In Silicon Valley it has become a widely-accepted role, and even among Canadian startups there are examples of people who own the title proudly, but among small and medium-sized businesses, the concept of a “growth hacker” may still need some explaining.

First coined by a venture capitalist five years ago — long before entrepreneurs were able to run their entire business on their smartphone or tap into advanced analytics — growth hacking is more of a mindset than a common set of tactics. As a recent post on Business2Community notes, it has flourished among startups because smaller firms often lack adequate resources to market themselves. Instead, they take advantage of mobile apps, cloud computing and social media to accelerate the adoption of their product and number of customers.

Of course, small and medium-sized Canadian businesses who don’t think of themselves as startups could also benefit from growth hacking techniques. Consider the following ideas:

Prioritize around the customers that will grow most quickly

SMBs may want to be all things to all people, but achieving the growth means making careful choices. Experts have suggested to TechVibes that most customers fall into three categories: curious, casual and core. As the names suggest, there is a big difference between those who kick the tires of your firm’s products and services versus those who do business from time to time and your die-hard loyalists. Use analytics to understand which of your customers fall into each bucket, and allocate your marketing resources accordingly.

Do as the startups do

You don’t have to be a startup to learn how they approach growth hacking and to apply it to your own market. Canada has a number of conferences and events that bring experts from diverse backgrounds together. This includes the monthly Growth Hacking Toronto Meetup group to the annual GROW conference that will take place this August in Whistler, B.C. If you don’t have time to leave the office, StartupSocials hosts virtual growth hacking summits for Canadians online.

Start developing your own in-house growth hackers

Nobody understand better how new career paths emerge better than the recruiters, which is why Randstad Canada recently published a blog post outlining the tools and approaches of growth hacking that bring benefits to Canadian businesses. The good news is the recommendations include a lot of tools that are widely available today, such as software-as-a-service applications and mobile apps. To some extent, growth hackers may not be a role SMBs have to hire for specifically but a skill set around using technology and information in more innovative ways.

For more profiles of people Canadian SMBs could learn from, download the free Salesforce eBook, Secrets to Small Business Growth: Tips from 3 Successful Entrepreneurs.

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