Growth hacking is a rather new phenomenon in business development. Let’s have a closer look at the methodology behind Growth Hacking.

The concept ‘growth hacking’ was launched by Sean Ellis (at that time marketing VP for paypal). Sean Ellis sees a growth hacker as  “‘someone who uses creative, low-cost strategies to help businesses acquire and remain customers”.

Growth hackers are not marketeers. Traditional marketeers are often most active in the “awareness” and “acquisition” of potential leads. Growth hackers have impact on a wider range of activities, such as the product development process, the marketing funnel, the sales funnel and the customer journey. And now also Intellectual Property is a main key for growth hacking.


Too often (digital) marketing campaigns start were the product development stops. Marketeers sell and advertise the finished product. “The product is ready, so now we make the market fit”.

However, a real product market fit doesn’t mean you have the best product on earth. On the contrary, it means your product matches it’s audience like no other product on earth.

Looking for that product market fit gives the product development a clear scope and goal. If the case, developers can make adjustments early on. Growth hackers prefer to intervene at those early stages in the product development. They test every idea/prototype/proof of concept/product AND the target market.

Early testing ensures the product/market fit is solid and consistent with the identified target audiences. This approach also brings the fundamentals to run effective growth hacking campaigns.

To do growth hacking correctly, three main principles should be followed. In addition, growth hackers use three strategies. This blogpost explains those principles and strategies.



The creative aspect of growth marketing is crucial. It allows small, tailored resources to achieve great results. Of course, traditional marketing strategies, like billboarding or TV-spots, should not be abandoned. However, agile and to the point marketing channels will lead to greater results. Especially if a well defined content strategy supports these channels (there again: a good product/market fit allows to create a good, deep and relatable story around the brand of a company).


Technology is the best friend of a growth hacker. State-of-the-art software and toolings are fundamental to build a growth hacking strategy, already in the stage of briefing and pre-analysis.

Everything starts with analyzing the company’s brand, the market, competitors and search engines. Growth hackers use different existing research tools during this process. When those are not available, growth hackers build those tools themselves (in accordance with the specific needs of every single product and/or situation).

Later in this blog post we will explain how growth hackers use different traction channels. At first, they prioritize the most promising channels. Then, the team tests each of those channels. First by hand. Later, when a channel gains the expected traction, the process will be automated. Running these tests in a methodological way will generate even bigger data. Those (big) data are perfect for data analytics.


The data gathered from the first round of tests are crucial. The analysis of those results define the outlook of every campaign. Growth hackers use tools (based on artifial intelligence (AI) and others) to run those analysis’s.

Who are people in the market segments with traction? How do they respond to the campaign we just launched? What way did we reach them? How did they find us? What content did they see? Where did we loose them?

The answers to all those questions provide growth hackers with great insights. Consequently, growth hackers use this information to adjust the campaigns. Not because they feel like it, but because the science of numbers says they have to.

Effective growth hacking campaigns deserve a very agile, smart-oriented approach: stop loosing time on what is not gaining traction, and push even harder on what seems to get the preferred response.


There are 4 main strategies for growth hacking. In this blog post we introduce these strategies briefly. But keep an eye on this blog, because in other posts each of those strategies will be explained thoroughly.


Growth hackers believe in an omnichannel approach, from lead to loyalty. Therefore, a growth team brainstorms around multiple possible traction channels at the beginning of each project. Traction channels aim to reach people, to create brand awareness and to activate potential leads into to the sales funnel.

Traction channels are broad, and can be successfully applied in traditional marketing and digital marketing. The approaches towards these channels are agile, and flexible going back and forth from traditional to digital.

The main channels are: targeting blogs, Publicity, Search Engine Marketing (SEM)/Search engine optimization (SEO) / Search Engine Advertisements (SEA), social and display ads, offline ads, email marketing, content marketing, viral marketing, engineering as marketing, (international) business development, affiliate programs, offline events, trade shows and community building.

It would lead too far to explain all of them in this blogpost. Check our website to get more information, or plan a free briefing to discover what we can offer to your company.


The marketing strategies will lead to brand awareness. More people will get to know your brand.

Those potential leads are monitored trough their complete customer journey. At every stage of the sales process (awareness, activation, acquisition, retention, revenue, referral and loyalty), the touchpoints between the brand and the clients must be observed and analyzed.

For each of those touchpoints a thorough data analysis will be conducted. The insights gathered will be used to impact the less performing touchpoints and push the better performing ones.

The main goal: taking clients on an epic customer journey. Automation (again) will be a key feature: the less effort clients perform to achieve their great experience, the more the process results in happy customers at the stages of revenue and referral.


“A product without Intellectual Property is just a commodity.”

Too many businesses forget their products and services, as well as the methodology to produce and commercialize them, are born in their minds. This means that under certain circumstances they have the right to claim them as an intellectual property, which confers exclusivity by its own nature.

The maze of international laws around intellectual property, patents, trademarks, industrial designs or copyrights are scaring a lot of owners away from protecting and eventually enforcing their unique and exclusive rights-to-be.

However, this scary complexity might be turned into one of businesses main weapons for growth.

Also in this field, too often the interest towards the company’s existing or potential intellectual property and the role it might play in the business growth, starts where the product development stops. But also in this case, this is not how an effective growth that takes potential intangible rights into account should work.

Businesses’ intellectual property should be considered, evaluated and assessed at every stage of the product development process. This allows businesses to gain full control of their assets, definitively when materializing ideas gain traction in the market.


The international expansion of a business is not the most common step. It is very difficult to put this in a general strategy. Every business and every national market has its own specifics, and thus has every expansion to be strategized differently.

Growth hackers perceive Internationalization as the way to go when the national market is saturated. If the traction channels and sales strategies no longer fulfill the needs of a specific market, it will be time to look abroad.

With this purpose, multilanguage and multicultural teams of experts are essential to guide businesses into one of those markets. For every product, a specific product/market fit for the chosen “foreign” market must be defined.

Development experts analyse the possible burdens in the market of expansion and convert those legal, cultural and organizational burdens into profitable possibilities. Obviously, those possibilities are endless: in every new market the growth hacking loop starts over again.

#NotOnlyIdeas growth hacking and Business accelerator
#NotOnlyIdeas – Growth hackers, from lead to loyalty