When NASSCOM reached out to me and Mitul for a couple of mentoring workshops on Digital Marketing for the start-ups and small business owners, we instantly knew that it had to be a Growth Hacking masterclass.
We proposed the session agenda to Nirupam Chaudhuri (Eastern Regional Director of NASSCOM) and he instantly agreed.
What followed were a couple of Growth Hacking masterclasses in Kolkata and Bhuvaneswar attended by several young entrepreneurs, sales and marketing professionals, and business owners.
We categorised the Growth Hacking workshop in 3 distinct sessions:
- Why should business owners care?
- Decoded with real-life case studies
- Growth Hacking In Action
Digital Marketing is a buzzword now. As a result, it has allured business owners to engage in this form of Marketing. The best part is that Digital Marketing is not confined to ones with huge budget. Even start-ups and SMEs can leverage the dividends of Digital media if they have the right mindset.
Growth Hacking is basically a mindset which is non-linear. Digital is a vast term. From experience to automation, from marketing to communication, Digital enables growth hacking. ~ Mitul Das
It is true that with the digital explosion, things have dramatically improved for SMEs as they can compete with anyone using digital channels. A simple AD on Facebook or any other digital channels helps you to reach out to the target audience, irrespective of the demography at a minimum cost.
One important aspect that we wanted the audience to understand in depth was measurability of online campaigns. In other words, how can you possibly know how your marketing strategy is performing if you cannot measure it?
Growth Hacking Case Studies:
We tried our best to pace the digital workshop in an interactive manner. Additionally, we wanted to make the sessions easily comprehensible. Therefore, we presented quite a few real-life growth hacking stories that we were a part of.
Story 1 – Online Cab Aggregator
One such story was a renowned cab portal which was looking to enter the Kolkata market a few years back. They wanted to understand the common grievances people have against the local cabs. While doing a primary market research for them, we set up a FB page which dealt with the common problems faced by the common people who use yellow taxi foa r commute. The page exploded within a month as thousands of people joined to let out their grievances. The popularity of this page spread like a wildfire and within a span oa f few weeks, the marketing team of this renowned cab service portal had a myriad of data to work with. This was a fine example of using growth hacks to decode the pain points of the target audience.
Story 2 – Trade Focused SME Retail
Another example was of an e-commerce initiative. Setting up an e-commerce destination is relatively simple these days but the main challenge lies in generating traffic to the website / app. We had a client who was looking to embark on an expensive e-commerce journey and was a bit indecisive regarding the marketing budget. Sensing their discomfort to go all in, we advised them a pocket-friendly alternative i.e. setting up online store across multiple marketplaces including Amazon. This alternative turned out to be a game changing proposition for the client as they embraced B2C for the first time in their history of trade.
Story 3 – Luxury Resort
The next growth story that we told to the audience was one of Kolkata’s most popular luxury resorts. This resort was finding it quite difficult to gather reviews from the visitors and once again an inexpensive hack came to the rescue. After a detailed analysis of the customer-journey we developed a checkout form for the guests (to be filled up with reviews before leaving and they were rewarded with a voucher instantly). The approved reviews were automatically posted on Travel aggregator / review sites. This quickly improvethe d overall reputation of the resort and we recorded a 300% jump in organic enquiries.
We ended the first session of the Master Class with an actionable checklist:
- Can you measure success?
- How well you know your audience?
- Are you monitoring channel efficacy?
- Are you monitoring funnel acquisition?
- Are you thinking?
In this session, we went in-depth to explain the use of growth hacks in terms of content, channel mix, and right sales funnel.
Content as a tool for Growth Hacking
We know that content plays a big part in Digital Marketing, but can it be used for growth hacking? Remember the legendary copy ‘PS I love you get your free email at Hotmail’ that came embedded with every hotmail? This simple trick enabled Hotmail to receive about 12 million accounts in just 18 months. Amazing, isn’t it?
Even I-pod was not far behind, instead of generic product related statements, they came up with an amazing copy – 1000 songs in your pocket – that positioned them differently from the rest of the music players of that time.
Creating a compelling message so that the end users can connect easily, this was the biggest takeaway of this segment. At the end of the day, which emotions impact your customers? Is it intellectual? Is it empathetic or is it something else?
Finding the Right Channel Mix
We addressed the challenge faced by many start-ups that is identification of the right channel mix. Be it the different social media platforms, or search engines, digital has a plethora of platforms. However, each caters to a different genre. For instance, if you want to advertise beauty products, Instagram might be the right platform as it has a vast number of female users. On the other hand, if you are advertising something related to education, LinkedIn is the best platform.
So, identification of the right channel mix is very important. There are 3 types of channel – i) Word of mouth, ii) Organic, iii) Paid. Testimonials and social media can be great for word of mouth marketing. SEO and social media can be great organic medium. On the other hand, Google Display Ads can be a fine example of Paid Marketing. The ideal mix should be the perfect combination of all these channels.
But there is a way how one can quickly test multiple channels and measure them accurately to come up with a final score. Based on the scores, you can then choose the most efficient channels to go with.
Creating the Sales Funnel for Growth Hacking
Next we showed the audience how to create a great sales funnel. There is no denying the fact that a business is all about revenue. No matter how good your campaigns are, it is of no use unless it generates a considerable amount of leads.
We explained how to convert enquires into leads and leads into revenue. A sales funnel is basically connected to each and every phase of a buyer journey. It can be divided into various parts, depending on the nature of business. It goes like this – contact (leads), qualified/unqualified, proposal or presentation, negotiation, and closure. A business should consider two very important things when evaluating a sales funnel – Brand persona and Buyer persona. You need to ensure that these things are always in sync or else the entire funnel will remain incomplete.
It was an amazing experience addressing the young business owners and entrepreneurs on ‘Growth Hacking’ with my business partner Mitul Das in these couple of NASSCOM organized events at Kolkata and Bhuvaneswar. In an age where Marketing is constantly getting disrupted by new found consumer micro moments, channels, technology and data it was great spending a couple of days discussing case studies of business leveraging the digital augmentation of marketing keeping the core ethos of marketing intact.