potential acquisition channels, assisting with prioritization (based on a technique used at Hubspot by another extraordinary growth leader, Brian Balfour). The step-by-step approach to hacking acquisition, hacking activation, hacking retention and hacking monetization will be invaluable for executives at companies of any size.
Some critics have claimed that Growth Hacking is just a fancy name for Marketing. In response to this question, Sean joked with me once that he invented a new label because the marketing function was valued so lowly in StartUpLand as compared to product and sales functions. Whatever you call it, the insights and rigorous approach behind enlisting cross-functional teams to break down silos and use out-of-the-box, creative thinking to conduct rapid, real-time marketing tests is a major innovation that deserves study. Reading Hacking Growth is a good first step in that
For example, in typical businesses the marketing and sales departments are responsible for growth, but Brown and Ellis show how that way of working is now outdated. Many of the examples show how growth comes from things such as better customer retention and better pricing, and how the best companies test their assumptions continually to find what works best.
The best part about this book is that it's actionable now, but the processes don't have a shelf life, they just make good business sense. I think any leader can read it and put it into practice, and it will be a manageable guide for their team, too. Definitely recommend!
Most recent customer reviews
This should be the first book every digital marketer and product manager should read...Read more
Just like Eric Ries' Lean Startup book
This book feels like it's teeming with potential
But writers of both books are woefully...Read more