Growth Hacking: How to Hack Consumer Consciousness

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Growth hacking has become an ever-present buzz phrase for startups all over the world. Although it has been around only for a few years, this marketing strategy has become massively popular. However, many entrepreneurs struggle with understanding the concept of growth hacking and how it differs from traditional marketing techniques.

What is Growth Hacking?

Sean Ellis

The phrase “growth hacker” was first created by Sean Ellis in 2010. Sean, an experienced marketer, very quickly became the go-to guy for companies in the Valley who needed to boost their growth and do it fast. He put in place systems, processes, and mindsets to not just initiate the growth but to keep the companies on an upward trajectory after his work was done. It is when Sean started to look for his replacement that he realized searching for traditional marketers would not give him people with the right skill set. Thus, he began his search for “growth hackers”.

“A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth.” Sean Ellis


The focus of traditional marketers is scattered over several different areas including growth. However, growth hacking is about focusing every effort and activity towards growth. It is more about achieving the final objective than following the conventional rules. Thus, growth hackers often come up with creative and innovative ideas to propel the business into consumer consciousness. In other words, a true growth hacker is a person that is witty, original and inventive.

Growth Hacking In Practice

There is no better way to demonstrate the impact of this approach than taking a look at the most iconic success stories.




DropBox hacked their growth with an incredibly simple yet powerful idea, friend referrals. They offered free storage space as an incentive to anyone who referred a friend to sign up for the service. The referrals skyrocketed Dropbox signups by an impressive 60% and really put the company on the map.


There is no need to introduce Airbnb, a platform that lets anyone turn their home or extra space into a hotel. Accommodation business is not the easiest one to break into. Nonetheless, Airbnb managed it by cleverly leveraging Craigslist, a site where hundreds of thousands of people rented out and looked for accommodation. It was not easy; they had to reverse-engineer Craigslist’s code to enable users to post newly created Airbnb listings directly on Craigslist. And the company grew like wildfire.


LinkedIn did not grow into the largest professional network overnight. However, their trial and error led the company to implement bulletproof growth hacking strategies that eventually led them to the top. LinkedIn noticed that most signups come from visiting the home page rather than the email campaigns. Thus, they enabled users to create public profiles which meant they would show up in an organic search and spread the awareness. Today, if you type a name or a company name into Google, LinkedIn profiles are among the top search results. LinkedIn gap professionals online visibility that did not exist before.

How Can You Hack the Growth of your Business?

Growth hacking

The issue with growth hacking is that there is no exact recipe. This precise issue is also the reason why it is so immensely successful. It is all about personalization, looking at what works for your product, type of business and industry. You, too, can try and apply growth hacking strategies to your startup.

  1. Hire the Right People: A job well-done always starts with people hired to do it. Do not compromise on the quality of your employees and if you decide to hire a growth hacker, make sure to do your research.
  2. Collect and Analyze Data: It will help you define what actions are more likely to drive your growth or conduct controlled experiments to get a deeper insight into consumer behavior. Make sure you have a solid database system in place.
  3. Review Techniques for Customer Attraction: Blogging, content creation, audio or video are often good ways to attract potential customers and spread awareness of the brands. The key is to identify what is most effective for your product.

Growth hacking deserves its place among the most effective marketing techniques available. Its success can be accredited to the creativity and innovation that often hides behind smart growth hacks. Nonetheless, it needs to be approached with caution and patience. If there is a lesson to be taken from this short introduction, it is crucial to take the time to look for the right person for the job.

If you have any questions or experiences with growth hacking, please share them with us bellow in the comments.

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