Book:  Growth Hacker Marketing

Author:  Ryan Holiday

Purchase:  PrinteBook | Audiobook

Citation:   Holiday, R. (2014). Growth hacker marketing : a primer on the future of PR, marketing, and advertising. New York, New York: Portfolio/Penguin.

Key Ideas & Big Takeaways:

  • A growth hacker is someone who has thrown out the playbook of traditional marketing. Their tools are emails, data targeting and blogs instead of commercials, publicity, and money. Growth hackers relentlessly pursue users and growth - and when they do it right, those users become evangelists for products, bringing more users with them. Growth hackers are the inventors, operators, and mechanics of a self-sustaining growth machine that can take a company from zero to one hundred or a hundred million. (pg. xxvi)

  • The best marketing decision you can make is to have a product or business that fulfills a real and compelling need for a real and defined group of people - no matter how much tweaking and refining this takes. As Paul Graham has put it, "The best way to increase a start-up's growth rate is to make the product so good people recommend it to their friends." (pg. 2)

  • While specific tools will come and go, the quantitative insights will get you closer to market fit than gut instincts likely ever will. (pg. 15)

  • You should not only encourage sharing of your content, but create powerful incentives to do so. If your product isn't doing that right now, why would anyone share it? But if you do it right, people will advertise your product and feel like they are the ones getting something out of it! (pg. 42)

  • If you want to go viral, it must be baked into your product and the experience. There must be a reason to share something and the means and motivation to do so. You can't just expect your users to become evangelists of your product - you've got to provide the incentives and the platform for them to do so. (pg. 52)

  • A growth hacker uses all available information to figure out where those problems are and then does something about them as soon as possible. (pg. 65)

  • Retention is easier than acquisition. You've already got people here - now just don't lose them! Forget the conventional wisdom that says if a company lacks growth, it should invest in more sales and marketing. Instead, it should also invest in refining and improving the customer service itself until users are so happy that they can't stop using the service (and their friends come along with them!) (pg. 66)

  • How you get someone's attention or get them to sign up, that's what marketing is about - but how do you manage their initial experiences and groom them to be a great customer or client or fan? Getting email addresses is hard work - why would we want to waste our opportunity to develop a hopefully lifelong relationship with someone we worked so hard to connect with? (pg. 68)

  • With every chapter written, we wanted bite-sized pieces of content that would immediately provide value to the reader. If you pick up the book and open it to a random page, we want you to get something out of it. (pg. 80)

  • What's stopping you from building an audience? If you plan on launching a business or a book in a few months or a few years, start building your platform - and your network - today. It will make your launch much easier. (pg. 82)

  • I will never write another book again where I didn't test parts of the material publicly in articles and discussions. It's just too risky - and too stupid. Feedback makes you better and more than compensates for any loss of the element of surprise. (pg. 95)

Copyright © 2019 by Dr. Jared Smith LLC.  Specializing in Leadership, Education, and Personal Growth.