Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tech Marketing Execs - Adapt the Hacker Spirit or Perish

As a tech marketing exec, you know the market growth is critical for both tech start-ups and large technology companies in new product launch. As a marketing graduate student in Northwestern University and a digital marketing analyst doing several entrepreneurial projects around internet products, I came across two interesting articles that let me know the importance of HACKER SPIRIT for tech marketers and for driving today’s market growth.

The first article is written by Andrew Chen, a famous tech blogger in Silicon Valley. In this article called Growth Hacker is the new VP Marketing, he introduced a concept, which has been a hot topic recently within Silicon Valley, called “Growth Hacker”.  According to Andrew, the new job title of “Growth Hacker” is integrating itself into Silicon Valley’s culture, emphasizing that coding and technical chops are now an essential part of being a great marketer. Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph. 

Source: Ryan Holiday

Another great article called Rational Growth written by Andrew Chen about the specific tactics for driving rational growth around internet product. All the tactics he introduced are using “engineering” thinking to do web analytics for the growth of your users. It is possible to grow user signups via data and marketing analytics. Andrew introduced in the article some latest methods to do web quantitative measurement, scenario modeling via spreadsheets, and a lot of database queries to know the consumers’ signing up decision journey, which can later optimize the marketing efforts for growing the consumer base.

Based on these two articles, I have developed 3 action items you should consider.  They are: 

1.    Develop the Hacker Spirit
Different from CPG/retailing or other traditional marketing areas, marketing around internet products require strong insights for the product developing philosophy especially when the marketers are doing new product launch. Try your best to deeply understand the logic and designing thoughts behind the tons of codes. Learn coding if possible.

2.    Use Consumer Insights
Marketing professionals may not easily achieve the same level of coding in a short time as developers from Computer Science background. But our solid insights in consumer’s painpoints, enchantment can really be an added-value for both the product market-fit process and its rational growth. 

3.   Get an edge using analytics
Web analytics can be another way to sharpen your edge for entering this industry. Data-savvy analytical thinking accompanied by strong ability to understand consumers can help corporations maximize the marketing investments’ effects and optimize the product.

To sum up, we should get a hacker spirit or to say, entrepreneurship if we want to be a tech-savvy marketer in the future. But one may ask, for start-ups these may be valuable, then how about the big tech companies. In my view, these two are the same. The technology industry is transforming in an amazing speed every day. No one can predict who will be a star/ giant company in the next year. So in such a fierce market, the only way to survive is keeping the hack spirit inside the corporate culture. So for the tech marketers, let’s all go for the GROWTH HACKER!

Tracy is a digital marketing analyst, who has great passion for technology industry and digital analytics. She got 2-year experience in both telecommunication/IT and consulting industry in China, including working for Qualcomm and Bain&Comany

Tracy completed a Bachelor of Science in Economics and is now pursuing a master's degree of Integrated Marketing Communication in Northwestern University.

Follow her on twitter: @TracyWang0215
LinkedIn: Tracy-Guanchun Wang

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