More than six years after it was formally coined, growth hacking has proven itself essential to business especially for budding companies. Although some of the strategies employed in growth hacking existed even before it was introduced, there is no denying that it has been developing more extensively through the years. From what seems to be just a passing fad or just another buzzword, growth hacking has evolved into a full time career for many.
State of growth hacking as a career
In the past, when companies talk about growth, it is imperative that the marketing and sales team should be responsible for it. However, with the introduction of growth hacking, focus has shifted and it became clear that growth input not only from the marketing team but from others as well.
To better understand how growth hacking have come to what is now, let us take a closer look on its progress and also development as a career for the past six years.
This chart shows how the term “growth hacking” have been gaining much interest through the years. This dramatic rise in interest is what any company would want to see in their metrics as well. Udemy, an online learning platform, has more than 236 growth hacking courses listed on its site – it shows that as it gets even more popular, more people are also getting more interested on learning how to do it. This also shows that growth hacking is not going anywhere, anytime soon. Like its goal, it continuously grow more popular each day.
Since its introduction, over 72 growth hacking agencies have been established worldwide. And as of writing, more than 341 companies have already been hiring internal growth teams.
Angellist shows around 3,382 individual listings on their site with growth hacking as a skill set. LinkedIn on the other hand shows around 2,491 job search result for growth hacker titles.
3.) Number by city
This infographic by Rainmakers shows the number of individuals or professionals who list themselves as growth hackers. It is no surprise that San Francisco has the most number of growth hackers as it is where Silicon Valley, the tech capital of the world, is located. This also where most tech startups are conceived, making it logical move for most to consider growth hacking as a career since startups are the primary ones who need growth hackers.
However it is also important to note that other cities in the European nations as well as Asian nations are also showing an increase in the number of growth hackers. This shows that growth hacking has not remained exclusive in the Valley insiders as it was thought in the beginning.
4.) Meetups and Conferences
Meetup, an app used by people who share the same interests to do meetups, shows almost 300 active meetups related to growth hacking are conducted worldwide. Growth hackers are now more passionate in finding ways to meet like-minded people to share knowledge with.
The annual Growth Hacking Conference which started in 2012 is also a proof of the growing importance and recognition to growth hacking as a career. The Growth Hackers Conference 2018 will be conducted at San Diego this coming February 6, 2018.
Why growth hacking is a promising career in 2018
As cliché as it may sound but we are living in an era of internet revolution. The permeation of technology into our individual lives and the society we live in had changed a lot in the way we do things. It has some drawbacks but these advancements are taking us gigantic leaps.
This internet revolution era has also led to the emergence of number of jobs; IT specialists, Computer experts, and other computer related occupations. But the changes are not exclusive to the computer-related field, other fields has also seen a lot of changes as the era progress. One example is the advent of Growth Hacking as a career in the business industry.
As the statistics above shows, growth hacking is flourishing more than ever. It is getting more of the attention and recognition it deserves. Despite all this, some are still skeptical about it. Many wants to consider growth hacking as a career but they are anxious that one day all this buzz is going to pass and they will be left unemployed.
But in fact, this is the perfect time to consider growth hacking as a career or hiring one for your company if you are a businessman. The Hongkong Economic Journal recognizes growth hacking to have a lot of potential as a career given the fact that business development is of growing importance for both startups and established companies. Economic Times also listed growth hacking as one of the prospected highest paying jobs in India in 2017 with a salary range double that of a social media manager.
When digital marketing was introduced, many were also skeptical about it being a rewarding career, but the early adapters were the ones who emerged successful and now authority figures in the said career. With little competition as of the moment and a growing recognition and importance in business, growth hacking is truly a promising career to consider.
Top growth hackers to follow in 2018
The marketing scene is changing. Metrics and analytics are evolving. Growth hackers are shifting the gears. So you better cope up.
Below are some of the people who are behind the massive growth of companies and startups. They are the authority figures when it comes to growth hacking. Get to know them and follow their daily insights on Twitter and read their writings on Medium.
10.) Alex Schultz
It is safe to say that almost everybody now knows how Facebook emerged from a small, academic-only online site to one of the most valuable media platform it is today. This massive growth and continuous expansion of the company can be attributed to a number of people, one of them is Alex Schultz.
He started working for Facebook in 2007 and currently the VP of Growth for the company. His work at Facebook includes growth marketing, internationalization, and data science & engineering. Prior to that he worked in the UK for eBay as a Manager for Affiliate Marketing in 1996. He also launched a website called paperairplanes.co.uk.
He believes that in order to have a successful growth, you need to “use whatever channel you can to get whatever output you want”.
9.) Rebecca Rosenfelt
LinkedIn: Rebecca Rosenfelt
Rebecca is the Product Manager-Growth at AirBnB. She started working for the company when AirBnB acquired her own company, Inhabit Vacations. Her company provided travelers local tastes by connecting them to people who are native to that place. AirBnB adapted this and now provides its users curated experience based on the city they visit.
She has worked for AirBnB’s business strategies focusing on international growth, analytics, A/B testing, and user engagement. She has developed product-driven strategies that helped the company as one of the principal travel marketplace.
Although she no longer writes for her personal blog and social media accounts, she is still actively participates in speaking engagements and conferences.
8.) Noah Kagan
Noah is one of the authority figures in the digital marketing and growth hacking world. He is the Chief Sumo at Sumo Group – Sumo.com and AppSumo.com – a company that makes tools to help other companies increase their website traffic.
He has helped in launching and marketing several products and services for companies like Facebook and Mint. He also shares useful marketing insights, marketing stories, and personal development tips on his own blog.
One of his strategies to make his team focused at Sumo is to “pick one primary goal for the year” and make sure that it is everybody’s number one focus.
7.) Nir Eyal
Facebook: Nir Eyal
Nir Eyal has a rather unique approach when it comes marketing and growth hacking, he combines the fields of psychology, technology and business to come up with what he calls behavioral design. His blog topic covers behavioral economics, user experience, and a bit of neuroscience.
He is the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products”. He is the former CEO of AdNectar and an active investor to many startups like Eventbrite, Product Hunt, Marco Polo, Anchor.fm, Symphony Commerce, and many more.
He is also a respected public speaker and professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Design.
6.) Joshua Fechter
Facebook: Joshua Fechter
Joshua is the cofounder of Badass Marketers & Founders (BAMF) Media, a firm which helps companies grow their ROI by employing innovative marketing and growth hacking strategies. They have worked with companies like Autopilot, TEDx. Mixmax, and Voo.
He also runs a community for founders called BASH wherein they help other B2B founders become social media influencers. They do it by coaching them how to automate the growth of their social media platforms and how to nurture this with content.
He also wrote a book about hacking Facebook entitled “Facebook Marketing for Community Building, Personal Branding, and Selling Digital Products”. He is also a prolific writer on his blog and has millions of readership worldwide.
5.) Sujan Patel
Facebook: Sujan Patel
Sujan is one of the firm believer that content is important, but the way it is marketed is more important. According to him, “content is very important but marketing/promotion/distribution of the content is king”.
He is the co-founder of Web Profits, a performance marketing agency, and currently the Manager Partner at Ramp Ventures, a firm which helps startups like Mailshake, LinTexting, and Narro.io grow.
4.) Everette Taylor
Everette is the VP of Marketing at Skurt, a car rental delivery startup. But before this, a decade ago, he was homeless and almost dropped out of school. His success story is one of the industry’s most inspiring.
He is the founder of MilliSense, named after his mother, a marketing agency with clients like NASA, Microsoft, and Miller Lite. And just recently, he founded his fourth company, PopSocial, a social media marketing software company. PopSocial reported a revenue of $2 million in its first year.
He believes that creative data-driven marketing is the secret to a company’s growth.
3.) Brian Balfour
Brian is the founder and current CEO of Reforge, a company that aims to help startup companies grow. Brian himself creates the growth programs that are implemented by companies.
He was previously the VP of Growth at HubSpot, and cofounder of many startups like Viximo and Boundless Learning. He also serves as growth advisor and investor to a number of startups.
In this podcast, he talked about his process and the experiments he conducts in building a growth machine. He also writes articles and essays in his blog and Reforge blog.
2.) Andrew Chen
Uber’s success growth story is one of the most looked up to when it comes to the growth hacking scene. Thanks to Andrew Chen who was the brain behind Uber’s huge recognition and valuation.
He previously worked as entrepreneur-in-residence at the Mohr Davidow Ventures. He frequently writes articles about growth hacking and the current events in the Silicon Valley in his blog. One of his articles titled “Growth Hacker is the new VP of Marketing” is one of the most cited and quoted articles when it comes to growth hacking topics.
He serves as an adviser and investor to many startup companies like Marco Polo, Tinder, AngelList, Dropbox, Barkbox, Kiva, Product Hunt, Boba Guys, Workato, and others.
1.) Sean Ellis
Facebook: Sean Ellis
He is the one who coined the term “growth hacker” in 2010 which started all the buzz around. He started as an interim growth executive at Eventbrite in 2008. He was the first growth hacker of now successful companies like Dropbox, Lookout, and Xobni.
In 2010, he founded GrowthHackers originally CatchFree, an online community and at the same time a Software as a Service (SaaS) which enables growth teams to manage their growth experimentation process. Later in 2012, he acquired KISSinsights and renamed it to Qualaroo. It is a behavioral insight survey software with clients like Amazon, Shopify, Logitech, WordPress, Intuit, Groupon, and US News & World Report. In 2016, he sold Qualaroo to Xenon Ventures, shifting his focus back to GrowthHackers.
He is currently an advisor to Eventbrite and KISSmetrics, board of member at SignNow, and Mavenlink, and mentor at 500 Startups. He also writes and contributes to The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur Magazine.
Growing something, like business, can be a really overwhelming task at first. It can be very intimidating especially when it seems that only a select few are getting successful result. But these people mentioned above have proven that growth can be done – with proper mindset, strategy, and guidance. And they are more than willing to share their experience and expertise in the field through their blogs and social media accounts. So, go get growing.