Growth Hacking Marketing: the relevance of the model in the startup world

Growth Hacking Marketing: the relevance of the model in the startup world

Marketing is, in a few simple words, the vehicle through which the brand image is built.

For a startup, the planning and execution of the first marketing activities is a particularly delicate phase, on which the success or failure of the business idea depends.

Beyond the innovative technology and underlying business model, a startup will have difficulty surviving without a marketing strategy focused on acquiring customers.

There are several critical issues with which startups must clash, especially the  scarcity of funds , or the total absence, to devote to communication activities. A common mistake is to  neglect the preliminary analysis phase , which is useful to define clear and measurable marketing objectives and to choose the communicative approach suitable for the target audience.

So what are the fundamental aspects to consider when marketing for startups ?

The initial market research and the careful planning of each initiative are essential elements of any communication plan.

For a startup it is vital to constantly monitor the activities carried out through specific KPIs that allow to evaluate the results obtained, correcting any wrong choices during the work or, conversely, dedicating more resources to those that have proved correct.

The founders of a startup must necessarily possess an open mind approach and therefore be flexible in testing innovative communication strategies, far from the canons of traditional marketing.

When it comes to marketing for startups , it is common to hear about growth hacking , an English term coined in 2010 by US entrepreneur Sean Ellis, famous for having promoted the exponential growth of startup companies such as Dropbox, EventBrite and LogMelm. In his book “Hacking Growth”, Ellis defines the growth hacking as “a quick trial process through a variety of marketing channels to identify the most effective ways to grow a business.”

Unlike traditional marketing, which uses large budgets and tests advertising initiatives only at the end, growth hacking marketing uses continuous tests and modifications to find the solution that fits perfectly to the target audience. It uses low-cost and highly profitable promotional channels to make its products or services known to a first niche of users.

According to this approach, a startup must offer benefits to the first users of its products or services, with the aim of encouraging them to speak well of the company with their circle of knowledge. Through the positive word-of-mouth mechanism, the startup will gain popularity at reduced costs, improving its reputation and expanding its customers.

If growth hacking marketing mainly uses digital channels because they offer the possibility of quickly testing and modifying their communication strategies, for a startup it is still possible to plan some offline marketing activities. An example is the participation in trade fairs, conferences or events attended by the public that wants to reach.

The BizPlace Team

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