Ryan Holiday begins this book as a typical marketing executive.
When he's not approving new creative, he's analyzing the success of traditional advertising outlets his company has enlisted.
As he basically explains it, he wasn't trying to grow the company, he was simply placing ads, and there is a huge difference.
The name of the book is "Growth Hacker Marketing" because to be a marketer in this modern age means you need to be able to hack into the activities of potential customers in ways, for the most part, nobody has done before. This is how and where you convince them to buy your stuff.
He cites many examples of this, and even divulges the entire system he used to catapult Tim Ferris's book, The Four Hour Chef, to unparalleled success, even compared to other books that used traditional advertising outlets.
Also, I like that Holiday keys product development as an integral part of successful marketing:
The old way—where product development and marketing were two distinct and separate processes—has been replaced.
All too often, marketers are given the task of promoting inferior products, and one of the most critical aspect of any good program is driving word of mouth which creates new customers in perpetuity.
As a result, a customer may buy once, and never buy again or refer anyone to the company, which drastically increases the cost of customer acquisition. Unfortunately, the company will always blame the marketing, and not their product for shortage of returns.
While there are no concrete formulas given in this book of how to hack growth, there are a lot of practical examples and case studies to inspire you.
Also, the elements of growth hacking are pointed out repeatedly:
- Grow your email list
- Promote through people who have your market's attention
- Use a combination of Social Media ads and landing pages
All of these elements can be used to measure, and drive, lead creation.
When I sat down to take my first marketing course at Rutgers, I asked the professor how to measure marketing.
I'll never forget his response, because it inspired me to drop the class and never take marketing at a traditional University.
He quoted John Wanamaker:
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.
In this technical age, there is no excuse not to be able to measure, and create, the seemingly countless ways a company's growth can be exponentially increased.
This was a great book that I highly recommend!
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