The Tool Shed Blog

The Truth About Growth Hacking

As a business owner, you've probably heard the term "growth hacking" thrown around in the last few years. Growth hacking has become a popular buzzword in the world of marketing and business scaling strategy. But what exactly is growth hacking, and how does it differ from traditional marketing?

Growth hacking is a term that was coined in the early 2010s by Sean Ellis, who was looking for a way to describe a new approach to marketing that was focused on rapid growth. This approach combines traditional marketing tactics with data analysis and creativity to identify and exploit opportunities for growth.

One of the key differences between growth hacking and traditional marketing is that growth hackers are focused on finding ways to drive growth quickly and efficiently, often using unconventional methods. This means that they are always looking for ways to test and measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts, and they are willing to try new things in order to find the right growth hack for their business.

If you're interested in learning more about growth hacking and how it can benefit your business, keep reading. 

I am covering lots of information; you can skip down to any section if you'd like:

The Future of Growth Hacking

What is Growth Hacking?

What is a Growth Strategy?

Understanding Growth:

Understanding Momentum in the Growth Flywheel:

What is a Growth Hacker? 

How to identify friction in your growth flywheel?

Growth hacking has become a popular term in the world of business and marketing, but what does it really mean? In my opinion, growth hacking is less about a specific set of tactics and more about a methodology. Rather than focusing on one-off campaigns or short-term gains, growth hacking is about developing a systematic approach to driving business growth.

Instead of rehashing the same old history of how the term growth hacking was coined, I want to focus on what growth hacking looks like in 2023. Over a decade after the term was first coined, growth hacking has evolved into a more sophisticated approach that combines traditional marketing tactics with data analysis and creativity.

Growth hacking has evolved into a more sophisticated approach that combines traditional marketing tactics with data analysis and creativity. In 2023, growth hacking is all about using data and experimentation to identify opportunities for growth and then exploiting those opportunities in creative and effective ways.

This means that growth hackers are always looking for new and innovative ways to test and measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts, and they are willing to take risks in order to find the right growth hack for their business. By using a systematic approach to driving business growth, growth hackers can help companies achieve their goals faster and more efficiently.

If you're interested in learning more about growth hacking and how it can benefit your business, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're experts in the field and can help you develop a growth hacking strategy that will help your business thrive.

Growth hacking is a strategic approach to driving business growth that involves collaboration and iteration in order to achieve the best possible results. It's about taking a proactive approach to growth and being willing to pivot and adapt in order to reach your goals.

Companies like Disney, Apple, and Airbnb have set the bar high when it comes to creating an amazing employee and customer experience. And while growth hacking is often associated with digital marketing, it's about so much more than just that. It's about what happens inside and outside of your business, and how you can use growth hacking to create a truly magical experience for your employees and customers.

Growth hacking isn't just about driving short-term gains - it's about building a sustainable and scalable growth strategy that will help your business thrive over the long term. This means taking a holistic approach to growth and looking at all aspects of your business, from your product and marketing to your customer service and employee experience.

If you want to learn more about growth hacking and how it can benefit your business, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're experts in the field and can help you develop a growth hacking strategy that will help your business thrive.

Is Growth Hacking Evolving?

The future of growth hacking is a bit different from what it has been in the past. While it will still require expert-level marketing skills, it will also require a more holistic approach to growth. This means aligning sales, marketing, service, people, and technology in order to create sustainable growth and solidify your position in the market.

Growth hacking in 2023 is about more than just hot marketing trends and buzzwords. It's about understanding what drives growth and leveraging that knowledge to create a truly amazing employee and customer experience. This means going beyond mobile optimization and content clusters, and focusing on creating a seamless and engaging experience for your customers.

In order to succeed as a growth hacker in 2023, you'll need to be able to adapt to changing market conditions and consumer preferences. This means being willing to try new things and take risks in order to drive growth. It also means being able to collaborate with other experts in order to develop and execute a growth hacking strategy that will help your business thrive.

One of the biggest benefits of growth hacking is that it allows businesses to scale quickly and efficiently. By using data and experimentation to identify opportunities for growth, growth hackers can help businesses identify and exploit those opportunities in order to drive rapid and sustainable growth.

For example, a growth hacker might use data analysis to identify patterns in customer behavior and then develop a marketing campaign that is specifically designed to target those customers. This could involve using personalized messaging, targeted ads, or other tactics to engage and convert those customers.

Another way that growth hacking can help businesses scale is by identifying and leveraging new channels or platforms for growth. For example, a growth hacker might identify a new social media platform that is gaining popularity among a specific demographic, and then develop a marketing campaign that is designed to engage and convert those users. This could involve creating content that is specifically tailored to that platform, or using targeted ads to reach potential customers.

Growth hacking is a powerful tool that can help businesses scale quickly and efficiently. By using data and experimentation to identify and exploit opportunities for growth, growth hackers can help businesses drive rapid and sustainable growth. Whether you're a small business owner or a large corporation, growth hacking can help you achieve your growth goals.


The Future of Growth Hacking

Growth hacking is changing in the coming years. As people crave connection and positive experiences, growth hacking will need to evolve to meet the changing needs of consumers. Growth hackers will need to focus on creating positive experiences for customers and leveraging new channels and platforms in order to drive growth. The main metric for growth hacking is still growth, but success in the future will require a more holistic approach to growth. By focusing on collaboration and community, growth hackers can help businesses drive sustainable and scalable growth in the coming years.

Take a look at GAP Inc for instance. They pollute hundreds and thousands of tons of wasted plastic each year. Why is that necessary? It’s not. These two guys are fighting for what’s right and I love seeing that we have a future generation of people who care. 

Or fast fashion. It’s crazy to believe that an entire garbage truck full of clothes is burned or sent to the landfill every second. Is killing our planet what it takes to grow?

Not only is it important for companies to think about the cost of goods and the cost per customer acquisition, but it is also equally important for companies to consider the social and greater impacts their company’s product will have on society, our planet, and humanity as a whole. 

Sounds a bit intense, but think of Uber. Or Google. 

There's a reason so many now say “I took an Uber” or “Google it.”

If our new social slang isn’t enough. How about the implications of brain-machine interfaces? Read more about all that here.

It’s scary and it’s happening. 

To grow better in 2023, companies will need to consider their social responsibility and focus on creating positive experiences for customers. This means being intentional about why they exist and how their actions impact the world and their communities. 

In a crowded online landscape, growth hacking can help companies stand out and get in front of potential customers. By using data and experimentation to identify opportunities for growth, growth hackers can help businesses drive sustainable and scalable growth. 


What is Growth Hacking?

At gardenpatch, we define growth hacking as the execution of a well-defined growth strategy while doing the easiest, cheapest, and most impactful things first.  

A growth strategy provides a list of actions and a roadmap along with an additional analysis of how all the Marketing, Sales, Service, People, and technology come together. Pretty simple, if you ask me, but it can get a bit complex, quickly. With a never-ending to-do list, it can be easy for teams to get bogged down with unimportant, not urgent, low impact tasks. 

Many startups lean on agencies, like gardenpatch to help them hack growth and get to their results quicker and with a lot less friction in their growth flywheel. A growth strategy that doesn’t consider growth hacking in a holistic manner and only focuses on marketing is missing out on the opportunity to reach more customers and get more people using their products for a lower cost per acquisition by tapping into the power of customer advocates.

Word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing, as positive experiences with a business can lead to customers sharing their experiences with others. Advocates, both internal and external customers, are the root of word-of-mouth marketing and are key to driving sustainable and scalable growth.

Successful startups have hit the silver bullet and understand how to achieve the Aha moment of sustainable growth. 

But how?

Understanding Growth:

IGrowth hacking is more than just digital marketing, it's a holistic approach to growing a business.

In 2023, growth hackers will need to be experts in more than just marketing, they will need to understand how sales, service, people, and technology all come together to drive growth.

At gardenpatch, we believe that there are five main pillars of growth in a company's growth flywheel. These pillars are Marketing, Sales, Service, People, and Technology. By aligning these pillars, companies can achieve sustainable and long-term growth.

These are the 5 pillars that make up the foundation of every business growth hacking strategy in 2023. 

In today's business world, there are several pillars that are key to achieving success. These include sales, marketing, service, people, and technology.


Sales is crucial for generating revenue and solving customer problems. Your company's ability to align your sales team and the processes and tools that support them can help you sell more.


Marketing is all about building relationships with customers and telling your company's story in a way that captures their attention and builds trust.


Service is an important factor in customer satisfaction and post-sale engagement. Providing high-quality service can help bring customers back and encourage them to tell their friends and family about your business.


People, both internal and external, are the backbone of any organization. By treating them well, helping them grow, and nurturing relationships, you can keep them coming back and build a loyal customer base.


Technology is also crucial to success. With so many SAAS platforms available, a smooth and efficient tech stack can increase productivity and profitability.

To learn more about these pillars and how they can help your business grow, check out our "What" page. The future of growth hacking involves a "Comb-shaped expertise," where a team of people with individual t-shaped expertise works together to achieve success.

The bottom line: one or even a few people can’t do it alone. 

So how many people do you need?

It depends on the project and the desired goal, but the cost of hiring 20 in house experts for sales, marketing, service, people, and technology is expensive and out of most company’s realm of possibilities in the early stages. 

This is another one of the many reasons companies choose to grow better with growth agencies like gardenpatch. 

You’re able to maximize the value of a full team of experts and state of the art technology resources for less than the cost of 2-3 full-time employees. 

Understanding Momentum in the Growth Flywheel: 

In order to achieve business growth, it's important to understand the 5 pillars that work together to add momentum to the growth flywheel.

A flywheel with momentum will spin smoothly and easily, while friction can slow it down.

By having clear goals and understanding the steps necessary to reach them, you can add momentum to your flywheel and make it easier for your company to grow.

It's also important to have S.M.A.R.T goals, which are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-targeted.

By understanding momentum and the factors that affect it, you can improve your chances of success.

In the modern-day digital landscape, there are so many things to consider:

Social Media:

In today's world, it's important for businesses to be active on social media. Posting consistent, valuable, and engaging content on the main platforms that your customers use can help you connect with them and build relationships.

It's also important to be open to change and willing to adapt to new platforms, as the social media landscape is constantly evolving. If you're resistant to change and stick to tactics that worked well in the past, you may see a decline in conversion rates.

By staying active and engaged on social media, you can reach your customers where they are and improve your chances of success.

In the early days of the internet, AOL was one of the first major social media platforms. It allowed users to connect with each other, share content, and participate in online communities. But as technology evolved, newer and more feature-rich platforms emerged.

Myspace was one of the first social networking sites to become popular, with its focus on music and entertainment. It was followed by Facebook, which exploded in popularity and became the dominant social media platform for many years.

Today, there are countless social media platforms available, each with its own unique features and user base. In addition to the big players like Facebook and Twitter, newer platforms like Snapchat and TikTok have gained popularity, especially among younger users.

As technology continues to evolve, it's likely that we will see even more new social media platforms emerge.

The rapid pace of change in the social media landscape can be challenging for businesses.

It's important to be flexible and adapt to new platforms and features in order to stay relevant and connect with your customers.

By staying active and engaged on social media, you can build relationships, share valuable content, and improve your chances of success.

Search Engine Optimization:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important aspect of online marketing. Being found on the first page of Google can help your business reach more customers and improve its online presence.

However, the strategies for achieving this have become more complex in recent years. Inbound marketing and optimizing your website for search engines are still important, but the landscape has changed and there are many other factors that can affect your search engine rankings.

By staying up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and tactics, you can improve your chances of appearing on the first page of Google and reaching your target audience.

Email Marketing: 

Email marketing is a powerful tool for reaching customers and promoting your business. Despite the rise of social media and other online platforms, email is still a popular and effective way for users to make buying decisions.

While it may be harder to get high open and deliverability rates than it used to be, email marketing is still a key part of any digital marketing strategy. By creating engaging and relevant content, you can reach your target audience and improve your chances of success.

Online Advertising:

In today's world, advertising is still an important part of any growth strategy. But with the rise of ad blockers and users who are more savvy about online marketing, it's important to create engaging ads that make people want to come to you, rather than relying on disruptive or interruptive tactics.

While advertising can help increase brand awareness and reach your target audience, it can also be costly and may not produce the same conversion rates as it did in the past.

A good growth campaign should include some paid advertising elements, but it should not be solely focused on paid promotions. By creating ads that engage and interest users, you can improve your chances of success.

Create ads that make people want to come to you. 

Create ads that are engaging and interesting to users.

Traditional advertising tactics, such as interruptive pop-ups or banners, are often ignored or blocked by users who are savvy about online marketing. Instead, businesses should focus on creating ads that make people want to come to them.

This can be done by offering valuable and relevant content, using compelling visuals, and highlighting the benefits of your products or services.

By creating ads that users want to engage with, you can improve your chances of success and reach your target audience.

Additionally, this approach is more likely to produce conversions and generate a positive return on investment.

With all of that in mind,

What is the true secret sauce to growth hacking in 2023?

The true secret sauce to growth hacking in 2023 is creating "WOW" moments for your customers. This means disrupting traditional consumer experiences and offering something new and exciting that users weren't expecting.

Companies like Uber, Carvana, and Amazon have all done this successfully, and have been able to tap into the missing experiences that users are looking for.

By putting the user experience first and creating moments that make people feel seen and valued, businesses can earn loyal customers and advocates who will continue to support them in the future.

This is especially important when it comes to reaching younger audiences, who will grow up and be the ones making decisions about how to invest in the future.

In short, growth hacking in 2023 is all about creating "WOW" moments that will help your business stand out and thrive.

What are the stories your customers are sharing about your company?”

We’ve all heard of the amazing stories about incredible customer experiences. 

About employees who went above and beyond to make a customer smile. 

The team member who did the right thing because they knew it was the right thing to do. 

We’ve all heard about the amazing workplaces. 

The “I wish I had your job” conversations. 

In 2023, we get to remember that it’s never been easier to share those stories.

The internet thrives on those stories. 

If you’re curious about why you may not be hearing about these stories in your company, you probably need to look for the missing “WOW” moments.

What are the missing “WOW” moments in your buyer and customer journeys? 

To drive sustainable growth, businesses need to create "WOW" moments for their customers.

This means disrupting the traditional user experience and offering something new and exciting that will make people remember your brand.

By focusing on the customer and creating positive experiences, you can unlock the potential that lives in the missing "WOW" moments in your buyer and customer journeys. This will help you gain more brand advocates and drive exponential revenue growth.

In short, growth hacking in 2023 is all about creating unforgettable experiences that will make people want to support your business.

By focusing on the customer and removing friction from your growth flywheel, you can drive sustainable growth and success.

One common misconception is that “WOW” moments and experience disruptors have to be difficult and expensive. 

As Rory Sutherland states beautifully in his TED Talk “Sweat the small stuff.” We need more people focussed on the simple, inexpensive problems that need to be solved. 

“What is happening in the world today is the big stuff, actually, it’s done magnificently well. But the small stuff, what you might call the “user interface” is done spectacularly badly.”’

He continues… 

“And the fundamental problem is we don't actually have a word for this stuff. We don't know what to call it. And actually we don't spend nearly enough money looking for those things, looking for those tiny things that may or may not work, but which, if they do work, can have a success absolutely out of proportion to their expense, their efforts and the disruption they cause.“

Creating "WOW" moments for your customers doesn't have to be expensive or complex. It simply requires empathy and a focus on the customer experience.

By putting yourself in your users' shoes and making their journey to solving their problem as seamless and frictionless as possible, you can create positive experiences that will drive exponential revenue growth.

This level of empathy is often lacking in corporate businesses, but it is crucial for creating unforgettable "WOW" moments that will make your customers want to support your business.

By focusing on the customer and removing friction from your growth flywheel, you can drive sustainable growth and success.

What can established businesses learn from growth hacking?

Established businesses can learn a lot from growth hacking. While some people think that growth hacking only applies to startups, it is actually a data-driven iterative process that can benefit companies of all sizes.

Growth hacking involves identifying opportunities for growth and disrupting the traditional way of doing things in order to drive revenue.

This requires a holistic approach that looks beyond marketing and focuses on the entire business.

Established businesses can learn to read between the lines and focus on things like compassionate leadership, employee engagement, and creating a culture of curiosity in order to unlock their maximum growth potential.

By embracing the principles of growth hacking, established businesses can drive sustainable growth and success.

Why is growth hacking important?

Growth hacking is important because it helps companies navigate the fast-paced world of business. In recent years, we have seen the rise of "unicorn" startups that have achieved rapid growth, but have also faced controversy and backlash.

This has shown that growth cannot be the only metric that matters.

Companies have a responsibility to consider the impact of their actions and the greater good.

Consumers and investors also need to be aware of where they are investing their money. In the modern age, it is important to balance growth with social responsibility.

Growth hacking can help companies achieve sustainable success while also considering the greater impact of their actions. 

What is growth hacking in digital marketing?

If you found this article and were hoping to find more tactics, then I’ve finally got to what you’ve been waiting for. 

This article is not intended to be a complete guide for growth hacking in relation to marketing tactics. 

Here are my top 23 digital marketing tactics

  1. Make valuable content: Whatever you create. Make sure that it drives value to the end-user. Value can come in many forms, including but not limited to educational or entertainment value. 
  2. Make your content “WOW” worthy: It’s okay to go above and beyond and do things that no one has ever seen before. It won’t happen magically and it does take an immense amount of strategy, however, it’s worth the investment. 
  3. User-generated content (UGC): when customers and advocates share custom content of your product and stories about your product online on their social networks, we call this user-generated content. It’s like word-of-mouth on steroids. 
  4. Remarketing: Use your ad budget wisely and target people with high interest and engagement with your content or website. Rather than looking for new eyeballs, nurture the ones who already know you exist. 
  5. Personalized: When people are being spoken to directly they feel heard and understood. Fill out the form at the bottom of this page to see an example of personalized web content. Nowadays, even video content can be personalized in a few minutes. 
  6. Non Stop testing and iterating: Question everything. Then again. And again. The more you can test different hypotheses the more you will have an opportunity to see the messaging that works well with your audience.  
  7. Understand your market: Everyone talks about the market and target audience. I really mean understand your audience. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, feel their pain, and practice a deeper level of empathy. It will open you up to a world of possibilities. 
  8. Abandoned cart emails: Don’t give up on someone who doesn’t convert right away. Take advantage of automated abandoned cart emails and drip campaigns to nurture your buyers down the buyer's journey. 
  9. Automate everything: When you have a clear process defined, eliminated the unnecessary clutter, focus on automation to maximize return on effort. Do it once for an abundance of repeated results. 
  10. Know what your competitors are doing: Stay ahead of the game by keeping a close eye on what is happening in your industry and neighboring industries. There is always an opportunity to learn from others. 
  11. Collaborate with other winners: Take advantage of a win-win situation where you and a collaborator can both benefit from working together to drive awareness and engagement to your and another person’s brand. 
  12. Favorite Four Letter Word? FREE: Exchange an email for a freebie. People love free stuff, especially if it’s something that brings value to my life. When considering the cost to acquire one customer, oftentimes, it’s cheaper to invest in giving something away for free because it helps you acquire new clients at a lower cost. 
  13. Reduce Scrolling: Scrolling is the killer of conversion. Minimize the need to scroll and make sure that the opportunity to convert is always visible while on the web or landing page.
  14. Get off the web (Events): People want to experience things, remember? Get out there, get involved in your community, host an event, engage with people in real life. Scary. I know. Do it. It’s good for you. 
  15. Get users involved with a challenge for good: Engage your audience with a challenge that they can get behind. Consider doing something fun and including a giveaway
  16. Survey: Learn more from and about your audience about their desires and wants. Survey them to understand how you’re doing and to get key audience insights for new products and future innovations.
  17. Quizzes: Consider personality tests such as those seen in the enneagram institute. Quizzes are a good way to get users interested enough to remain engaged until time to make a purchase. 

There are literally hundreds of tactics and techniques that a business can deploy depending on their business goals. If you’re looking for more, check out Wishpond’s “Growth Hacking: 100 Hacks, Strategies and Techniques.”

What is Growth Hacker? 

I love Sean Ellis’s reference to a growth hacker being a person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential to impact on scalable growth. 

I think everyone should be a growth hacker. Every role should think in that way. 

Nikolas Vogt, founder of Growth Akademie reminds us that we should make growth hacking a part of our culture and I completely agree. 

Companies who are thriving are creating a culture of learning and open space for employees to take radical responsibility and experiment within their roles and at times, even outside of their roles. 

Have you heard of Richard Montañez? He’s famous for being the Janitor turn PepsiCo Executive for inventing the Hot Cheeto and driving billions in revenue for the company. 

Do you have a pocket of untapped billions in your company? 

Having people in every part of the organization looking for tensions that add friction in the growth flywheel is a secret weapon of sorts. 

Imagine everyone in the company always looking for ways to impact a more sustainable approach to growth. 

The real question is, why don’t they?

Because traditional and social conditioning has programmed us to keep our mouth shut and believe that our choices and actions on a small scale don’t matter that much. 

It’s a shame, but I said it. 

(Shit should I delete this?) 

Aaron Ginn’s definition of a growth hacker is a great one: “mindset of data, creativity, and curiosity." 

As I mentioned when starting this article, growth hackers do much more than manage marketing campaigns. 

Examples of Growth Hacking by “WOW” moments:

  • Uber: Once upon a time we were told to stay away from strangers. Now we’re encouraged to get in a car with one and trust them with your life as they take you from point a to point b. 
  • WeWork: Disruptors of how people work and engage in workplace communities. We work used community engagement to drive a cult-like following that helped their brand build a loyal fan base. 
  • Airbnb: Largest accommodation provider in the world, yet they own no real estate.  
  • Skype: As an immigrant, we stayed years separated from our family in Brazil. Skype gave us the first opportunities to chat with my grandma face to face making us feel closer than ever.
  • Starbucks: A great example of “WOW” moments for people offering a slew of employee benefits and perks ranging from Health Coverage, Education Reimbursements and even a few free drinks here and there. 

How to identify friction in your growth flywheel

By regularly reviewing and optimizing your processes, you can identify and remove any friction that is hindering your growth.

This can include everything from streamlining sales and marketing processes to improving customer service and support.

By making these changes, you can create a more efficient and effective organization that is better able to generate revenue and drive growth.

Additionally, involving your team in this process can help to create a culture o

8 important elements to keep in mind for your growth hacking process: 

  1. Make It repeatable: Is there a clear method to help do this process again and again?
  2. Make it shareable: Is it easy for your staff to share the process and feedback for improvement?
  3. Make it “Wow” worthy: Do your people and customers experience “WOW” moments when going through your process?
  4. Make it secure: Have you tested your process to make sure it is secure and ready to be implemented?
  5. Make it irresistible: Are people in love with how frictionless of an experience you’ve created?
  6. Make it iterative: How often are you making your process better?
  7. Make it fun: Are your staff and customers having fun engaging in your process?
  8. Make It profitable: Is your process helping you save time, money and resources and guiding you to a path of more profitability?

How do you start growing hacking?

At gardenpatch, we have a team of experts who are skilled in identifying and curating the missing "WOW" moments in your buyer and customer journeys. If you are interested in taking your business to the next level of exponential growth, schedule a free consultation with one of our experts.

Our consultations are a great opportunity to discuss your growth hacking strategy and get personalized advice on how to drive real growth in your business. Don't miss out on this chance to learn from our team of experts and take your business to the next level.

Our team can help you identify the missing "WOW" moments in your buyer and customer journeys, and provide guidance on how to create a culture of curiosity in your organization.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this article, so please feel free to leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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