Marketing a new approach to the business of selling
Author says that coding and technical savvy are now an essential part of being a great marketer
Author Ryan Holiday
If you want your new product to succeed in today’s marketplace, abandon almost everything you learnt in college about marketing. It is arguable if it really worked well in the past but it certainly won’t work now. That’s the message from author Ryan Holiday in his book Growth Hacker Marketing.
Holiday combines his current role as marketing director of fashion house American Apparel with work as a media strategist.
After dropping out of college at 19 to apprentice under best-selling author Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, he went on to advise many bestselling authors, businesses, and multiplatinum musicians. His campaigns have been used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube, and Google and written about in Ad Age, The New York Times and Fast Company.
The central idea of this book is that traditional marketing, with its emphasis on print ads, press releases and big launches is an inefficient route to market. Through the use of so-called growth hackers, marketers can reach out directly to consumers, tweak products and deliver explosive viral results.
Growth hackers, he says, trace their roots back to programmers – and that’s how they view themselves. “They are data scientists meets design fiends meets marketers. They welcome this information, process it and utilise it differently, and see it as desperately needed clarity in a world that has been dominated by gut instincts and artistic preference for too long.”
Growth hackers, he explains, are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor and email deliverability.
“Their job isn’t to ‘do’ marketing as I had always known it; it’s to grow companies really fast – to take something from nothing and make it something enormous within an incredibly tight window . . . The entire marketing team is being disrupted. Rather than having a VP of marketing with a bunch of nontechnical marketers reporting to them, instead growth hackers are engineers leading teams of engineers,” he says.
The new job title of “Growth Hacker” is integrating itself into Silicon Valley’s culture, he adds, emphasising that coding and technical savvy are now an essential part of being a great marketer.
What growth hackers do is focus on the “who” and “where” more scientifically, in a more measurable way. Whereas marketing was once brand based, with growth hacking, it becomes metric and ROI driven.