Growth Hacking Strategies- Pirate Metrics- Stage 1

Apr 17, 2021

Summary: The following would be a part 1 of 6 part series- where we will dive into the various growth hacking strategies defined specifically for each stage.

Before we delve into the various growth hack strategies, let's start with the basics.

What is Growth hacking?

 Coined by Sean Ellis, the CEO and founder of, the term growth hacking is defined as an experiment-driven technique to determine the most effective ways of growing a business. The process involves a mix of :

  •  marketing, 
  •  development, 
  •  design, 
  •  engineering, 
  •  data, and 
  •  analytics.

But why the word “hacking”? Not to be confused with general usage of the word. 

Here a “hack” is a clever kind of shortcut that finds a quick, cost-effective but innovative method to attain growth instead of following conventional processes. 

And why do companies need to develop a growth hacking strategy?

Well, for starters, the times have changed. With competition rife today, businesses find it tough to rise above market noise and gain the attention of customers. A few key data points to put things in perspective (Sources: HubSpot Study, 2020; Salesmate Study, 2020; Investopedia)

  • 49% of users say they use Google to discover or find a new item or product
  • More than half (50.33%) of searches on Google now end without a click on a result. 
  • 40% of marketers revealed that prospecting was the toughest job for them of all. (Sales Prospecting is when sales representatives make outbound calls or send outbound emails for lead generation)
  • More than 50% of prospects want to see the product’s functionality on the first call itself.
  • But in reality, 48% of marketing leads never get converted to sales. 

The case is worse for start-ups. Did you know that almost 20% of start-ups don’t survive the first year ? You don’t ever want to be part of that 20% now, do you? 

The primary reason for these numbers is a lack of ability to offer a product for a target market. Many companies aren’t able to generate interest in their products or services. Some companies also struggle with marketing. That is why, early on, start-ups need to prove that their idea is profitable, so they can get funding to grow. This is where growth hacking comes in. It is a combination of laser-sharp intuition , analytics , and innovation to get the best possible results in the shortest time. It helps you toss the secondary things aside and focus on achieving that which matters the most; ‘Growth’ 

 Growth Hacking Funnel

AAARRR…. Not to be confused with a pirate jargon, these actually are the various stages of a growth hacking funnel !!Often termed as “Pirate Metrics” (tongue-in-cheek reference!) It is defined as the core goal of growth hacking, since making each stage of the funnel more efficient will increase the number of users in the most advantageous stages of the funnel. 

So what are the stages: 

                                                                                                 (Image Source:

 It is crucial to highlight here that this is a representation model, and does not indicate actual behaviors of users/ customers. Instead, it is a simplification that helps identify the crucial actions and marketing tactics to implement to make sure a user becomes a paying customer. 

Stage 1: Awareness 

 Getting people to visit your website, or become aware of your product/ service, is a vital first step of a product life cycle. The first goal of awareness is to build up the brand and introduce it to the market. To communicate relevant information about your brand, you are required to have an understanding of: 

  •  Who and what your brand is? 
  • Who is your target customer base? 
  • How your brand resonates with the target audience? 

At this stage, a company is required to track impressions, website visits and google searches with your brand name. 

Growth Hack Strategy for Awareness: 

  • Content Marketing is a proven technique to create brand awareness through various mediums, and 70% of marketers are actively investing in it. Make noise on the right platforms, where you are certain your target audience will listen. 
  • 94% of marketers use social media platforms for content distribution. Content can be shared in the form of blogs, infographics, videos, articles, podcasts, etc.) 
  • You can build a social media community to interact and connect with your target audience, and receive consistent feedback on your content. 
  • However, consumers aren't easily swayed by just brand names anymore. Advertise in a way that doesn't push the “Buy Now” agenda, and makes the user aware of the relevance of the brand, and he/she finds it useful. 
  • For eg- a recipe book if you're a food/ wine company, or makeup-tutorial if you're a beauty brand. 

 (* We plan to develop a separate blog centered around “Content Marketing’. Watch out for the Auxano Blog space to read more about it!) 

 Conclusion: The crucial thing to understand is, that growth hacking is not some magical wand that would do wonders overnight. Each stage requires a deliberate thought process, and we intend to provide insights on those at each step of the process. Watch out this space for the part 2 in this series, to know more how to convert a lead into a customer!

Author(s) :
Swadha Agarwal