Layups [or] Your “Hacks” Are Shit

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My longtime friend and former YMCA league basketball teammate, Dave F., used to bust my chops during games for seemingly always making shots more difficult than they needed to be. I’d choose a 15-foot jump shot over a guy six inches taller than me instead of opting for driving the wide open lane. Reverse layups even though I could have just gone with a traditional off-the-glass shot? Sure, why not! But many of these attempts, as you probably assumed, fell short. Some could even be labeled disastrous. An inefficient use of time and energy combined with a miscalculation of proper skills application that I’ve seen off the court as well (I’m looking at you, early stage startups). Why are we searching for shiny new “growth hacking” tactics when the easy, tried-and-true marketing stuff that works is often overlooked?

^^^I try not to twitter-bitch, but this one just made me go dark with rage real quick. We’ve been planning to launch referral programs for both BoomboxFM and Audiokite Research this quarter, so I dove into researching software vendors recently. Of course I requested live demos for anyone offering them, and assumed my days ahead would be filled with join.me presentations. But, no! Over 40% of the companies I requested demos with did not respond at all. Then another handful took several days to respond, and almost all with autoresponder emails. What the flying shit hell crap, people?!

I understand your investors are pushing for immediate hockey stick growth, and nobody gets on the front page of Hacker News for incremental sales achieved through traditional means, but does that mean we should pass on lay-ups in favor of spinning lefty hook shots? No, of course not. Then why were so many of my demo requests simply ignored? I’d implore any startup, regardless of stage, to take a day for reviewing these lay-up type acquisition tactics to ensure the fundamentals of lead capture are in proper order.

Are there clear, easy ways for potential customers to contact you with questions via all your site’s pages? Does your request-a-demo or contact-us button send a message to an email address that is monitored daily (better yet, hourly)? Do you have a live demo process fleshed out? Is there a natural lead conversion process baked into your blog posts?

Stuff like that. Hit some lay-ups before you go for threes with a hand in your face, yeah?

Growth is about doing business fundamentals well, not finding one sneaky lever for exponential growth. – Andy Johns

Side Bonus: Alex from Audiokite and I were lambasting the bastardization of “growth hacking” recently, so we started brainstorming ridiculous terms that combine hacking and marketing. Feel free to comment with your ideas.

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