5 reasons why you should slash your marketing budget (and spend it on digital products instead)


A couple of weeks back we explored the rise and rise of the growth hacker.

By ruthlessly focusing on growth, this new wave of marketers are achieving impressive results.

But growth hacking takes more than tactics.

It’s also the mindset of baking marketing in from the beginning and collaborating with digital product developers to build products people want in the first place.

This is the way marketing is going now.

We all know traditional campaigns are harder to pull off. Nobody wants their favourite YouTube videos or Spotify playlists interrupted by a British Gas advert.

Plus, if there’s any mismatch between the promise made and the customer experience, marketing can often do more harm than good.

All reasons why, in the spirit of growth hacking, we urge our clients to invest more in developing digital products than developing one-off campaigns.

Here are a few more reasons we think this is a good idea.


#1 Experiences = engagement

If you were a mortgage lender, you could blow your budget buying traffic at £3 per click just to drive people to brochureware that passively sits there.

Or, you could add real value to your customer’s lives with a tool that allows them to work out what they can afford to borrow.

You can see or read an advert, but products provides tangible experiences that can help form a deeper perception of a brand.

As they are inherently engaging; they’re predisposed to build loyalty.


#2 Products can be inherently viral

Dropbox grew by allowing users to invite their friends for more space. This growth hack took them from 100,000 users to 4,000,000 in under two years.

Incorporating elements like this mean that your existing users are organically driving fresh faces in without you having to lift a finger - or spend an extra penny - to find them.


#3 Products can help you differentiate

A smooth user experience can give your brand a competitive edge.

Virgin America proved this by reinventing the flight booking user experience. They reinvented their UI and found a way to present all key interactions, including destinations, dates and seat type, into one single screen.

The result is a web app that means their customers can book flights at almost double the speed, on any device.

Since many customers would genuinely rather save time than money, it’s a really good idea.

And you can bet they’re going to tell people how painless it was.


#4 Products help you understand customers

There’s nothing like building, testing and scaling a digital product for learning what your customers really want and need.

Ever heard the saying, ‘no plan survives contact with the customer’? People will always use your products in ways you never intended, which shows you where to add value and how to improve them.

If you obsess about building a product that your customers love using, the return on your spend will be much higher than shelling out on convincing them to love it.


#5 Products create more innovative teams

As well as the obvious ways that products generate value - income, awareness, influence - they might even generate unexpected benefits in the form of a more innovative culture.

Building a product will challenge your team to understand your customers’ needs like never before; to think big, act small and work fast.  Skills they can then feed back into absolutely everything they do.


In a nutshell, a good product sells itself.

And the investment you make in digital innovation will generate value in all kinds of ways.

It’s agile nature means that it can evolve to meet changing user needs; giving you long term returns in a way that even the most sophisticated marketing campaign just never could.

It’s worth a go at any rate, right?

Signed: A True Friend



The Growth Hackers Guide To The Galaxy

Building your product is just the first step. Getting it to go viral is about plugging away at the details and continuously experimenting.

Growth is incremental, but over time, that growth compounds.

To get you started we’ve compiled 96.5 of the best, proven and easiest-to-implement growth hacks into our FREE Growth Hacker's Guide To the Galaxy.


Danny SomekhComment