My new favourite phrase is growth hacker marketing. If you haven’t heard of it, it is in essence ditching traditional mass marketing and focusing on ingenious methods to grow your business only to people who will buy from you.
I just read a whole book about it (Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday) where the author gives great examples of companies who have used growth hacking to explode their business; AirBnB, Groupon and Dropbox to name just a few.
After reading the book I was hooked. This was exactly what I was flirting with offering these services clients yet I hadn’t coined it as growth hacker marketing.
Fast forward two days after finishing the book (and my new obsession of growth hacking) i was listening to audio stories in my car with my son. Puss in Boots came on.
Now, Puss in Boots manages to make his owner a VERY rich man. He could have done this by telling his master to sell something, start a market stall or the like but instead Puss thinks of VERY clever ways to get his master in front of the right people.
Puss’s master was a miller’s son and when his father passed away he was given the cat. His brothers got land and property but the younger son got a cat. He was sad until the cat started talking to him promising to make him a very rich man.
The miller’s son, upon request from the cat, uses his all the money he has left on buying a pair of boots and a hat for his newly acquired pet.
There are many variations of this fairy tale but the next few encounters are truly remarkable. Puss in Boots knows who he will market his new master to and he just knows that instead of multiple ways to get money, he will get his master in front of the one person who can truly make his master a rich and successful man – the King.
Puss in Boots catches the King’s favourite, and hard to find, food of partridges (or rabbits in some versions). He then takes a bag of partridges to the King and says it is a gift from his master who knew the King enjoyed partridge pie. The ecstatic King sends Puss in Boots home with a sum of money for the miller’s son.
Next, Puss discovers the King will be taking a certain route on his outing so tells his master to get undressed and go swim in the nearby river to the route. Puss comes running over to the King’s carriage saying his master’s clothes have been stolen and the King orders the finest clothes to be fetched from the palace for the cats master. The Princess, who was travelling with the King, then falls in love with the miller’s son.
Are you starting to fall in love with this growth hacking cat too? Strategic placing of his master in exactly the right place in front of his exact audience.
The miller’s son is then invited into the King’s coach. Puss in Boots then runs ahead and advises (with a friendly threat) a field of country men to say to the King that the lands belong to his master. The King was impressed by the lands and asked to see his castle,
The cat then makes the original owner of the lands disappear and gets the castle ready for their royal guests. (Just so we’re clear, I’m all about business growth but do not recommend you completely destroy your competitor.)
The King was in awe of the miller’s son and asked him to marry his daughter, the Princess. The miller’s son accepted and, as Puss in Boots had promised at the beginning of the story, he became a very wealthy man indeed.
I introduce to you Puss in Boots: the original growth hacker!
Growth hacker marketing is absolutely something any business can use. Let’s take away the need to market to the masses and just focus on people who will actually buy from you.