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Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown

Sean Ellis is the CEO and co-founder of the number one online community built for growth hackers with nearly 2 million users worldwide.

Sean coined the term “Growth Hacking” to describe the process used by agile growth companies and is the producer of the Growth Hackers Conference.

He regularly speaks to startups and Fortune 100s and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Fast Company,, and TechCrunch.

The Host’s Perspective:

I recently interviewed an author of a marketing book who maintains that if you, as a marketer have not read Robert Cialdini’s seminal book published in 1984, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, that you simply cannot be taken seriously as a marketer.

He’s absolutely correct.

There’s another book that is going to be added to the list of books that marketers must have read to be taken seriously, and that is “Hacking Growth.” And the reason for this is because marketers are too focused on traditional marketing and not on the financial realities of their companies.

A recent McKinsey study of publicly traded companies showed absolutely no correlation between marketing investment and growth rates.

Another study, of CEOs views of traditional marketing, conducted by the Fournaise Group, reported that 73% of CEOs think marketers lack business credibility and are not-effectiveness focused enough,” and 72% of CEOs agreed with the statement that marketers “are always asking for money but can barely explain how much incremental business this money will generate.”

Growth hacking empowers companies to achieve breakout growth without pouring money into outdated and horribly expensive marketing campaigns with questionable business value. Devising features that get consumers to love a product or service and spread the word to their friends, and create hacks to reach customers in new, measurable ways, is taking the place of cash-guzzling marketing and ad plans, and the upside is enormous.

Traditional marketing is a bit like bloodletting to cure a patient. It was done for centuries and continued because it was generally believed by experts to be beneficial. But it wasn’t. So if you think of traditional marketing as bloodletting, think of growth hacking as modern medicine.

Put simply, every company needs to grow their base of customers in order to survive and thrive.

It’s about how to engage, activate, and win them over so they keep coming back for more. It’s about how to adapt nimbly to their ever-changing needs and desires and turn them not only into a growing source of revenue, but also passionate investors and an engine of word-of-mouth growth for your brand or product.

Growth hacking is a new fundamental business methodology that all companies, and every founder, every corporate team leader, and every department head and CEO who wishes to meet high expectations, produce meaningful results, and achieve their business goals with limited investment and maximum return on their marketing dollars must adopt.

Hacking Growth is the first practical, accessible, step-by-step playbook to hacking growth – written by one of its founders and in collaboration with one of its most expert practitioners, that can be adopted by any team, department, or company of any stripe.

Listen to the Interview: 

Show Notes

Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

The Upstarts by Brad Stone

Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story by Jerry Weissman

Million Dollar Consulting: The Professional’s Guide to Growing a Practice by Alan Weiss

Digital Sense by Travis Wright and Chris Snook

About Hacking Growth (

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