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Growth hacking is a marketing technique developed by technology startups which uses creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure. It can be seen as part of the online marketing ecosystem, as in many cases growth hackers are simply good at using techniques such as search engine optimization, website analytics, content marketing and A/B testing which are already mainstream.
Growth hackers focus on low-cost and innovative alternatives to traditional marketing, e.g. utilizing social media and viral marketing instead of buying advertising through more traditional media such as radio, newspaper, and television.
Growth hacking is particularly important for startups, as it allows for a “lean” launch that focuses on “growth first, budgets second”. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, AirBnB and Dropbox are all companies that use growth hacking techniques.
This came as an email from Google on July 6, 2014:
A Farewell to Orkut
After ten years of sparking conversations and forging connections, we have decided that it’s time for us to start saying goodbye to Orkut. Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off, with communities springing up in every corner of the world. Because the growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut’s growth, we’ve decided to focus our energy and resources on making these other social platforms as amazing as possible for everyone who uses them.
We will shut down Orkut on 30 September 2014. Until then, there will be no impact on you, so you may have time to manage the transition. You can export your profile data, community posts and photos using Google Takeout (available until September 2016). We are preserving an archive of all public communities, which will be available online from 30 September 2014. If you don’t want your posts or name to be included in the community archive, you can remove Orkut permanently from your Google account. Please visit our Help Centre for any further details.
It’s been a great 10 years, and we apologise to those of you still actively using the service. We hope that you will find other online communities to spark more conversations and build even more connections for the next decade and beyond.
Good marketing, whatever form it takes, always meets certain criteria. That’s what makes it good. The following 10-Point checklist will help you determine if your marketing passes the test.
Evaluate one of your recent ads, promotions or other marketing activities to see how it measures up.
1. Does it focus on the solution or benefit you provide?
Too often ads simply list product or service features. Don’t make your prospects work that hard to figure out how your product or service can help them. Tell them straight out.
2. Does it have one, clear message?
What’s the one message you want to communicate? Make sure it’s not buried in too much information or it may not get across.
3. Is it focused on one, specific group of prospects?
Do you know who you are talking (and marketing) to? Make sure your marketing is targeted at one, specific group of prospects – it’s the only way to make sure you are addressing their needs.
4. Is it written in language these prospects can relate to?
If you want your message to resonate with your prospects, make sure it speaks to them, both in content and in the tone and language you use.
5. Does it feature your Unique Selling Proposition?
This is the ONE thing that sets you apart from every other product or service your prospect could possible buy to fulfill the same need. It better come across loud and clear in everything you do
6. Does it have one, compelling point of focus?
Ever see an ad with so many things in it you didn’t know where to look first? Your prospects won’t know either if you try to cram too much into your ads or promotional materials.
7. Does it accurately communicate your business’ personality?
Yes, your business has a personality and everything you do should reflect it. You want your prospects to feel like they “know” you. If you change your personality every week, they won’t come to know and trust you.
8. Does it give prospects more than one reason to respond?
Not everyone is ready to buy, or take the one, primary action you want them to take. Make sure you give them another reason to respond, or they are simply a lost lead.
9. Does it give prospects more than one way to respond?
Make it easy and convenient for prospects to take action. What if you only offer an email or web site address and someone doesn’t have computer access, or they’re away from their office but they want more information right now?
10. Do you have a specific objective for the marketing?
If you don’t know what your marketing is designed to achieve, then how will you know if it was successful? Always have a plan and an objective for everything you do.