Still a relatively new phrase to the marketing world, Growth Hacking is – as the name suggests – all about growth (and definitely not about hacking).

A common strategy for early stage startups, Growth Hacking is particularly useful for companies in need of massive growth in a short span of time and with a very limited budget. It focuses on low-cost alternatives to traditional marketing such as social media and online targeted advertising with an end goal of lowering cost-per-customer acquisition and a focus on long-term sustainability.

With marketing budgets continuously shrinking, marketers need to think outside the box to create more business growth with less resources and financial backing. This is why Growth Hacking is a popular tactic among startups as they need to create rapid growth in the early stages of their product or service launch to take a competitive stance in a volatile market.

The term “Growth Hacking” was first coined by former Dropbox CMO Sean Ellis in 2010, when he was recruiting a replacement for his position at a startup and found traditional marketers didn’t quite fit, and they needed something a little different.

To promote Dropbox quickly, Ellis decided to offer its users more data storage if they successfully referred a friend. Dropbox also made it possible to import Gmail contacts and share content directly on Facebook and Twitter, making the process of sharing Dropbox much easier.

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

Growth Hacking certainly isn’t intended to be a replacement for marketing, nor an improvement, it’s just an alternative.

While Marketers have to consider a number of variables including budget, conversions, leads etc. Growth Hackers have a sole and tunnel-vision focus on growth. Every decision made is based around a single question “Will this grow the business?” That is their mission.

One very effective example comes from the early days of Airbnb, who decided to add a ‘post to Craigslist’ feature to their property listings in the hopes of expanding their online presence while taking advantage of the at-the-time popular service.

Craigslist didn’t have a public API, so Airbnb had to reverse engineer how Craigslist’s forms worked, and then ensure their product was compatible, without ever having access to the Craigslist codebase. API’s are easy. Reverse engineering is not.

In other words, Airbnb did something that a traditional marketer would have a hard time envisioning, much less executing; reverse engineering a 3rd party website.

Now what can Growth Hacking do for B2B?

While Growth Hacking is certainly more prominent in B2C, there’s no reason to say it can’t be successfully integrated into the B2B playing field.

Compared to B2C, B2B has fewer customers, much larger purchases and a longer sales cycle. It also tends to think long-term (and in some cases very long-term) which does go against the grain as Growth Hacking tends to hit its goals in a fast-paced, short-term manner.

However, short-term gains are not something B2B companies have to disregard in favour of long-term, if anything, Growth Hacking proves there’s potential for both.

Marketing teams are under increasing pressure to deliver more results with less budget. To combat this lack of money and resources, Growth Hacking puts the focus exactly where it needs to be while also enhancing innovation, scalability, and user connectivity, pushing your business to bigger heights.

In the next articles we will see some examples of how to apply  to B2B by capturing and profiling contacts from the social media in a scalable way.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about how Expandi Group can implement a Growth Hacking campaign for your business please contact us at