Product adoption infographic

Product Adoption Infographic by

A Short History of Growth Hacking

Most of us have heard the term “growth hacking”. It’s one of the industry’s biggest buzzwords. This term is shaping and changing how the world sees marketing. Growth hacking has been famously heard alongside companies like Airbnb, Uber and Pinterest. Why is that? Because they’ve all experienced explosive growth and used growth hacking to get there.

Uber is by far the most famous because it grew to be worth over $3 billion in just 6 years. Though a large part of its success is attributed to the unmet need Uber filled by offering an alternative to taxis. The other part of its success is due to what they were able to do with their existing user base. They used growth hacking to find a way to get more users into their product through their existing users. A simple idea in theory, but complex to execute and Uber executed this strategy perfectly.

While “growth hacking” isn’t a new idea, it’s still a process that many companies haven’t adopted. Sean Ellis coined the term “growth hacking” back in 2010.

Andrew Chen, another famous growth marketer, made the term growth hacking famous. He said, “Growth Hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of ‘How do I get customers for my product?’ and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph.

The most important statement to take from Andrew Chen? Here it is, “Growth is an aftereffect of strong product/market fit and great distribution.

Andrew meant you can’t growth hack a failing product or one that lacks market fit. Growth is simply the affect of a great product backed by the right strategy.


Growth Hacking and the Product Adoption Equation

The growth hacking process involves rapid experimentation across marketing channels and during product development. The theory is the more tests you run, the more you learn about what impacts the growth of your business. It’s natural to want to execute as many tests as possible in a short period of time. The challenge is creating enough ideas to support rapid experimentation.

The speed of experimentation is the hardest part of growth hacking. Companies have lists upon lists of test ideas and they have to choose the best ideas to run with. Most ideas actually never get tested because validation only allows test with the highest impact on growth. Though it has its hardships, growth strategy should still be a priority for all businesses. Especially startups and during product development.

Many entrepeneurs and marketers think that success is user growth. They think that if they just crack the growth equation they’ll become the next Uber. Reality check: this isn’t true. Growth is only one-half of the equation. 

So what’s the other half of the equation?

The other half of the equation is retention.

“Growth + Retention = Product Adoption”

Why is retention part of the product adoption equation? Just look at these statistics:

  • According to Bain and Co, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.
  • Gartner says, 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers.
  • 75% of users stop using an app within 90 days of download.

While acquiring new users is important, the real value comes with how many you can keep. If retention is an after thought, you’re probably losing revenue. Sustained growth should be your first priority, which occurs because of your existing users. Think about how to integrate retention strategy into your product roadmap from the beginning.

Bottom line: Retaining your users will have a huge impact on the success of your product. The product adoption equation puts the focus on both growth and retention. Not only growing from your existing users but growing and retaining your existing users.

Merging Growth and Retention

Now you know the Product Adoption equation, but what is Product Adoption?

Product Adoption is the successful onboarding of new users and retention of existing users. It’s creating a delightful user experience and continuing to engage users throughout their lifecycle.

We’re talking about Product Adoption for digital products (Mobile/web apps, SaaS, bots etc.).

Most marketing folks know product adoption as the product adoption curve. This covers all products, including consumer-packaged goods.

RevUnit's Product Adoption Curve for Digital Products

The Product Adoption curve is about tracking macro (large scale) trends in product adoption. It’s not a measurement or process for how to create the adoption of products. The curve just measures how the product has been adopted in the marketplace.

The Product Adoption process for digital products looks more like this:

DARRC Marketing Model for Product Adoption at RevUnit
The DARRC Model

Discover -> Acquire -> Retain -> Recommend -> Convert

Discover – The potential user becomes aware of your product.

Acquire – The potential user downloads and has their first experience with your product.

Retain – The user likes your app enough to continue to come back and becomes a loyal user.

Recommend – The user loves your app enough to recommend it to others.

Convert – The user has completed the action you want them to take. The action could be revenue-based or non-revenue based, depending on the purpose of your product.

The Product Adoption process follows the stages of the user lifecycle. It merges growth and retention, strategies to engage users throughout the product journey. This process enables companies to take control over the user’s experience.

The digital landscape is changing rapidly. Product Adoption serves as a gateway to user happiness (retention) and product growth.

RevUnit and Product Adoption

At RevUnit, we’ve made a commitment to giving ideas “their best chance for success.” With product adoption we’re taking this a step further. We’re integrating the product adoption team into all new product builds. Essentially, putting a zoom lens on our client’s success.

The product adoption team puts a laser focus on the user. They provide clients with the tools and strategies to acquire and retain users. RevUnit is more than your product and developer team, we’re your adoption team as well.

Our DARRC framework (Discover, Acquire, Retain, Recommend, Convert) is the foundation for product adoption. The key to product adoption lies in engaging the user at the right time, in the right way. Our product adoption team uses DAARC with this in mind, engaging users when they need it most.

If you are looking for help with Growth & Retention, contact our Product Adoption experts.

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