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- Have you hugged your Growth Hacker today?
There is abundant content on the internet, explaining the importance of growth hacking for user growth and how it differs from traditional marketing. You will find inspiring blogs and captivating stories about how different companies growth-hacked their way to success. You will find books on growth hacking that - true to the topic - have successfully growth-hacked their way to high ratings on Amazon as well.
The content points out the various strategies, past experiences and successful growth hacks that have worked for a particular product, company or service. The authors recognize that the detailed hacks may not verbatim apply to your unique product.
Growth Hackers have a Herculean task
Growth hackers have a very demanding job that when done right can make a product successful.
In his most quoted blog, Sean Ellis made an insightful statement emphasizing the magnitude of responsibility on the shoulders of a Growth Hacker, "Everything they do, is scrutinized by its potential impact on scalable growth."
Growth Hackers have a very narrow, exceedingly critical, singular and obsessive focus. Focus of growing the users of a website, mobile app running on a smart phone, smart display or wearable. They are masters of product and distribution and attempt to unearth tweaks and hacks to acquire new users, convert them into retained users and finally develop them into loyal users so they can be effectively monetized.
Growth hacking is part-art and part-science
The art being the need to try approaches to find out what works. It includes creativity and adopting a different kind of mindset based on frequent experimentation, testing, and data. Growth Hacks are very similar to throwing darts on a dart board with outcomes ranging from hitting the bullseye, hitting an outer circle, hitting the board but not long enough, to not even make a dent on the dart board. Some growth hacks may be outright ineffective, some may have a very short lifespan and a few may be successful and a select few successful and repeatable.
The science being the insights, data-science and intelligence available to a Growth hacker, that firstly, provides confidence in every decision, strategy, campaign, experiment and approach undertaken, secondly reveals the success and lifespan of that hack and lastly, gives an indication on when to pull the plug on a growth hack that has outlived it’s lifespan or failed to deliver optimal user growth results.
The data science behind successful growth hacks
Growth hacks are always masterminded and their success is heavily dependent on the growth hackers’ patience and creativity on one hand, and the relevancy and accuracy of the data intelligence on the other. A visionary data-driven mindset and the ability to try many approaches quickly using analytics tools and real-time intelligence is what differentiates successful growth hackers from others.
Is your service Mobile only? Mobile first? WatchOS only? Web first?
Growth hacking methods, best practices, and techniques that worked well for your website may not necessarily work verbatim for your mobile apps - or even your wearable app or your smart display app. A mobile growth hacker is mindful of the differences in platforms and user patterns on these platforms.
Even user behaviors and patterns of users using multiple devices (e.g. tablet and smartphone) are significantly different and heavily specific to the device they using. The behavior of the same app by the same user, for instance, was characteristically different on iPhone and iPad. It is important for most categories of apps to not aggregate behaviors across device types.
It is not uncommon to develop GH strategies that are different for different platforms.
Accurate answers. Now.
Growth hacking is a lot of experimentation to find out what works and what does not. You do not want to wait for your tools to catch up with your thinking. Current Analytical tools require the Growth Hackers to manually analyze data, at times paired with data scientists, instead of focusing on growing hacking the product. Mobile growth hacking mechanisms with shorter lifespans and longer analysis times make current tools frustratingly difficult to use.
For instance, how many of my app users have moderate to high attrition risk and had high In-App Purchases in the last 28 days.
You want such answers in sub-seconds rather than running massive map-reduce jobs or exporting the data to another service and running expensive big queries requiring multiple resources who are busy with the product.
Segmentation at Mobile scale?
Facebook ended 2015 with 1.6 billion monthly active users with 87% on mobile. Mary Meeker reported mobile is growing 12x web. So, is 10 Million users the new 1 Million users? Chris Dixon and Dave McClure agree for the web. There are 250 million more mobile devices than desktops/laptops and the difference is growing every day. It is certainly possible for a mobile app to have 10 million and much more users. It is, however, impossible to effectively segment and analyze users using traditional analytics tools developed for web.
Growth hackers need tools that can keep up with mobile scale.
Have you hugged your Growth Hacker today?
Growth Intelligence is more than growth hacking and growth tactics you use. It is the ability to make the right choices quickly. It is understanding you apps' levers of growth and building a successful mobile app organization around it.
Article by Dickey Singh
Dickey Singh is the CEO and co-founder at Pyze and has over two decades of experience in mobile, Big Data and SaaS. He started Pyze to help all app publishers build successful mobile businesses by personalizing and automating relationship building with their users.
Pyze Growth Intelligence® is a transformative SaaS platform that enables app publishers to automate engagement, retention and growth of their users.