Growth hacking: old wine in new wineskins

A fast growth is not good for every company

Vienna, 9th of April 2019 – The experts of the digital marketing agency 123Consulting are sceptical on the incessant trend towards growth hacking. It is all about the fastest possible growth which is not an advantage for every company, says Harald Grabner, founder of 123Cosulting.

“Growth hacking inquires how the number of customers for a product can be increased. It is all about the rapid growth of the company, other aspects are left out”, says Grabner. Everything revolves around the question of how quickly growth can be increased. The consideration of whether the product advertised has any use at all or whether there is demand drops further down in the list of priorities, just as the focus on the product itself or the consideration of who the core target group actually is and its needs. In addition, infinite, rapid growth is not necessarily target-oriented and not always in the interests of a company.

Then there is the aspect of automation. Grabner: “Good marketing cannot be automated. Good marketing has to be tailored to the product and the needs of the customer. Hacks and abbreviations may be creative, but they have nothing to do with a well-thought-out marketing strategy, no matter how often growth hackers emphasise that there is no getting around growth hacking as a marketer”. Furthermore, growth hacking is not reinventing the wheel, Grabner criticises: “Testing what works and what doesn’t, for instance, is not an innovation. It is part of the marketing basics”.

Basically, growth hacking is a reduced form of traditional and digital marketing, but is extolled as a big innovation that practically everyone can use. “There are webinars on the topic that foreground the idea that growth hacking can achieve quick results. The customer experience is addressed, but actually it’s secondary. Primarily, it’s always about rapid growth, quick results and ultimately also quick money. Long-term effects are not taken into account at all. You could also say: growth hacking is old wine in new wineskins”, concludes Grabner.