5 Lessons Learned From Startupbootcamp Growth Hacking Week

5 Lessons Learned From Startupbootcamp Growth Hacking Week

15-Dec-2015 by Sal Matteis

Startupbootcamp Growth Hacking Week in Amsterdam was an exceptionally intensive learning experience for our E-commerce startups as well as our alumni. Organized in co-operation with The Talent Institute, this speed course on growth hacking invited founders, operations managers and marketers to gain insights on how to hack traditional marketing. “Growth Hacking Week was designed to teach startups all the fundamental aspects of growth hacking. From Experiment Design to Lean Analytics, we covered the important topics to make sure they understand the principles and are able to apply growth hacking within their startup.”- Frido van Driem, Product Lead at The Talent Institute.

In just 7 days, 14 experienced professionals and mentors held 16 interactive sessions on topics such as Acquisition & Retention, SEO, Marketing Automation, Lean Analytics, Sales and UX Design.

Team Dashmote, one of the 10 startups from our E-commerce program, who are building an innovative stock database to help you find a perfect image faster, visited nearly every session and workshop during the Growth Hacking Week. Their mission was to learn as much as possible on growth hacking in seven days. In this blog post, they have  shared five lessons and tips  to help you start your growth hacking journey, and look at your marketing from a different perspective.

Lesson 1: Find your product market fit

“The Growth Hacking Week started with a deep dive into the basics and principles of growth hacking. Tom Dalic, owner of OnlineMarketingRockstars.com, explained that growth hacking is a multidisciplinary adventure. The tactics of a growth hacker come from different areas such as marketing, consumer psychology and sales. The number one killer for startups is that their product does not have a market, so before you start growth hacking, you need to have a product that successfully satisfies a specific market or customer need.

How to understand whether your product has a market fit? One great tool is the AARRR model developed by Dave McClure. This model helps you to gather customer feedback and guide product decisions by tracking five key metrics: Acquisition, Activation, Retention Revenue and Referral. Another tool is 40% Ruledeveloped by Sean Ellis, the creator of the term ‘Growth Hacker’. What you need to do is conduct a survey to ask your users how they feel if they no longer have access to your product. If 40% of them are ‘very disappointed’, you can say you have the product market fit.”

Lesson 2: Optimize your SEO

“On the second day of Growth Hacking Week Wouter Blom, a Search Engine Marketing Consultant, held two interactive sessions on SEO & Adwords. He introduced us to the cold reality that nowadays for a startup it’s very costly to go after users. What is cheaper and more effective is making your business easily discoverable online by your target audience. First thing you have to do is to think well of the initial keywords your startups should be associated with – it is a vital asset that has a big impact on how users perceive you. You don’t necessarily have to go for the keywords with a high search volume; instead, go for the keywords that convert. Secondly, you have to craft a perfect description of your startup that your users see when they Google you. You can use Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool to construct a great strategic description.”

Lesson 3: Tell stories

“What was the most interesting thing about the Growth Hacking Week is that it did not only focus on the technical side, but also on the creative side of growth hacking – content marketing. At the end of the day, your users are humans and they will always be attracted by great and relevant content. Cor Hospes, an international keynote speaker for TEDx and content marketing guru, explained that you need to listen to understand the needs and wishes of your customers, not to sell your product. Who is your audience? What are their frustrations? What keeps them awake at night? You need to know the answers to these questions and incorporate them into your storytelling.

One thing you have to remember is that content is not king. Tell stories, but don’t talk about your product, talk about your solution!”

Lesson 4: Define your acquisition strategy

“What is a story without acquisition? Just another story. During the Acquisition & Retention session, Michael Ossendrijver, the founder of Adsimilis, gave us practical tips and tricks on how to aquire and retain your users. He explained that first and foremost, you have to define a clear acquisition strategy, and set a measurable and actionable outcome you can optimize on. Although every communication channel has a different language and you can tweak your message per channel, you have to be consistent. Michael shared a full cheat sheet of tools to make lead generation easy and friendly which included TypeformNew Relic and Mailchimp.”

Lesson 5: Track your progress

“Any good growth hacker eats data for breakfast! Every day you need to check the data and track your progress – that’s what we’ve learned from Marketing Metrics session by Mike van Hoenselaar, founder of Online Boswachters. He suggested using Lean Analyticsframework to determine the right metrics for your startup depending on your stage and business model. Try to suppress the urge of tracking all the actions of the user – you need to focus on One Metric To Rule Them All. A great tool to help you track your progress is Google Analytics, and it’s free! If you want something more complex, use Mixpanel or Geckoboard.”

“Growth Hacking Week turned out to be a huge learning experience for us. The sessions covered most of the areas a new age marketer needs to become a master in. The speakers motivated us to rethink many structures we have used before, and pushed us towards being more growth-oriented. We enjoyed the presentations, and were grateful for the knowledge and out-of-the-box thinking they shared with us. With all the tips and tricks we’ve gathered during the week we hope to start our first growth hacking experiments soon!”

Want to see more from Growth Hacking Week? Check #sbcGrowthHack on Twitter and take a look at the photo album.