Weekend Reading: “Hacking Growth” by Sean Ellis

For the 121st episode of The Marketing Book Podcast, I interviewed Sean Ellis, co-author with Morgan Brown of Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success.

Sean Ellis coined the term “growth hacker” in 2010. Unfortunately, the term growth hacking is often thought to be all about devising clever workarounds that break the rules of existing websites and social platforms. Far from it.

Growth hacking drives growth by focusing intensely on customers: attaining them, retaining them, and engaging them, and motivating them to come back and buy more.

It creates cross-functional growth teams that combine expertise and product development, analytics, engineering, and marketing in order to rapidly generate, prioritize, and test ideas for growth.

And, growth hacking is an antidote to the increasingly dubious returns of traditional marketing.

The authors explain…

How bad has traditional marketing become? A recent McKinsey study of publicly traded software companies showed absolutely no correlation between marketing investment and growth rates. Zero.

Another study, of CEO’s views of traditional marketing, conducted by the Fournaise Marketing Group, reported that ” 73% of CEOs think marketers lack business credibility and are not effectiveness-focused enough,” and 72% of CEOs agreed with the statement that marketers “are always asking for money but can rarely explain how much incremental business this money will generate.”

Growth hacking empowers companies to achieve breakout growth without pouring money into outdated and horribly expensive marketing campaigns of questionable business value.

A bit more about the book…

Douglas Burdett

Douglas Burdett is the Principal of Artillery, a B2B marketing agency and is host of The Marketing Book Podcast. He is a former artillery officer, Madison Avenue ad man and stand-up comedian.