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Growth Hacking Magic? 
Sean Ellis 
September 17, 2014 
CEO of Qualaroo, 
GrowthHackers.com 
Twitter @seanellis 
Going Beyond the Hype to Take Your 
Business to the Next Level
About Me 
• Founder/CEO of Qualaroo & 
GrowthHackers.com 
• Previously VP Marketing from customer zero to 
NASDAQ IPO filing at LogMeIn and Uproar.com 
• Then interim marketing exec roles at Dropbox, 
Lookout and Eventbrite
Extreme Competition for Attention 
@seanellis 
$160 
$140 
$120 
$100 
$80 
$60 
$40 
$20 
$0 
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 
US Online Ad 
Spend per User 
3.5x
Rapidly Evolving Channels 
MySpace 
Twitter 
Craigslist 
@seanellis 
120 
100 
80 
60 
40 
20 
0 
WOM 
Email 
Facebook 
iOS 
Android 
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 
James Currier
Yet Some Huge Startup Successes 
Little or no traditional 
marketing… 
@seanellis
GROWTH HACKING 
MAGIC? 
@seanellis
No – Rigorous Process of Experimentation 
1. Ideas 
2.Prioritize 
5.Optimize 
4.Analyze 3.Test 
@seanellis
The Dropbox Growth Story 
@seanellis 
• Freemium reduced allowable CPA 
• Natural advantages to grow with 
collaboration and sharing 
• Catalyze sharing with double sided 
referral program 
• Optimize conversions on sharing 
loops 
• 300 million users with no traditional 
marketing
Desperation Drove Startups to Innovate 
• Aggressive targets, tight resources 
• Traditional approach not realistic 
@seanellis 
• Had to rethink growth…
The Growth Hacking Playbook 
• Experiment with all 
available growth levers 
• Understand what’s 
driving growth, test to 
improve it 
• Heavy focus on product 
and optimization 
http://www.michiganemploymentlawadvisor.com/
B2B or B2C? 
• Growth hacking isn’t just for consumer-focused 
@seanellis 
companies. 
• B2B often requires integration with sales process.
HubSpot’s Growth Hack – Free Tools 
@seanellis
Yammer – Engineered User-Get-User 
@seanellis
LinkedIn - Engineered User-Get-User 
@seanellis
PUTTING GROWTH HACKING TO 
WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS 
@seanellis
Finding Your Own Growth Hacks 
@seanellis 
• Areas of exploration 
• Process, team and tools
Some Areas of Exploration 
• Platform integrations 
• Engineered user-get-user 
• Free tools 
Examples 
25+ M users 
@seanellis
Areas of Exploration (Cont) 
• Powered by 
• Reverse engineer success 
Examples 
@seanellis
Success Data: Airbnb’s Pro Photos 
• Airbnb discovered that 
listings with high-quality 
photos received 2-3x 
bookings 
• Airbnb invested in 
professional photography 
• Booking activity explodes 
as desire increases 
@seanellis
Other Growth Studies for Inspiration 
@seanellis
Experimentation is Key to Success 
• Generate many ideas for experiments 
• Prioritize by impact, confidence & effort 
• Balance high impact & high probability tests 
@seanellis
GOAL: 
INCREASED UNITS 
OF GRATIFICATION
Double Down on Success 
• Challenge is not finding 
many channels that work, 
but rather finding one. 
• Often your best growth 
opportunity is to double 
down on what’s already 
working.
Growth Team Often Needed 
“Growth team” complements existing marketing team 
@seanellis 
• Multi-disciplinary 
• Cross functional 
• Evangelize experimentation 
culture
Some Helpful Tools 
• Analytics — Identify drop-off points and under-performing 
pages (e.g. Google Analytics, 
@seanellis 
KISSMetrics) 
• Qualitative Insights — Uncover the why behind the 
numbers (e.g. Qualaroo, SurveyMonkey) 
• A/B Test — Find better performing combinations to 
drive conversion rate (e.g. Hubspot, Optimizely)
Relentless Execution of Growth Process 
1. Ideas 
@seanellis 
2.Prioritize 
5.Optimize 
4.Analyze 3.Test
Key Takeaways 
• Emerging marketing challenges require all to rethink growth 
• Growth hacking is based experimentation, not silver bullets 
• Add process/team to maximize number of experiments 
• Get inspiration from data, VOC and what’s working for others 
@seanellis
Questions? 
THANK YOU. 
Sean Ellis 
CEO of Qualaroo 
& GrowthHackers.com 
Twitter: @seanellis

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Busting the Myth of Growth Hacking Magic

  • 1. Growth Hacking Magic? Sean Ellis September 17, 2014 CEO of Qualaroo, GrowthHackers.com Twitter @seanellis Going Beyond the Hype to Take Your Business to the Next Level
  • 2. About Me • Founder/CEO of Qualaroo & GrowthHackers.com • Previously VP Marketing from customer zero to NASDAQ IPO filing at LogMeIn and Uproar.com • Then interim marketing exec roles at Dropbox, Lookout and Eventbrite
  • 3. Extreme Competition for Attention @seanellis $160 $140 $120 $100 $80 $60 $40 $20 $0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 US Online Ad Spend per User 3.5x
  • 4. Rapidly Evolving Channels MySpace Twitter Craigslist @seanellis 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 WOM Email Facebook iOS Android 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 James Currier
  • 5. Yet Some Huge Startup Successes Little or no traditional marketing… @seanellis
  • 7. No – Rigorous Process of Experimentation 1. Ideas 2.Prioritize 5.Optimize 4.Analyze 3.Test @seanellis
  • 8. The Dropbox Growth Story @seanellis • Freemium reduced allowable CPA • Natural advantages to grow with collaboration and sharing • Catalyze sharing with double sided referral program • Optimize conversions on sharing loops • 300 million users with no traditional marketing
  • 9. Desperation Drove Startups to Innovate • Aggressive targets, tight resources • Traditional approach not realistic @seanellis • Had to rethink growth…
  • 10. The Growth Hacking Playbook • Experiment with all available growth levers • Understand what’s driving growth, test to improve it • Heavy focus on product and optimization http://www.michiganemploymentlawadvisor.com/
  • 11. B2B or B2C? • Growth hacking isn’t just for consumer-focused @seanellis companies. • B2B often requires integration with sales process.
  • 12. HubSpot’s Growth Hack – Free Tools @seanellis
  • 13. Yammer – Engineered User-Get-User @seanellis
  • 14. LinkedIn - Engineered User-Get-User @seanellis
  • 15. PUTTING GROWTH HACKING TO WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS @seanellis
  • 16. Finding Your Own Growth Hacks @seanellis • Areas of exploration • Process, team and tools
  • 17. Some Areas of Exploration • Platform integrations • Engineered user-get-user • Free tools Examples 25+ M users @seanellis
  • 18. Areas of Exploration (Cont) • Powered by • Reverse engineer success Examples @seanellis
  • 19. Success Data: Airbnb’s Pro Photos • Airbnb discovered that listings with high-quality photos received 2-3x bookings • Airbnb invested in professional photography • Booking activity explodes as desire increases @seanellis
  • 20. Other Growth Studies for Inspiration @seanellis
  • 21. Experimentation is Key to Success • Generate many ideas for experiments • Prioritize by impact, confidence & effort • Balance high impact & high probability tests @seanellis
  • 22. GOAL: INCREASED UNITS OF GRATIFICATION
  • 23. Double Down on Success • Challenge is not finding many channels that work, but rather finding one. • Often your best growth opportunity is to double down on what’s already working.
  • 24. Growth Team Often Needed “Growth team” complements existing marketing team @seanellis • Multi-disciplinary • Cross functional • Evangelize experimentation culture
  • 25. Some Helpful Tools • Analytics — Identify drop-off points and under-performing pages (e.g. Google Analytics, @seanellis KISSMetrics) • Qualitative Insights — Uncover the why behind the numbers (e.g. Qualaroo, SurveyMonkey) • A/B Test — Find better performing combinations to drive conversion rate (e.g. Hubspot, Optimizely)
  • 26. Relentless Execution of Growth Process 1. Ideas @seanellis 2.Prioritize 5.Optimize 4.Analyze 3.Test
  • 27. Key Takeaways • Emerging marketing challenges require all to rethink growth • Growth hacking is based experimentation, not silver bullets • Add process/team to maximize number of experiments • Get inspiration from data, VOC and what’s working for others @seanellis
  • 28. Questions? THANK YOU. Sean Ellis CEO of Qualaroo & GrowthHackers.com Twitter: @seanellis

Editor's Notes

  1. Requires really understanding how customers get a great experience…