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More and more frequently we hear about growth hacking marketing, a set of web marketing strategies that aim at making businesses bigger by increasing the number of potential customers.

Initially conceived and designed for start-ups, growth hacking marketing is becoming one of the most followed approaches by all types of organizations, from the smaller ones to the larger ones.

We will now focus on its main features and on the marketing strategies that originate from it.


Before entering into the details of growth hacking marketing strategies, it is useful to give a short definition of the concept and describe the Growth Hacker’s characteristics.

The term, coined by Sean Ellis in 2010, indicates the process of rapid experimentation through a series of marketing channels to identify the most effective ways to grow a business.

The Growth Hacker is a person with a strong knowledge about online marketing, programming and with a good imagination, which allows him/her to develop innovative and successful marketing strategies. However, it is good to remember that the Growth Hackers are constantly evolving, always looking for new tools and strategies that allow to generate the greatest number of conversions and actions; in other words, to increase sales.


Although the growth hacking activity is complex and dependent on many variables, such as the type of product, the target to be reached, the sector in which it operates, etc., there are a number of tools that can simplify the work of Growth Hackers, as very effective tools of analysis.

A common tool for growth hacking is the exploitation of data to target the audience and maximize the conversion of potential customers.


All growth hacking strategies start from the premise of replicating the viral growth of start-ups like Facebook. Subsequently, all marketing channels must be measured.

In this regard, we often refer to the 5 indicators conceived by Dave McClure:

  • Acquisition: first contact between customers and product, typically through the registration to the site or service (starting data to analyze the most effective marketing channels for the company);
  • Activation: users start using the product (it is important to focus on this performance before investing in new acquisitions or developing new features);
  • Retention: strategy to make users return regularly (it is linked to the core business of the company; some products require daily use, others weekly or monthly use);
  • Referrals: effective word-of-mouth marketing useful in terms of ROI because it increases exponentially the users' base (many accesses are positive for publicity, brand and PR but it is necessary to measure how referrals become paying customers);
  • Revenue: revenue monitoring, crucial to avoid "vanity metrics" in the start-up.

The next step is the search for customer retention and analysis tools (such as cohort analysis) to study their behaviour.

Finally, there is no winning strategy without constant monitoring of performance and continuous adjustments.

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