The term “growth hacking” has recently become part of the everyday lexicon, at least for those of us who work in technology companies.

For those outside the tech world, not so much. For those of us who are unfamiliar with the term, “growth hacking” at its most basic level refers to the types of low-cost, organic marketing techniques that are typically used by tech companies to drive user engagement, trial and adoption of their products. When the latest app goes viral, think about how you heard about it; most likely it was a result of a marketing campaign that leveraged email, social media, blogs or some other networked technology. In other words, growth hacking.

Growth hackers are essentially a new breed of marketers who are using technology and the data that it produces to achieve growth. They think creatively about ways to achieve that growth and are curious about what works and what doesn’t as they iterate.

But you don’t need to be in a technology company to follow the principles of growth hacking. In fact, our customers – brick and mortar product suppliers and retailers – are using Askuity’s retail POS analytics platform in many of the same ways as growth hackers to grow their business through better use of data.

Hacking away the blindfold

We see time and time again across our market how many retailers and product suppliers are actually investing in sales and marketing programs without any measurable data from which to derive conclusions about those programs’ effectiveness or ROI. How do companies execute, measure, and adjust without any data?

The truth is, sales and marketing organizations are often flying blind and going on hunches and intuition. The old adage of “we know we’re wasting 50% of our marketing spend, but we don’t know which half” applies all too often in the world of consumer marketing.

But this marketing truism is increasingly being viewed as a cop-out in the digital era where data on consumer purchasing behavior is plentiful. Between retail data, social media data and web analytics, there is no shortage of useful data. The difference between the winners and losers in the era of big data will be companies’ ability to make sense of all these disparate data streams and turn these insights into more effective promotions and merchandising.

As an example, just the other day, one of our customers in the building supply industry shared the following story with us:

The company had been running a marketing program for one of their newer products, but had found that sales weren’t meeting expectations. The hunch internally was that more marketing dollars were required to boost sales. But that hunch was not supported by the retail POS analytics they found using Askuity. Using Askuity, they identified a logistics bottleneck in the retailer’s distribution centers that was preventing their product from getting to stores. It’s hard enough to sell product…it’s pretty much impossible if the consumer can’t find it on the shelves.

In this case, our customer’s analysts were able to determine the cause and effect of the sales results they were seeing. This fact-based insight in turn led to a simple re-design of their shipping labels, thereby saving the company an unnecessary marketing spend.

Retail execution data – point of sale and inventory data from the retail store level – is the ultimate barometer of success for all consumer-targeted sales and marketing programs. There is a treasure-trove of valuable insights to be gained by effective use of that data, insights that can be translated into tangible growth. You just need a growth hacker mindset to analyze, test, measure, and optimize for real results.

To see how Askuity’s retail POS analytics platform can turn sales and marketing professionals into true growth hackers, contact us.