SaaS Growth Hacking
Thanks to a few phenomenally successful campaigns and visions of best case scenarios, growth hacking tactics have received a lot of positive attention in recent times. But as the techniques and their results are analyzed it’s becoming apparent that there’s a right and a wrong way to use these tools. Or, at least, there’s a time, a place, and an implementation. Cloud Based Software As A Service (SaaS) companies such as Dropbox, Pinterest, and Airbnb boast a few of the most wildly successful strategies contrived to date (Excellent 2015 Marketing Statistics List), but with the ever-evolving global tech and business climate, ‘old’ tactics aren’t likely to yield positive results without new twists on the invention.
Never again will we see massive success stories that are merely revamps of old hits – unless you’re writing teen vampire novels, in which case give it 10 to 15 years. Video marketing is a trend expected to flourish in 2016, and additionally ensuring your growth hacks account for the massive traffic routed by search engines and social networks could ramp up achievements.
- A few key points to keep in mind: Match-make growth hacking and products/services: You’re going to need a synergy between the two, ideally with a key representative closely involved in the development of both.
- Spot trends: All the information you could possibly need is flying about, but Big Data often results in a case of not seeing the wood for all the trees. Learn to extract pertinent points but also know when to back off. Just because you think something rocks, doesn’t mean anyone else is going to care, and a rework is likely to yield better results than soldiering on.
- Change the way you think: Growth hacking comes into play when traditional marketing methods aren’t likely to succeed. This isn’t the time for crossing your ‘T’s and dotting your ‘I’s. Be creative, think outside of the box, and be willing to take calculated risks.
- Communicate & Incentivize: Creative doesn’t mean disorganized. Ensure your communication is easily understood and followed by both your team and your potential customers. And then save money by getting your customers to market for you – a little freebie often goes a long way to positive word of mouth and heightened product uptake.
- Sadly, there is no growth hacking template or checklist. Strategies and tactics often work only once, and success usually boils down to the right attitude, genuine curiosity, and the ability to try, and fail, adapt, and invent.
- Popularity alone only survives through high school: Simply creating a buzz isn’t enough. If you’re building products or services that don’t have the end users in mind, no amount of popularity will result in success. Unless you’ve built a pyramid scheme that is, at the very least, frowned upon in many countries, illegal in most. Back to the drawing board, please.
- Don’t forget about loyalty: Many businesses focus on building up new users before ensuring the satisfaction of the loyal early adopters. Growth hacks that run roughshod over your faithful flock in an attempt to recruit new masses miss the success that personal referrals, word of mouth, and client satisfaction promise.
- Don’t be aggressive: This isn’t telecanvassing. Aggressive, underhanded strategies trample on your reputation and miss the point of the clever loopholes that drive customer numbers as well as satisfaction.
Unless you’re selling thin in chocolate sauce, your product won’t sell itself: Don’t let the beauty of your growth hack so over-awe you that you forget to measure its success. Analyze your data, find out what’s working, and optimize it. Repeat…
By Jennifer Klostermann