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September 22, 2020

Business Insights

Growth hackers: what’s all the hype about?

What is Growth Hacking? Let’s hear from Irina, our industry expert! She’s a growth hacker at Sprints and Sneakers.

Hi Irina! Tell us a bit about the concept of growth hacking! 🙌

Growth Hacking found its way into our marketing talks a decade ago and surprisingly these questions still make it to the top of Google search queries.

Watercooler chats or global summits, join any conversation about growth hacking and we can assure you will hear all kinds of opinions. Books have been written, podcasts recorded, and the startups who once were the first to “hack their growth” are now used as iconic growth hacking examples.

As a growth hacker myself, I may be biased, but I do understand that the rise of growth hacking easily resulted in highly conflicting views. It’s no partisan issue, but if you think growth hacking is something confined to startuppers running on a budget, it will simply take one look at a growth hacking agency’s clients list -even ours- to change your mind. True, growth hacking was born within young startups, hence its ability to work with smaller budgets is rooted in its DNA. But that’s an asset, not a limitation.

Growth marketing is a whole different way to do marketing: “a mission to challenge the way marketing is done”. That’s what Sprints and Sneakers, our growth hacking agency, swears by.

What’s the story of Sprints and Sneakers? 👟

Growth Hacking was born in the Silicon Valley startup scene, and, as mainstream as this may sound, it’s there that Sprints and Sneakers’ story truly began. It was more and more obvious how a traditional marketing approach could not keep up anymore with the pace at which the digital landscape was developing. The need to leverage rapid experimentation is what made growth teams develop in an opposite direction. Long story short, the old awareness focused way was limiting, to say the least, hence they started using data to build a model to see in which phase opportunities and weaknesses lie.

Founded in 2018, Sprints and Sneakers is a relatively new company and was kept small for a good while. Growth is what we live and breathe, so it’s no surprise that when we decided it was time to grow, we did it with a bang.

What is like working in a growth hacking agency? ⬆️

The truth is everyone can turn the tables in their favor claiming to be the best, the biggest, or the ones with the most clients, but when judging the success of a growth hacking agency, we think growth itself should be the critical factor. We firmly believe in “practice what you preach”.


This growth is just a reflection of our way of working, focused on fast learning and testing. We call it working in sprints. That means we make a strategy where we define experiments on a monthly basis, we test them, and see what works best to build further upon. Working in sprints makes us able to look at data, trends, and results from month to month. We act quickly on changes and modify strategies to get the most out of our efforts.

How has the current situation affected you ❓

The current situation gave this way of working whole new gravity. Within just a few months, the speed at which you can test, learn, and test again became vital, and that is what made us and our clients grow even through a global crisis.

Sadly, critical moments are when the strength of your offer is put to the test. The recent outbreak has massively accelerated the growth of e-commerces, which make up 70% of our clients. That makes it easy to understand why the growth hacking industry has suffered relatively little damage.

Any advice for people looking to apply growth hacking to their business? 🎤

If you feel like giving growth hacking a shot, here’s the best advice we could ever give you: invest in yours and your employees’ learning curve. It all starts with your team, the people you hire, train, and put your trust in. Bet on learning potential, and in everything you do, adopt a growth mindset. Going from “I don't know how to do this” to “I did not learn it yet” is the greatest favor you can do to yourself.

Develop in a T shape: UX/UI, service design, behavior psychology, copywriting, statistics, SEO, SEA. The ultimate growth hacker knows enough about all of it but has deep expertise in one area.

Any advice for those looking to become growth hackers? 🌈

Be growth-obsessed. That’s what growth hackers do, it’s in their very name. When thinking about our greatest success or accomplishment, it’s growth we are talking about. We could mention clients, revenue, or projects we worked on, but it’s walking in every day and witnessing growth.

Lastly, a bit of a cliché: don’t be afraid to fail.

And if you want to give it a try at Sprints and Sneakers, just know we are always looking for new talents to come shake things up.

Thank you for this, Irina! It was super insightful. ❤️

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