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Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising

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Gmail, Facebook, AirBnb, Evernote. A new generation of multibillion dollar brands have been built without spending a dime on traditional marketing techniques. No press releases, no PR firm, and no billboards in Times Square. It wasn’t luck that took them from tiny start-ups to massive success. They have a new strategy, called Growth Hacking. And it works. In this e-special, Gmail, Facebook, AirBnb, Evernote. A new generation of multibillion dollar brands have been built without spending a dime on traditional marketing techniques. No press releases, no PR firm, and no billboards in Times Square. It wasn’t luck that took them from tiny start-ups to massive success. They have a new strategy, called Growth Hacking. And it works. In this e-special, bestselling author Ryan Holiday shows how the marketing game has changed forever. He explains the growth hacker mindset and provides a new set of rules—critical information whether you’re an aspiring marketer, an entrepreneur, or a Fortune 500 senior executive.


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Gmail, Facebook, AirBnb, Evernote. A new generation of multibillion dollar brands have been built without spending a dime on traditional marketing techniques. No press releases, no PR firm, and no billboards in Times Square. It wasn’t luck that took them from tiny start-ups to massive success. They have a new strategy, called Growth Hacking. And it works. In this e-special, Gmail, Facebook, AirBnb, Evernote. A new generation of multibillion dollar brands have been built without spending a dime on traditional marketing techniques. No press releases, no PR firm, and no billboards in Times Square. It wasn’t luck that took them from tiny start-ups to massive success. They have a new strategy, called Growth Hacking. And it works. In this e-special, bestselling author Ryan Holiday shows how the marketing game has changed forever. He explains the growth hacker mindset and provides a new set of rules—critical information whether you’re an aspiring marketer, an entrepreneur, or a Fortune 500 senior executive.

30 review for Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    Though I found the Ryan Holiday’s Growth Hacker thought provoking and had several good ideas in it, I also found it frustrating. My point of frustration may not really be Mr. Holiday fault, but just the same it was my main point of contention with the book. I have spent my career with multiple Business-to-Business (B2B) product companies. In most of these companies the product was complicated and had many parts and aspects to it (including software and hardware components). Though clearly there ar Though I found the Ryan Holiday’s Growth Hacker thought provoking and had several good ideas in it, I also found it frustrating. My point of frustration may not really be Mr. Holiday fault, but just the same it was my main point of contention with the book. I have spent my career with multiple Business-to-Business (B2B) product companies. In most of these companies the product was complicated and had many parts and aspects to it (including software and hardware components). Though clearly there are several points made in this book that directly apply to this type of B2B industry, it talks about the world of marketing and business like B2B does not exist. No examples in the book relate to a B2B case. The book never even acknowledges the existence of such a market, but instead implies that the “secrets” disclosed in the book should apply to all. I appreciate that the author may have no experience with B2B. Also, even if the author did have B2B experience writing about the topic might be nauseating for 99% of his readers. Talking about how to market a sewer pump station is not as interesting to the masse as the story of how Hotmail go started. My pet peeve is when people read a book like this often act like they have had a god like transformation as it relates how to market every product in the world (including the B2B case). You ask them what they learned and they talk about the power of Internet marketing and how Dropbox exploded after giving away storage space to people who encouraged their friends to try Dropbox. You then ask how can we apply that to our B2B business and have no idea (I will acknowledge that the exercise of trying to apply these examples to the B2B case can be a positive one, but there are clear differences in the consumers as well). You ask them how what they learned can be applied to B2B business, and you are met with chirping sounds). Maybe the best way to explain what I personally got out of the book (form my admittedly myopic B2B perspective) is for me to explain how I perceive the differences between B2B vs consumer marketing as it relates to the topics of this book. B2B DIFFERENCES 1. Typically the customer not spending their own money. 2. Buyers often influenced by direct contact with sellers company staff, who may spend months (or years) developing a relationship with the buyer and assisting them in their search for the best product solution for their organization. 3. Very little (or no) cool factor when making purchase decision. 4. Cost of ownership may be more important than initial upfront price. 5. “Keeping my job” is a significant factor in purchase. Avoiding buying wrong product is a very big deal, because a mistake could lead to loss of employment. This risk avoidance may lead to buying the most established brand or product (as the old saying goes “no one was ever fired for buying IBM”). 6. Price points may be very high. 7. Possible that the product is a system and thus cannot be bought online. 8. Complicated products can be tricky to compare. 9. Normally a very small target audience. You do not have to find the right company or organization to sell to, but the correct department and maybe even the right person in that department. Thus the big challenge is not identifying the correct customer company’s, but find the consumer inside though companies. To proactively find the “right” person often takes old fashion detective work by a sales person. Using the Internet for this small group to find you can be very tricky (unless you can find a common place all these “right” people hang out online). 10. The narrowness of the target group can make finding the correct and common Ad words difficult (however if you can find the right common word, then they are likely to be relatively in-expensive on a per click basis by the very nature that they are rare). 11. For the more complicated products, the consumer may be willing to spend a great deal of time researching the best product to purchase (possible months or more). The consumer can justify this investment in research because they are being paid to do this research by their employer. This can lead to a situation where the buyer or consumer will become aware of your company or brand from their own research, but not that likely that it will result in your closing the sale. 12. Normally the buyers associate buying process as “work” vs “play”, so less likely interesting in reading or bumping into information about your products on a lazy Saturday morning Internet surfing session. SIMILARTIES 1. The Growth Hacker suggestion to not rely on old and tired marketing approaches certainly applies to B2B (however this is really just a generality). 2. Buyers are influenced by like buyers. Thus leveraging industry groups using techniques from this book do directly apply. 3. Positioning your company as the “expert” on the product area can be advantageous. Using the some of the Growth Hacker “thinking” on this point does apply. 4. High quality blogging, webinars and information write ups can all help position your company as the expert on the topic. Of course using the Internet in this position endeavor is often the best approach. 5. The buyers are sophisticated and may hate being “pitched” (especially when they start reading your information thinking they are going to learn something, but instead find a sappy marketing story about how great the sellers company and product are. Thus a “hack” marketing write up can have the opposite to the intended impact. 6. Since many of the customers are experts in the field of your product, it makes creating informative pieces more difficult. Writing about the benefits of your new tennis racket is going to be much easier to explain why your new hydraulic valve will save you money over ten years as compared with the other vales on the market. 7. Often due to the complexity of the product and your desire to educate the educated you can fall into writing at a level that assumes your readers (or listeners) know more than they do. However, there are always new comers in the buyers organizations, so you have to always create some kind of lead or defining a basis for your write up (not to leave all newbies in the dark). When you ask high technical people in the seller company to write such pieces, they can often fall into a lot of jargon that loses most readers. 8. Do to conflicting nature of having to write about complex products but use simple clean English, it if often a significant challenge to find a single individual who has all the skills required accomplish these tasks. A pure “writer” or marketing person with little product background often simply do not have enough knowledge to and have them pull off a quality write-up, blog or webinar. You end up having to using your best people (likely engineers or product managers) who happen to also be solid writer to do this work. The problem with this approach is the opportunity cost of their time dedicated to such projects is likely very high expensive. Using the approach of a professional writer interviewing or working with one of these experts to create the piece sounds good in theory, but in reality the expert will tell you that 9 times out of 10, they spend more time helping the writer and re-writing the document then they would have if they just wrote it their self (so using the writer as an editor may make more sense, but still expensive). 9. As described in the book, using old expensive marketing methods can be very ineffective (and at the very least with no clear way to measure results it is hard to know if there is a good return on the investment or not). Most B2B marketing of complex products includes a relationship between the two parties that may have taken years to build. Though this can apply to certain consumer purchases (maybe your local car dealer) it often does not. The important nuance along with the narrow and relatively small target audience for many B2B companies make books like the Growth Hacker miss the mark for people looking for help with the B2B business plans. As I started at the start of my comments (rant), my issues with this book are not so much general content, but about the sweeping generalizations that imply their words apply to all business (when they do not).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Standard

    This book came off as a collection of self-promotional blog posts. About 1/3 of the book is spent trying to justify its own existence by talking up how you can forget everything you knew about traditional marketing. Where "traditional marketing" seems to consist mainly of running billboard or TV spots with expensive celebrities. The book's narrow-minded view of marketing really discredits what "non-growth hackers" actually do, while nebulously outlining what growth hackers actually do. A positiv This book came off as a collection of self-promotional blog posts. About 1/3 of the book is spent trying to justify its own existence by talking up how you can forget everything you knew about traditional marketing. Where "traditional marketing" seems to consist mainly of running billboard or TV spots with expensive celebrities. The book's narrow-minded view of marketing really discredits what "non-growth hackers" actually do, while nebulously outlining what growth hackers actually do. A positive here is the book can serve as a collection of examples of what "hacks" other big name web app companies have done to boost subscriber growth. Unfortunately not much insight was attached and the examples were mainly informational, rather than illustrative of some underlying principles. I hate to be this harsh, but it really did feel like a hastily put together work to capitalize on the recent buzz around "growth hacking".

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brad Feld

    I figured I’d read the cannon on Holiday so this was next. If you don’t know what “growth hacking” means, this is a good intro. But if you do, this is a waste of time.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kirtida Gautam

    The book is fine for a complete beginner. But it's quite at rookie level. The book is fine for a complete beginner. But it's quite at rookie level.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura Noggle

    ~ Basic and vague, yet still relevant. ~ At 56 pages, the ebook is worth the minimal time investment. This was my 4th Ryan Holiday book, and I'm a big fan, although Perennial Seller and Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator were better. “Marketing, too many people forget, is not an end unto itself. It is simply getting customers. And by the transitive property, anything that gets customers is marketing.” "Growth-hacking is more of a mindset than a tool kit." tl;dr: Marketing is a s ~ Basic and vague, yet still relevant. ~ At 56 pages, the ebook is worth the minimal time investment. This was my 4th Ryan Holiday book, and I'm a big fan, although Perennial Seller and Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator were better. “Marketing, too many people forget, is not an end unto itself. It is simply getting customers. And by the transitive property, anything that gets customers is marketing.” "Growth-hacking is more of a mindset than a tool kit." tl;dr: Marketing is a slippery fish that is constantly evolving. Try to keep up, or get left behind.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ola Olusoga

    Fantasy overview of what Growth hacking is, and how to apply it to your company. Dives into quick examples of how some of the top companies today applied growth hacker marketing tactics to their business. Points from the book: 1.) Growth Hacking Marketing isn't something you do at the end of a product, it's intertwined in all aspects of the creative process (design, engineering, business strategy). The days of taking the "hollywood" approach to marketing ( launching event, billboards, super bowl ad Fantasy overview of what Growth hacking is, and how to apply it to your company. Dives into quick examples of how some of the top companies today applied growth hacker marketing tactics to their business. Points from the book: 1.) Growth Hacking Marketing isn't something you do at the end of a product, it's intertwined in all aspects of the creative process (design, engineering, business strategy). The days of taking the "hollywood" approach to marketing ( launching event, billboards, super bowl ad) is over, now large audiences can be reached through creative tactics that can be measured. 2.) Product Market Fit The days of taking intrinsic guesses around "what the customer/audience wants" is over. Now you can launch an idea/Minimum viable product (MVP) and pivot based on customer feedback & data till you reach a viable "PMF". Company example given in the book "Airbnb". 3.) Finding your Growth Hack "You can't expect people to come to you; you have pull them in" Growth hacking is pulling customers in and you don't need the front page of NYT for that. Examine your market, and create tactics to pull them in based on their interests & needs. Examples given "Dropbox" free space once you watch the intro video and share on facebook with your friends, or Uber offering free rides at SXSW (it's target demo) 4.) Going Viral Virality is achievable. "Once you have decided that you will not be paying to get in front of every potential customer (via paid advertisements or publicity), then you've accepted you must reach them some other way." If you want customers to share your "product" you need to give them a reason. You can't hope someone shares a boring product demo, or brand video that has nothing to do with them. If it's a video, is it inspiring?, moving?, directed at a specific audience? Example company given "Groupon"+ "Living Social", they offered an incentives when you refer a friend, which in turn cause the viral factor. 5.)Retention and Optimization Your site can always be updated. There is always something to improve. Be like Twitter or Facebook, not like Myspace that stopped iterating (they died). Work on improving the flow. Track customer clicks, find pain points/bottle necks, review metrics and iterate till you see improvement in conversion, and lower bounce rates. Also if you have an email list of people who have been to your site, but haven't converted yet. Find ways to pull them back in, and convert. "The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent, while to a new prospect it's just 5 to 20 percent"... "Retention trumps acquisition"

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Konrad

    As a blogger and early Digg superuser I've had a ringside seat to many growth hacking campaigns and I've even done a bit of growth hacking myself but... the problem with growth hacking is there are countless hacks and a myriad of strategies but little has ever been done to connect the dots. Some books have enumerated some of these strategies and others have focused on individual pieces of the growth puzzle but each makes growth hacking appear chaotic and disorganized. The truth is that growth ha As a blogger and early Digg superuser I've had a ringside seat to many growth hacking campaigns and I've even done a bit of growth hacking myself but... the problem with growth hacking is there are countless hacks and a myriad of strategies but little has ever been done to connect the dots. Some books have enumerated some of these strategies and others have focused on individual pieces of the growth puzzle but each makes growth hacking appear chaotic and disorganized. The truth is that growth hackers do thrive in chaos but, on a personal level, growth hackers (at least the ones I've met) are all masters of organization, systems and discipline. Ryan explores this dichotomy but, more importantly, he effectively distills the important lessons in a clear and concise manner. This book should be required reading for every marketing student and MBA but is essential, MUST READ, material for every entrepreneur, bootstrapper and creative genius. - John Konrad, Author of Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dipanshu Rawal

    Book Review in 5 sentences- 1. First step. Figuring out what people really want from your product. Because, even if your prototypes are bug-free and flawless, they'll fail if there's no actual demand for them. 2. Don't target everybody. Target early adopters, or those eager to try new things. Since most people won't become customers, it would be a massive waste of time and resources to try to reach them. 3. Retain your customers. Be oriented toward customer retention. Centre your marketing effort Book Review in 5 sentences- 1. First step. Figuring out what people really want from your product. Because, even if your prototypes are bug-free and flawless, they'll fail if there's no actual demand for them. 2. Don't target everybody. Target early adopters, or those eager to try new things. Since most people won't become customers, it would be a massive waste of time and resources to try to reach them. 3. Retain your customers. Be oriented toward customer retention. Centre your marketing efforts around it. You'll have to find the right metric to measure performance. 4. Reward adoption. Reward your users for learning how to use your product. If your product is not easy to use or easy to adopt, you'll frustrate your customers and eventually lose them. 5. Activate your audience. Find ways to make your product worth sharing. And don't forget to encourage sharing. For more reviews,visit- dipanshurawal.com/books

  9. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Goldfarb

    It's gotten to the point where I simply do not miss a word Ryan Holiday writes--whether it's a Tweet, a blog post, or certainly a new book. I would have never expected his latest--a brief, cheap ($2.99), e-book-only work--to be such a game changer...if not a life changer. Before reading this, I didn't know the term "growth hacker," but now I can't imagine ever doing business without it. I suppose I'd always innately knew I needed growth hacking within the marketing for my own novels, but this is It's gotten to the point where I simply do not miss a word Ryan Holiday writes--whether it's a Tweet, a blog post, or certainly a new book. I would have never expected his latest--a brief, cheap ($2.99), e-book-only work--to be such a game changer...if not a life changer. Before reading this, I didn't know the term "growth hacker," but now I can't imagine ever doing business without it. I suppose I'd always innately knew I needed growth hacking within the marketing for my own novels, but this is the first book to truly crystallize those ideas in my mind. If you're a person who sells something, or has a message he wants spread, you'd be a fool to not devour this book. Written in Holiday's enjoyable, matter-of-fact style, you could have this book finished before lunchtime if you'd just quit wasting your time online reading Goodreads reviews.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Oleksandr Golovatyi

    A very short but useful book about new marketing rules, about sunset advertising on television and new ways of business promotion. ----------------------- Очень коротенькая но полезная книга про новые правила маркетинга, про закат рекламы по телевидению и новые пути продвижения бизнесса. I read this book on Scribd by Readlax Chrome Extension A very short but useful book about new marketing rules, about sunset advertising on television and new ways of business promotion. ----------------------- Очень коротенькая но полезная книга про новые правила маркетинга, про закат рекламы по телевидению и новые пути продвижения бизнесса. I read this book on Scribd by Readlax Chrome Extension

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maciek Wilczyński

    Must-read position for traditional marketers and good compulsory read for start-up related people. The book presents the foundation, philosophy and key principles of growth hacking - the new way of attracting and maintaining clients in the long run. Few actionable tips, some great case studies. If you're looking for a book, which will tell you what to do, it's not the one. But if you're looking for a book, which will tell you how you should be thinking about marketing your product - go, run to t Must-read position for traditional marketers and good compulsory read for start-up related people. The book presents the foundation, philosophy and key principles of growth hacking - the new way of attracting and maintaining clients in the long run. Few actionable tips, some great case studies. If you're looking for a book, which will tell you what to do, it's not the one. But if you're looking for a book, which will tell you how you should be thinking about marketing your product - go, run to the closest book store or order it on Amazon. Also, full of very helpful positions and actionable URLs to blogs, conferences etc. which may boost your knowledge in the topic. I strongly recommend it!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Troy Blaylock

    Ryan Holiday is a genius in this space as his PR agency has brought millions of statistics to professionals and leaders from all sorts of backgrounds. Founder, aspiring entrepreneur, product manager, communications, artist, whoever.... You need to pick this up if you're serious about the growth of your emerging consumer business. Ryan Holiday is a genius in this space as his PR agency has brought millions of statistics to professionals and leaders from all sorts of backgrounds. Founder, aspiring entrepreneur, product manager, communications, artist, whoever.... You need to pick this up if you're serious about the growth of your emerging consumer business.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Munday

    I'm sure this book was valuable in 2013 - It was a little too basic for me in 2017. Yep, data driven is essential. But, let's come up with some amazing strategies for how to build off just calling out data as important. I'm sure this book was valuable in 2013 - It was a little too basic for me in 2017. Yep, data driven is essential. But, let's come up with some amazing strategies for how to build off just calling out data as important.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mati

    It's like a 50 page blog post. If you know nothing about growth, it may point you to some basic topics. It's like a 50 page blog post. If you know nothing about growth, it may point you to some basic topics.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    A growth hacker is a software or computer engineer leading another team of engineers for the purpose of marketing. The concept of a growth hacker (and the point of Ryan's book) is that 'coding and technical chops are now an essential part of being a great marketer' (from Andrew Chen who is referenced in the book). This was an alarming proposition for author Ryan Holiday as he is no engineer but is rather the VP of marketing of a large corporation (in addition to marketing for other well known cl A growth hacker is a software or computer engineer leading another team of engineers for the purpose of marketing. The concept of a growth hacker (and the point of Ryan's book) is that 'coding and technical chops are now an essential part of being a great marketer' (from Andrew Chen who is referenced in the book). This was an alarming proposition for author Ryan Holiday as he is no engineer but is rather the VP of marketing of a large corporation (in addition to marketing for other well known clients and being an author). The idea that you have to have technical chops to 'make it' in the future of marketing was scary for him...and fascinating. I feel like this short e-book was informative yet only mildly interesting. The main idea here is that to grow your product you need to continuously analyze the data so that you can continuously evolve the brand to fit the customer's demands. In order to execute such a task you must have the data. Thus, "a growth hacker doesn't see marketing as something one does, but rather as something one builds into the product itself". Examples of growth hacking in use: Groupon offering $10 coupons if you forward the link to a friend who purchases a Groupon; data sites who offer more data bytes of storage if you refer friend. Hotmail was one of the earliest examples of group hacking as they grew their email business by embedding the phrase "PS: I love you. Get your free email at Hotmail" at the end of every Hotmail email sent out thus wildly expanding the brand to the tune of a $400 million sale to Microsoft a few years later. Hence growth hacking is the vehicle for acquiring customers since users have to be pulled in (rather than bombarded with ads like traditional advertising). This is where the technical skills of programmers and engineers come into play because they are the ones who come up with the different concepts like using a website's API, figuring out how to share codes for the brand with other websites (a la Airbnb's engineers figuring out how to auto post the listings on Craigslist which was a no-no at the time), and even sharing data on sites like Bit Torrent to generate mass appeal ahead of a product launch. The limitations of such ideas as discussed would be for more traditional brands, or brands that aren't purely digital or always even digitally pushed. I feel like a lot of these ideas Ryan wrote about have been discussed before in various platforms and he just brings them together. Nonetheless for a 50 page e-book it may at least be worth a quick browse to see what's happening in the Silicon Valley world of marketing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    ThereWillBeBooks

    I figure the kind of business lingo discussed in books like these will be useful to know and use, even if I have no idea what any of it means. Even if I don't have a business I will be able to blend in at fancy cocktail parties where all the avante-garde tech and new wave marketing people hang out and make small talk while I steal the hors d’oeuvres. At the very least this book should help me get some free shrimp cocktails. I figure the kind of business lingo discussed in books like these will be useful to know and use, even if I have no idea what any of it means. Even if I don't have a business I will be able to blend in at fancy cocktail parties where all the avante-garde tech and new wave marketing people hang out and make small talk while I steal the hors d’oeuvres. At the very least this book should help me get some free shrimp cocktails.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nhung Pham

    Concepts and ideas used to define the Growth Hacker Marketing in this book are just a mixture of well-known approaches as Inbound Marketing and Integrated Marketing. Contemporary Mkt has rapidly and profoundly evolved since the rise of technology. It's absolutely not foolish as it was described in this book. Concepts and ideas used to define the Growth Hacker Marketing in this book are just a mixture of well-known approaches as Inbound Marketing and Integrated Marketing. Contemporary Mkt has rapidly and profoundly evolved since the rise of technology. It's absolutely not foolish as it was described in this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Wolfson

    This books packs a real punch in 56 pages. It gives you everything you need to know to adopt a growth-hacking mindset, which is the way marketing will be done exclusively in the future.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Robert Szolga

    Traditional marketing no longer applies to the informational era. New startups come from behind with new ways of thinking and new marketing techniques that revolutionize everything we knew about advertising by now. From concepts like product-market fit, product recommendation and viral coefficients, this book will forever change the way you look at advertising and launching a business or product. I recommend this book not only for marketing specialists but also for anyone who wants to start a bus Traditional marketing no longer applies to the informational era. New startups come from behind with new ways of thinking and new marketing techniques that revolutionize everything we knew about advertising by now. From concepts like product-market fit, product recommendation and viral coefficients, this book will forever change the way you look at advertising and launching a business or product. I recommend this book not only for marketing specialists but also for anyone who wants to start a business because it will force them to turn them into real growth hackers.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Abhijeet Jain

    A nice introduction about "growth hackers". The book is stuffed with numerous tactics used by top companies for the marketing, which obviously I loved. Who should read this book? If you want to know about growth hacking or you are just someone who wants to read about marketing. A nice introduction about "growth hackers". The book is stuffed with numerous tactics used by top companies for the marketing, which obviously I loved. Who should read this book? If you want to know about growth hacking or you are just someone who wants to read about marketing.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Josh Clausen

    Maybe novel in 2014, but this blog-post-turned-novella was nothing more than pointing out that traditional marketing has changed.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel Lacerda

    Very good book to show you a lot of another options for marketing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alexis Chute

    I enjoyed what I read but I wanted more. This felt like only an introduction to what would be a more fleshed out book. For that reason, it felt shallow and superficial. Even short ebooks should aim to be as rich and as helpful as possible, no? My 2/5 stars reflects this, not what I think about the author or the content, but more so the format the information was presented in.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rob Mead

    Read as a B2B in 2020, so lots of it is self evident by now. Very consumer focused, and I disagree with the idea of virality over a flywheel

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anna Mezhova

    A short and sweet intro to growth marketing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Diamond-Hope Kingston

    This was written in 2013 but still proves to be an excellent read in 2020. Recommend this to people starting out in product marketing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Diyas

    As I'm looking for something practical related to subjects in college, this book has every answers. As I'm looking for something practical related to subjects in college, this book has every answers.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mandi Ehman

    This is a short-and-sweet intro to growth hacker marketing, and I appreciated both the way it was organized and the examples Ryan Holiday used throughout. Although I've been in this space of growth hacking for awhile, it was helpful for me to see the differences between growth hacking and traditional marketing laid out, and I found it great for idea generation! This is a short-and-sweet intro to growth hacker marketing, and I appreciated both the way it was organized and the examples Ryan Holiday used throughout. Although I've been in this space of growth hacking for awhile, it was helpful for me to see the differences between growth hacking and traditional marketing laid out, and I found it great for idea generation!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ernest Junius

    Wake Up, Advertising A review of Growth Hacker Marketing Although the slogan “Advertising is Dead” has been proclaimed again and again by iconoclasts and innovators around the world since the beginning of the millennium, it might not be entirely true—especially in this country (Indonesia) where big companies are still taking advantage of oblivious citizens who are mostly still residing in rural areas away from civilisation and high-speed internet connection. To say advertising is dying is more acc Wake Up, Advertising A review of Growth Hacker Marketing Although the slogan “Advertising is Dead” has been proclaimed again and again by iconoclasts and innovators around the world since the beginning of the millennium, it might not be entirely true—especially in this country (Indonesia) where big companies are still taking advantage of oblivious citizens who are mostly still residing in rural areas away from civilisation and high-speed internet connection. To say advertising is dying is more accurate. I, however, prefer it best to call advertising is “less effective” (than it used to be). Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday is talking about this exact phenomenon. Pioneered by startups the growth hacker phenomena has grown into a worldwide thing—it even has its own conventions, forums, groups, and discussions all over the net. It is the new thing of running (marketing) things: there is no more need of cosmic-scale marketing budgets for TV ads, glossy spread, full-page block in national newspapers, etc., you just need a bunch of growth hackers to run all your marketing needs and see your business proliferate in influence and numbers. Great. So is it that easy? No. The first thing, you need to know is what is Growth Hacker Marketing. “The end goal of every growth hacker is to build a self-perpetuating marketing machine that reaches millions by itself.” —Aaron Ginn So basically Growth Hacking is a mindset—not a toolkit—that combines marketing and engineering. Rather than doing traditional marketing like we all in big advertising agencies do, they do it differently by making their approach testable, trackable, and scalable. Rather than bombing the TV with pointless beautiful cinematic that runs for a minute for an X brand that viewers might not see anyway (because they switched the channel before the commercial reveals its benefactor), a growth hacker would develop something (most probably an app or a kooky Youtube video) that will grab their target audience attention and make them buy the product almost instantly and also make them the brand’s evangelists who will likely spread the love for the brand by talking it to their peers and writing about it in their blogs. But in order to do this, there are steps to do and obstacles to clear. First off, you need to make a wonderful product. In other words, a product so awesome people will talk endlessly about it (probably like Twinkies when it first came out, I don’t know), the author put Instagram as an example. Creating a great product is a marketing decision. That’s new isn’t it? Well, it had been mentioned before in Purple Cow by Seth Godin, but in case readers forget, yes, the product is marketing in itself. So if the product sucked, marketing efforts are pointless. Sounds familiar? Yes, just what we do every day in advertising agencies—trying to sell tired old products. After the great product phase, a growth hacker needs to learn from what the consumers think about the product (feedback, suggestions, etc.) and define what could be the best metric for growth. And after he figures that one out, he will need to make it go viral. And finally, he needs to continue make improvements and tweak the product to keep happy customers (cause it is stupid to invite the customers in just to kick them out, right?). What most satisfied readers (and the ones who expect a god-like transformation happening in their companies) would overlook from this is that to make this growth hacking happen a company needs to have the right, qualified people. And on top of that it will need a ridiculous amount of work and research. And also most growth hackers out there are usually skilled not just in marketing, but also engineering and programming. At this point I would like to say that one would need to prepare these kinds of people beforehand. And not to mention one needs to set up the connections he needs to make things happen—because plans are just plans until they actually pull off. Although growth hacking is just a mindset, it can be very tough to actually pull it off. But when it does, it can be very rewarding (big impact sans big spending). So if you believe the old way of advertising doesn’t work like it used to be anymore you might want to read this, although sadly I don’t think the tactics in this book aren’t applicable in big advertising agency environment, since big agencies are usually the servants of big clients with big, grand plans in their heads which usually involve big budgets for TV, radio, prints and all those ATL bullcrap that surely will go down the drain. But don’t get discouraged now. Why don’t just use it for your own good? Apply it to your own venture, and maybe things will work out better than you’d ever hope.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ash

    I read this more some work related enlightenment, but it was stuff I pretty much knew already. At least it was quick.

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