The concept of growth hacking : case study on Finnish companies
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The digitally revolutionized environment and availability of big data provide firms constantly arising new opportunities to deliver increased value for customers. However, this development has also challenged companies and marketers to adapt and transform their ideology and operating models to meet the current demands of empowered customers. One of the concepts that has emerged as a response to this need is growth hacking, a process that combines a data-driven mindset and multi-functional, customer-centric approach into marketing decision-making processes. This managerial-born concept originated from start-up world and thus, has received remarkable interest from practitioners and been implemented by larger businesses as well. Despite the prominent attention by practitioners, the academic research of the phenomenon is scant. Therefore, the objective of this research is to enhance the understanding of the growth hacking phenomenon. This attempt is accomplished by identifying the necessary resources required from a firm and the individuals. Moreover, this study examines the execution process, and potential benefits and risks associated with adapting growth hacking methods and philosophy within a company. To effectively address the research questions, a qualitative research approach and a case study strategy are employed. Data is collected through five interviews. To gain an elaborate perspective that enhances the scientific research on the subject, the interviewees were selected from four case companies and one case agency that provides advisory services on growth hacking implementation to firms. This study broadens existing academic research of growth hacking, providing support for the specific resources required and differentiating it from marketing discipline. This study provides a more detailed identification of the specific characteristics required from growth hackers than previous research has been able to show. Moreover, the critical resources that have a direct impact on the outcome are identified. This study contributes further scientific support for the proposition that growth hacking can be considered as a strategic resource that possesses notable benefits for a company. However, contrary to previous research, this study proposes that growth hacking is not exclusive to marketing department and marketing functions. After scrutinizing the presented aspects, this study offers an empirically and theoretically grounded conceptualization of growth hacking approach for future research. ...
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