The answer is “yes.” But, which kind?

In one of our recent webinars on Lead Generation Best Practices we were asked, “We’re an early stage company. The idea of a growth hacker job role makes sense and we need our customer facing people be able to span multiple roles. Is this a good idea?”

There has been a lot of talk about “growth hacking” lately. The term is en vogue but no matter what you call it – growth hacking, lean marketing, marketing 3.0, sales 4.0 – it’s shorthand for the methods used by a new generation of multi-billion companies such as Mint, LinkedIn, Square, HubSpot, and Facebook to build their brands without spending big money on “traditional marketing.”

Growth Hacking at its core means putting aside the notion that marketing is a self-contained act that begins toward the end of a company’s or a product’s development life cycle. It is, instead, a way of thinking and looking at your business. A growth hacker is someone who has thrown out the playbook of traditional sales and marketing and replaced it with only what is testable, measurable, and scalable.

I recommend that people don’t get caught up on the term “growth hacker” or even a specific definition for it. Focus instead on the concepts behind it. – Sean Ellis, CEO, Qualaroo

Let’s keep it simple:

Growth hacking is both marketing and sales in today’s media landscape. It’s about maximizing ROI – about expending resources and energy where they will be most effective. At it’s core, marketing is lead generation. Anything that gets customers is marketing. Anything that closes customers is sales. Now more than ever, doing more with less is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

Growth hackers have a common attitude, internal investigation process, and mentality unique among technologists and marketers. The mindset of data, creativity, and curiosity allows a growth hacker to accomplish the feat of growing a user base into the millions. – Andrew Chen, startup investor

But what exactly are you looking for and where do you start?

When people use the term “growth hacker” sometimes they are looking for a data scientist. Other times they are looking for a marketing guru – someone who has strong brand and business development skills, who can approach these areas in a way that is testable, trackable, and scalable. More often than not, people use the term “growth hacker” expecting a unicorn – a miracle “A” player who is instantly going to affect your bottom line.

Does your company need a Growth Hacker A or a Growth Hacker B? Are you struggling to make your sales pipeline more efficient, or are you are you still trying to fine tune your value proposition?

Make a realistic evaluation of what your organization needs.

Before you hire, take a look around GrowthHackers.com, Clarity.fm, and Quora. Get an idea about the types of projects growth hackers are working on. If you see something that looks like what you have in mind for your company, ask for a referral. Simple as that.


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