Sorry marketers, growth hackers you are not.
At many technology companies and start-ups traditional marketing have transforming into growth hacking. So why do growth hackers exists and will we see this role become a more broadly accepted job title in companies outside of technology?
There are many varying definitions of the role of a growth hacker although the consistent themes is that they are creative, they look for opportunity to leverage changing consumer behaviour outside of traditional marketing activities as well as having a solid understanding of both technology and analytics. In essence they think of things a marketer would not have come up with, or known it was even possible.
They exist because of the need for start-ups to grow quickly, they need to build scale using viral loops. They need to find the opportunities that new technology brings and develop strategies when consumer behaviour is changing.
Many marketers would argue that growth hacking is their role in some way or another, and it probably seems cool to have a new title as it reflects the change in which marketers need to operate in the ever changing digital world.
The only problem is that there is a big difference between the role of a growth hacker and a marketer and that comes from the landscape in which they operate. A start-up faces many different challenges than well established organisations, while marketing budgets is one big difference the other is the desperate need to grow and maintain market share when new competitors can enter the market in the blink of an eye. A small shift in market share can be the difference between winning and losing.
In other words, a grow fast or die landscape exists within technology start-ups where organic growth is not an option, a very different environment from where a marketer operates within more traditional industries. A marketer has the time that a growth hacker does not, they may experiment with growth hacking strategies but the measures of success can be lost amongst larger marketing efforts.
Despite this marketers have a lot of learn from hackers and so expect to see them become popular draw cards at many industry events over the next few years.