This article is only written for growth hackers, if you are not working for a startup, do not read our secret


Evolution of Marketing: growth hacking

As all the components of a company’s operational system, Marketing is evolving. At its premises in the 50’, marketing was a kind of evolution state of basic sales principles. Leading to a new era were basic principles appeared enabling people to put detailed segmentation strategy and other concept enhancing a company’s performance.

Nowadays, in the age of super competitiveness and digital playground development, a new concept is born among Silicon Valley’s Startup. In the purpose of performance requirement, a new Marketing growth strategy gets to the edge of the world: The Growth Hacking.

All the most successful companies in the world such as Facebook, Airbnb, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Amazon… use Growth hacking strategies to generate new leads, traffic, and outstanding visibility. To sum up: growth & profit.



What is Growth Hacking?

We can describe it as a Digital Marketing Strategy allowing startups and companies to considerably accelerate their growth rate with the lowest cost possible. This new powerful tool is however 100% focus on growth, and therefore, doesn’t get stopped on the traditional marketing principles. It may use leverage but get as only barrier imagination and creativity.

To set up a strong Growth Hacking strategy, you may consider the AARRR model.


Acquisition: Where do you get your customers? Where do they come from? From which channel? And most importantly, you may consider which channel brings the most traffic, which one gets the best conversion rate and which one is the most cost-effective per acquisition.

Example: Hotmail

They just added a simple message at the bottom of each mail: “PS: I love you. Get your free email at Hotmail” with a link redirecting users to the company website. Thanks to that, they generated around 3000 users per day. In 6 months they reached 1 million users and 20,000 daily subscriptions.


Activation: This part is more about the quality of the customer experience. What kind of first experience are you going to offer your prospects?


Retention: How many of your clients do you keep and how many do you lose?

Referral: Build a word of mouth system. How can you turn your customers into your advocates? Try to save money and make your clients work for you.

Example: Dropbox

The King of recommendation. They just decided to offer 500MB storage to all of its users recommending “Dropbox” to their friends. EASY.



Revenue. It does not need much explanation here, you’ll understand it easily. It’s all about making more money.

How does it work?

Opening a company is like managing different cycles one after another, and each time you open a new one, the previous one should keep on running. Meaning that it’s a constant job, and everything is constantly in motion.

Your product or CRM can always be improved. Your website can always be optimized, and you’ll always have a way to make more money. From the moment there is a competitive market, there is a growth opportunity.

A company planning to perform a growth hacking strategy should play on as many details as possible to enhance company growth. Everything that may have a chance to work and lead you to reach out your goal will be tested.

And as mentioned before, it does not stop to marketing principle. A growth Hacker may be looking at event organization, psychological and behavioral principles, design, content optimization, etc. The essence of growth hacking is to try new things.


“The ability of raising funds will no longer help you stand out if you don’t use your money wisely and properly” Fan Bing


As introduced by Oussama Ammar, consider Growth Hacking strategy as following the 3D:

  • Design: Everything start with the product (or service) and is made for the product.
  • Data: Everything gets to be measured. And nothing should be done without taking data into consideration.
  • Distribution: always keep in mind your end goal, which is getting new leads and convert them into your clients.


What can it help you to achieve?

Growth Hacking strategy will by definition help you to boost your company’s growth. But to get more into details, it can help you to:

  • Generate fame
  • Build strong customer loyalty
  • Lead generation
  • Revenue increase
  • Trying out new market


Growth Hacking tips:


  • Breakdown your Growth goal

An action plan responds to a strategy. And a strategy responds to an objective. So, do not forget to set up all your goals in terms of company growth. Is it about traffic increase? Leads generation? Conversion rate? Income?

  • Hire professionals

The marketing content quality can have a huge impact on your prospects and should not be underestimated. If you have a sufficient budget, do not hesitate to delegate some works to professionals.

For example, Airbnb decided to hire professional photographers to take a picture of some apartments before uploading it to their website. Which led to a very positive impact on their growth rate.


  • Cultural flexibility

You can’t operate in China as you’d do in your home country. China got a very specific culture and people get a different behavior and psychological mindset than back home. So, you need to understand your audience when communicating with them. Whether you do it yourself or hire some experts, it’s going to be a really important point.

Some basic example just to mind cross-cultural communication:

The V fingers. In some countries, it means victory in some other places it literally means “fuck you”. It may not be planned, but the result will still be there…

  • Understand the platforms

In China, you’ll really have to mind the rules of each platform you’re posting on if you want to avoid being banned. Otherwise, like in most of the countries in the world, if hoping for good results, consistency will be important. Don’t post pictures alone, but try to add some text, a description or something. And last but not least, value hot topic! Probably the best way to touch a wide audience.

Furthermore, as a consultant I’ve heard so many times companies saying things such as “We got 2 million followers on Instagram, it should be enough” or “We are sooooo famous on Facebook and Twitter, they gonna love us!”. Well, sorry to disappoint you but they don’t use such platforms over here. You’ll have to start again and focus on these:

WeChat: the N°1 APP messenger in China. Great communication tools, perfect to interact with your community.

Weibo: a bit like the Chinese Twitter. Perfect to target a wide audience.

weibo 2020

  • Video is the new king in China

You may want to do some short vlog or explanation video to talk about your product and spread it online. Videos are getting more and more popular in China, especially among young people.

Consider Douyin and Youku!

  • Use micro-influencers & KOL

KOL are literally a great asset for your company if planning to gain a huge visibility! Whether you want them to send a text, picture, videos, or maybe performing live-streaming… be sure that it’ll bring you a lot of new followers.

  • Web optimization

Baidu is everything in China, forget about Google. And if you’re a serious company willing to achieve amazing results over here, you’ll have to develop a website in Chinese and optimize it to increase the loading speed. Consider SEO as well and powerful marketing mail automation.



Case study


At the beginning of Airbnb, their booking rate was pretty low… To raise funds and boost their company development, they decided to sell cereals box using the image of Obama and Mac Cain in the middle of the presidential campaign, at $40/box. In less than 2 months, they made over $30,000.



Before reaching 100 million monthly users, the company had to fight to gain its first visitors. They started to invest all of their marketing budgets, around $500 at that time, in stickers… And they sticked it everywhere. In parks, cinema, shops, schools, gave it to people during concerts and events, etc. A non-conventional technic that managed to drive a bit of traffic. But unfortunately, their website was at that time clear as water. Completely virgin. No content. Which leads as you may imagine to a very bad retention rate. However, they decided to create fake profiles and generate various discussions to make people believe in Reddit as a website having a wide and engaged audience. It worked.



Their first version based on geolocalization barely worked. So, they shifted their APP to photo sharing, made it up in 2 months, and recruited 100 persons for a first trial. From this first 100 peoples, they managed to reach 25,000 subscriptions on the official opening and an outstanding growth rate due to influence marketing and Key Opinion Leaders.


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  1. Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on FB News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Baidu News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Cheers

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