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What is growth hacking and how it works [explained by experts]

Reading time: 14 minutes30.04.2023
What is growth hacking and how it works [explained by experts]

Are you tired of hearing about growth hacking but still have no clue what does growth hacking actually mean? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! But, hold on tight because you’re about to get a crash course in the exciting world of growth hacking. 

Just look at these impressive stats: companies that have implemented marketing growth strategy have seen an average growth rate of 30-50% per month! That’s right, you read that correctly — per month! And the best part? These results can be achieved with limited resources and budget.

So, if you’re ready to join the ranks of successful companies like Airbnb, Dropbox, and Uber, who all credit Growth Hacking for their meteoric rise, you need to keep reading. 

This article will give you a comprehensive understanding of what growth hacking is, its benefits, and what a growth hacker does. 

Let’s get started with the growth hacking definition.

What is growth hacking?

It’s like the magic potion for businesses, a mix of marketing, data, and engineering to help them grow faster than Jack’s beanstalk!

Growth hacking meaning, in a nutshell, is a marketing approach that focuses on finding innovative, data-driven, and often low-cost strategies to acquire, engage, and retain customers. It’s like a Jedi mind trick, but for business growth!

Thinking about the growth hacking definition, picture this: you’re running a business selling hats for cats. Now, everyone loves a cat in a hat, right? But how do you reach all those potential feline fashionistas without breaking the bank? 

That’s where growth hacking comes in.

You could create a viral social media campaign where people share pictures of their fabulous hat-wearing cats with a unique hashtag. You could offer a small discount for every post on their next hat purchase. It’s a win-win: your customers get a deal, and you get free marketing with lots of cute cat pictures! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that, right? 

Let’s consider one of the real-life growth hacking examples.

Remember Dropbox? They offered extra storage space for users who referred their friends to sign up. This tactic was so successful that they increased their user base from 100,000 to 4 million in just 15 months! Now that’s what I call a “drop” in the bucket! 

So, if you want your business to shoot up like a rocket, it’s time to put on your growth hacking hat (cats not included) and start exploring those innovative strategies! 

Read also:

What is a list of growth hacking benefits for your business?

The innovative approach of growth marketing has taken the business world by storm, and for good reason. Here are just a few of the benefits that come with implementing growth hacking strategies:

1️⃣ Increased customer acquisition — Companies that have adopted growth hacking have seen a 50-100% increase in customer acquisition within just a few months!

2️⃣ Improved customer engagement — growth hacking also helps businesses improve customer engagement, leading to higher customer retention rates and more repeat business.

3️⃣ Faster growth — The whole point of growth hacking is to achieve rapid growth. Companies that have adopted Growth Hacking have seen an average growth rate of 30-50% per month!

Growth hacking can help businesses achieve rapid growth with limited resources and budget.

Neil Patel
Neil Patel
digital marketing expert

4️⃣ Cost-effective — With SaaS growth hacks, businesses can achieve impressive results with limited resources and budget.

5️⃣ Data-driven approach — Growth hacking relies on data and analytics to drive growth. This means businesses can make informed decisions based on hard data, rather than just gut instincts.

Growth hacking is a data-driven approach to growth that helps startups quickly identify and test new growth opportunities.

Eric Ries
Eric Ries
bestselling author of “The Lean Startup”

So, what are you waiting for? Start harnessing the power of growth hacking and watch your business soar!

Growth hacking vs. traditional marketing 

Growth hacking and traditional marketing might seem similar at first glance, but they are quite different approaches to growing a business. While traditional marketing focuses on tried-and-true methods, growth hacking is about creativity and thinking outside the box. And it’s true for both B2C and B2B growth marketing.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between growth hacking and traditional marketing:

  1. Speed — Growth hacking is about achieving rapid growth, while traditional marketing focuses on steady and consistent growth over time.

Neil Patel, a digital marketing expert, argues that growth hacking is a short-term solution for startups looking for rapid growth, but traditional marketing is a better long-term strategy. He believes that traditional marketing is essential for building brand awareness and establishing a strong customer base

  1. Budget — Traditional marketing often requires a large budget for advertising and marketing campaigns, while growth hacking can be done with limited resources.
  2. Data-driven — Growth hacking relies heavily on data and analytics to drive growth, while traditional marketing often relies on intuition and experience.
  3. Creativity — Growth hacking is all about being creative and thinking outside the box, while traditional marketing sticks to tried-and-true methods.


Airbnb is a prime example of a company that successfully used growth hacking to scale its business. They used creative growth marketing tips like cross-promoting with Craigslist to reach a wider audience and drive growth.

On the other hand, Coca-Cola is a classic example of a company that has relied on traditional marketing for growth. Their iconic advertising campaigns, such as the “Share a Coke” campaign, are a prime example of traditional marketing at its best.

So, which approach is better? It really depends on your business and its goals. Growth hacking is a great option for startups and businesses looking for rapid growth, while traditional marketing is a better fit for established businesses looking for steady and consistent growth.

Brian Balfour, CEO of Reforge, a growth marketing consultancy, says that growth hacking and traditional marketing are not mutually exclusive. He believes that businesses can achieve the best results by combining the two approaches and using each to complement the other.

How does growth hacking work? 

Think of growth hacking like a chef trying out new recipes in the kitchen. The chef starts by gathering ingredients, experimenting with new flavors and techniques, and testing the results. If the dish turns out well, the chef scales up the recipe and serves it to the restaurant customers. And the cycle continues, with the chef always experimenting and trying new things in the kitchen.

Growth hacking works similarly. It starts with identifying growth opportunities, experimenting and running growth marketing tests, and scaling up the successful ones. And the process never stops, as growth hackers are always looking for new and creative ways to drive growth.

If you need more inspo for your experiments, check out our growth marketing playbook!

So, what does a growth hacker actually do?

They’re like a detective, constantly analyzing data, researching the market, and hunting down new growth opportunities. They’re not afraid to try new things and always experiment and test new strategies.

And when they find a growth opportunity that works, they don’t just sit back and relax. They continuously iterate and improve, always looking for ways to make their strategies even more effective. So if you want to find a growth hacker for your startup, look for a curious person who knows how to work with data and isn’t afraid of making mistakes.

In a nutshell, growth hacking is a continuous process of:

  1. Identifying growth opportunities — The first step in growth hacking is to identify growth opportunities. This involves analyzing data, researching the market, and looking for new and creative ways to reach customers.
  2. Experimenting and testing — Once potential growth opportunities have been identified, the next step is to experiment. This involves testing some small-scale growth hypothesis to see what works and what doesn’t.
  3. Implementing and scaling — If a growth opportunity proves successful, the next step is implementing it on a larger scale. This involves fine-tuning the strategy, making necessary changes, and scaling up the implementation.
  4. Continuous iteration — Growth hacking is not a one-time process. It’s an ongoing journey. The key to success is continuously experimenting, testing, and iterating to improve the key growth marketing metrics.

So, get ready to put on your detective hat and start hacking your way to success!

Don’t have time for experiments?

Let’s discuss your project and how Dashly growth hacking experts can skyrocket your conversions.

growth hackers

What is a growth hacker?

Have you ever heard the term “growth hacker” and wondered what it means? Well, wonder no more! A growth hacker is a hybrid of a marketer and a data analyst, with a dash of creativity for good measure.

growth hacker definition
Image source.

Think of a growth hacker as a superhero job, using their powers of innovation and data analysis to help businesses achieve rapid growth. They’re the ones who come up with creative and unconventional strategies to reach customers, drive engagement, and increase sales.

Some examples of successful growth hackers include Sean Ellis, who is credited with coining the term “growth hacking”, and Aaron Ginn, who was a growth hacker at both StumbleUpon and Tinder. These growth hackers have used their skills to help companies like Dropbox and Airbnb achieve massive growth and success.

Expert view on the meaning of growth hacker job:

A Growth hacker is an individual whose true north is growth. They are constantly experimenting and testing new strategies to drive growth for their company. They are data-driven, creative, and think outside the box to find new and innovative ways to reach customers and increase engagement. They are constantly iterating on their tactics to achieve rapid and sustainable growth for their business.

Sean Ellis
Sean Ellis
Founder of

So, what does a growth hacker actually do?

They’re responsible for identifying new opportunities, experimenting and testing new B2C or B2B growth marketing strategies, and continuously iterating on their tactics to drive growth. They’re the ones who come up with clever and innovative ideas that help businesses reach new customers and drive engagement.

In short, a growth hacker is a combination of marketer, data analyst, and creative problem-solver, all rolled into one. If you want to take your business to the next level, it’s time to start considering hiring a growth hacker! They might be the superhero your business needs to achieve rapid growth.

Where to look for a professional growth hacker?

No need. In Dashly, we have a team of experienced growth hackers who are always ready to discuss your project.

growth hackers

A short list of famous growth hackers that you should follow 

Sean Ellis

Sean Ellis. As the person who coined the term “growth hacking,” Sean Ellis is a pioneer in the growth marketing field. He has helped companies like Dropbox, LogMeIn, and Eventbrite achieve rapid growth.

Andrew Chen

Andrew Chen, a well-known growth marketer and investor, has worked with companies like Uber, AngelList, and Tinder. His blog covers a wide range of growth marketing topics and strategies.

Neil Patel

Neil Patel. A successful entrepreneur and digital marketer, Neil Patel co-founded Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics. His blog and podcast offer valuable insights on growth marketing, SEO, and content marketing.

Brian Balfour

Brian Balfour. As the former VP of Growth at HubSpot (one of the greatest growth hacking tools), Brian Balfour is a growth marketing expert with extensive experience. He is the founder of Reforge, an online platform offering growth marketing courses for professionals.

Hiten Shah

Hiten Shah. Co-founder of KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, and FYI, Hiten Shah is a seasoned entrepreneur with a wealth of experience in growth marketing. He shares valuable insights through his blog, podcast, and speaking engagements.

These growth hackers are at the forefront of the growth hacking movement and are a wealth of information and inspiration for anyone looking to drive rapid growth for their business. So, follow them today and get ready to hack your way to success!

Tell Dashly experts about your project and we’ll suggest and implement the best growth hacking tools to skyrocket your conversions!

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Tell Dashly experts about your project and we’ll suggest and implement the best growth hacking tools to skyrocket your conversions!

Where to start?

Starting growth hacking can seem overwhelming, but anyone can get started with some guidance. Here’s a quick summary of how to start growth hacking for beginners:

  1. Get familiar with the basics — Start by learning the basics of growth hacking, including what it is, how it works, and what a growth hacker does. Read books, articles, and blog posts to understand the subject comprehensively.
  2. Analyze your data — Growth hacking is a data-driven marketing approach, so it’s important to understand your business data well. Analyze customer data, including demographics, behavior patterns, and pain points.
  3. Identify growth opportunities — Look for new and creative ways to reach customers, increase engagement, and drive growth. Use your customer data to identify potential growth opportunities and experiment with new strategies. To systematize this process, create a growth hacking canvas.
  4. Experiment and test — Growth hacking is about experimenting and testing new strategies. Start by creating small-scale tests to see what works and what doesn’t. Use data and analytics to measure your results and make informed decisions.
  5. Implement and scale — If a strategy proves successful, scale it up and implement it on a larger scale. Continuously iterate and improve your strategies to drive even more growth.

In conclusion, growth hacking is a data-driven, iterative process that involves experimenting, testing, and scaling new growth opportunities. With guidance and creativity, anyone can start growth hacking and achieve rapid growth for their business.


What is growth hacking marketing?

Growth hacking marketing refers to using creative and unconventional strategies to rapidly grow a business or product in a short amount of time. It involves leveraging data, technology, and experimentation to identify and exploit growth opportunities, focusing on measurable results and ROI. Growth hacking often involves a combination of marketing, product development, and customer acquisition techniques to drive user adoption and retention, increase revenue, and achieve rapid growth.

What is the goal of growth hacking

Whats the point of growth hacking activities? — Rapid business growth. The goal of growth hacking is to rapidly scale a business or product by identifying and exploiting opportunities for growth cost-effectively. Growth hackers focus on finding innovative and unconventional ways to acquire new customers, retain existing ones, and increase revenue, focusing on measurable results and ROI. The ultimate goal of growth hacking is to achieve exponential growth and establish a sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace. 

Unlike traditional marketing, which focuses on long-term brand building and awareness, growth hacking is all about achieving rapid and sustainable growth through experimentation, data analysis, and agile product development.

What is growth hacking in digital marketing?

Hacking growth in digital marketing refers to using data-driven experimentation and unconventional techniques to achieve rapid and sustainable growth. A growth marketing team uses a variety of tactics, such as A/B testing, referral marketing, social media campaigns, and search engine optimization, to acquire and retain customers, increase revenue, and establish a competitive advantage in the marketplace. 

The key to growth hacking is to focus on measurable results and ROI, using data and analytics to guide decision-making and optimize campaigns. By leveraging the power of digital technology and the internet, growth hacking allows businesses to achieve unprecedented growth and scale quickly, effectively “hacking” the growth process.

What is growth hack?

A growth hack is a creative and unconventional technique or strategy to achieve rapid and sustainable growth in a business or product. Growth hacks often involve leveraging technology and data to identify and exploit growth opportunities, focusing on measurable results and ROI.

To understand the growth hack definition consider Dropbox’s referral program as an example. They offered users extra storage space in exchange for inviting their friends to use the service. This simple but effective tactic allowed Dropbox to rapidly acquire new users and achieve exponential growth without spending much money on advertising.

Growth hacking terms

  • Conversion rate optimization (CRO) — The process of optimizing a website or landing page to increase the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as purchasing or filling out a form.
  • Referral marketing — A marketing strategy incentivizes existing customers to refer new customers to a business or product.
  • Social media marketing — A form of marketing that uses social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach and engage with customers.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) — Optimizing a website or content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), increasing organic traffic and visibility.
  • Growth loop — A self-sustaining customer acquisition and retention cycle that leads to exponential growth.
  • Minimum viable product (MVP) — A basic version of a product that is launched quickly and with minimal features to test the market and gather feedback.
  • Churn rate — The percentage of customers who stop using a product or service over a given time.

What does growth hacker mean?

Who is growth hacker? It is a professional specializing in using creative and unconventional strategies to achieve rapid and sustainable growth in a business or product. Growth hackers typically have a strong understanding of data analytics, technology, and marketing and use a variety of tactics such as A/B testing, viral marketing, referral marketing, and social media campaigns to acquire and retain customers, increase revenue, and establish a competitive advantage in the marketplace. The goal of a growth hacker is to achieve exponential growth and scalability, often using a lean and agile approach that focuses on measurable results and ROI.

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