A recruiter looking for a Growth Hacker contacted me recently and my immediate reaction was “I wonder what that position was called two-months ago.”
That seemingly innocent LinkedIn message from a recruiter just trying to do their job, combined with the facts that any marketing tactic is now considered a “Growth Hack” and anyone with any involvement with Marketing – at any level and in any function – calls themselves a Growth Hacker – has made me question everything.
I originally liked the term Growth Hacking because I thought it most accurately defined what I do for my SaaS clients; I help them grow – rapidly and sustainably – by taking full advantage of the SaaS Business Model and unique distribution methods.
From in-app Conversion Optimization and Retention strategies, to viral expansion in the most staid B2B product categories, Growth Hacking finally encapsulated what I do.
But I didn’t gravitate to the term Growth Hacker on my own. In fact, it wasn’t until Bronson Taylor interviewed me for Growthhacker.tv that I realized this term fit. BTW, that was WAY back in July 2013.
In the months since, however, I feel like the term Growth Hacker has started to lose it’s meaning… that it’s been bastardized and co-opted by anyone and everyone.
Growth Hacking – the term – is now just linkbait people use to get traffic while they rehash the Hotmail and AirBnB “hacks” or talk about SEO or Copywriting or [any generic marketing tactic] and tag it #growthhacking.
Cut to the end of December 2013 and I’m lost.
I’m not usually one that needs definitions, rules, structure,… but I’m not concerned about me.
If Growth Hacking is to mean anything to anybody – and if true Growth Hackers are to stand out from the crowd – then I think it might be time for some parameters around the term.
Otherwise it’s nothing more than a nerdy term of self-endearment we stick in our Twitter bio like ninja or rock star. Who cares.
So once again, I turn to Bronson from Growthhacker.tv. My sage… my sherpa… my guiding light in this time of darkness.
I emailed Bronson, told him what’s going on in my mind and asked him to comment on the current state of the Growth Hacker movement… he said this was just the catalyst for his Growth Hacker Manifesto, and I’m excited for him to share it with us.
I’ll let Bronson take over…