What is Growth Hacking ?


Growth Hacking is a new field that combines marketing, data analysis and technology. It is a discipline dedicated to using all possible methods to optimize business growth.
It was born as a start-up in Silicon Valley, but today it has developed into a form of work suitable for large companies.

However, please note that before the term existed, people had been engaged in growth hacking activities without their knowledge. It just wasn't formalized.

What is Growth Hacking ?

Growth Hacking is an agile digital marketing technique that accelerates the growth of the activity of startups or innovative SMEs at a lower cost.
It's a new field that combines marketing, data analytics and technology. Those who use it are called Growth Hackers. They perform a high processing experience in order to increase the client portfolio of startups.


How Growth Hacking work?

To achieve its goal of efficiency at a lower cost, Growth Hacking is based on rapid testing of digital marketing methods. With the help of Growth Hackers, it is also possible to test new markets. The principle is simple: promote products or services that do not yet exist, and measure the popularity of Internet users.

This approach to Growth Hacking has become popular among start-ups and has gradually spread among large groups to test new markets before developing innovative products or concepts.

All this follows a given process, which is divided into several stages:

  • Determine growth potential
  • To state a hypothesis
  • Do priority tests
  • Perform tests in real conditions
  • Results analysis
  • Optimize or automate or abandon this market.


Sean Ellis : The inventor of the term Growth Hacking

Growth Hacking was originally a way of thinking. Before being defined as "Growth Hacker", startups in Silicon Valley used unconventional techniques to promote their growth with very limited budgets. Conceptually, therefore, Growth Hacking technology was born in the United States in the early 2010s, more precisely in Silicon Valley.

The inventor of the term “Growth Hacking” is Sean Ellis. At the time, Sean Ellis was working at Dropbox, but he already had other professional projects. In short, he wants to leave Dropbox. So much so that Sean Ellis had to find someone to take his position. The problem ? He doesn't know how to call and set his location, his job being to grow the Dropbox user base. The term "marketing" is inappropriate because it is not enough to describe the work he was doing. Finally, he chose the term “Growth Hacker” to define his technology and his know-how. According to the definition at the time, the "Growth Hacker" represented a person truly committed to development.

Since 2012, the first community dedicated to Growth Hacking has been active: The French Growth Hackers community was born shortly after: or Growth Hacking France.

What does a Growth Hacker look like?

The Growth Hacker is the tech-savvy who puts goals above means. Revenue growth is its primary focus, and the channels, technologies or tools to achieve revenue growth are secondary. This is why it is so important for Growth Hackers to have extensive knowledge and skills. Compared to most marketers, Growth Hackers require more technical skills.

When it comes to Growth Hacking skills, knowledge of data is a must, as it is the only way to identify the problem and its cause. Then there is the creativity to find solutions. And finally, Growth Hackers need technical skills to develop these solutions. For a Growth Hacker, you don't need to be an expert in every aspect, but you do need to understand the basics to do most of the work yourself:

  • Build landing pages
  • Build websites
  • Design and understand colors, fonts, branding, etc.
  • Advertise on channels like AdWords, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Basic HTML and CSS
  • Implement tracking tools like Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, Hotjar, etc.

You will also need to have many other concepts / techniques, such as conversion rate optimization, artificial intelligence in marketing, webscraping, chatbots, APIs, etc.

Examples of Growth Hacking


AirBnB will post its offer on Craigslist and link it to its own platform for potential renters looking for more information. In this way, they were able to attract original Craigslist customers, and people continue to rely on AirBnB.


YouTube, in the field of sponsorship, has the idea of inviting users to publish videos on their own site or blog (via the "embed" function). This immediately improves site statistics in real time. We are also at the sponsorship level.


The Dropbox service also uses Growth Hacking technology. Her tips: invite people to use Dropbox to get 16 GB of free space. This is another example of typical Growth Hacking behavior that can be included in the recommendations. We see that the greatest success of Growth Hacking is linked to the referral phase.


Spotify uses the same process as Airbnb, then uses Facebook to expand its user base. As of 2011, the music streaming service has developed an integrated device to automatically share the music listened to on Facebook. All Facebook contacts of people who use Spotify can find out about the service.

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Finally, remember that Growth Hacking is a technique that saw the light of day in the 2010s but is a very evolving technique. It aims to grow products or services rapidly, if possible, exponentially. He uses all means to achieve his goal.

Do not hesitate to consult the skills in digital marketing techniques of our agency to grow and strengthen your digital presence with your users.