Ever since the boom of internet usage, businesses dreamt of nothing but improving their online presence. Slowly but surely, they try to transition their image into the digital world until growth hacking emerges.
Growth hacking helped businesses grow from a marketing perspective across all platforms, like a cheat code in tests. It took the industry by storm, and now, everyone wants to adopt these strategies.
It was until recently that growth hacking went through an ethical test. Many found out some of its aspects feel mechanical and unethical. The birth of the polarizing opinions between marketing experts now leads to a bigger question to ask: Can Growth Hacking Remain Ethical?
Issues Around Growth Hacking
There is growing support among marketers about the notion that growth hacking might be unethical at all. Because of its inherent nature to be empirical, growth hacking now faces some ethical issues that are open for debate.
Growth Hacking Favors Figures Versus Values
The empirical nature of growth hacking allows the creation of the notion that such methods are inhumane. This marketing method sees the whole economic market as a monochromatic system of gears. After all, everything is exceedingly experimental; everything heavily relies on figures and transcripts.
On top of that are people involving behavioral patterns as firm’s pseudo-test subjects. Their feedback only represents the tiniest fraction of the market data. Growth hacking deems exclusive customer insight as insufficient to produce decisive conclusions. It is as if these human inputs are ineffective unless collected with other responses.
With the fast pacing of growth hacking, it’s no wonder why the processes valued efficiency over real human factors.
Rapid Experimentation in Search of Efficient Means
The sad part of growth hacking is its solely analytics-based system that boosts a company’s growth. Thus, the method largely disregards forms of humane values. As an example, growth hacking will always indicate social status in the form of annual salaries. It will ignore any other factors—lifestyle, educational background, and occupation—unless needed.
As such, growth hacking is explorative, aside from being empirical. The trial-and-error means can lead the company to encounter unintended violations of ethics. There is always room for failure that can sure equate to unintentional harm to stakeholders.
Growth hacking can easily disregard societal aspects such as culture, norms, and ethics through solely analytics-based algorithms. This strategy leads to companies suffering losses to cultural respect in exchange for nominal and estimated figures.
Growth Hacking Isn’t Product-Based
Growth hacking focuses on launching marketing campaigns in succession towards their consumers. This strategy is in an attempt to figure out the most effective and efficient methods that work. In theory, the continuous efforts to improve the overall marketing helps in boosting the image and company’s worth. However, many notable marketers argue that the reality is inconsistent with the theories preached.
If marketing growth hacking brings little to no improvement to the firm, perhaps it’s not the method anymore.
Marketers always point out how products should always compete with aggressive marketing campaign efforts. If the customers discovered the product to be of inferior quality, customer retention will always fall flat. Companies with this false model are also unsafe from prosecution regarding inaccurate advertisements.
Growth Hacking Derails Company Policy
Growth hacking is simply a process to boost the growth of the company. To make it a basis for all corporate goals would be absurd. Here’s why.
The process of such tends to be single-minded, only single-serving the company regarding increased company growth. In actual data valuation reports, a company grows more than just its increased customer pool.
This is exactly why yearly corporate goals exist in the first place. The management acknowledges that the stewardship of the firm does not rest entirely on marketing growth. The administration also discourages a simpleton model initiate on the following objectives:
- Corporate Expansion
- Liabilities Settlement
- Investment in Other Assets
- Promotion of a Social Advocacy
Why Growth Hacking Remains Ethical
Despite the surrounding negative arguments, a lot of experts consider growth hacking to remain ethical. Supporters of growth hacking elaborate how growth hacking is only a procedure in marketing, not a policy changer. As such, the following explains why many still regard growth hacking as an ethical procedure.
Growth hacking needs a proper mindset for the firm to maximize its results.
Implementers of growth marketers need to understand that the growth of a company is multi-layered. With this acknowledgment, it discourages the short-term objectives from growth hacking like people initially assumed. Teams organizing this marketing procedure should also allow values to incorporate the whole plan execution. There should be ethics and principle involved as per launching campaigns.
Feedbacks Are Figure-based
As part of reinforcing values back to growth marketing, marketers should also utilize analytical feedback in numeric form. Feedbacks in terms of insights are still customer inputs that imply significant correlation. It in itself is a good indicator of whether the market well-receives the campaigns or not.
Figure-based insights are feasibility study inputs by themselves too. Such customer behavior and responses during marketing promotions account for much-needed data for consumer sciences as well.
Experimentation Calls For Extensive Research
One of the advantages that the structure of growth hacking gives is its experimental nature. Through experiments, marketers can obtain information on its targeted demographics. Firms can customize their content by eliminating false assumptions such as stereotypes that they have.
A corporation that is well-aware of its market is also sensitive when it comes to producing content. It minimizes any unethical issues that a firm may face on one of its marketing promotions.
Stick To Values
It’s much more difficult to set up a corporate code of ethics when the business has already grown large. For that reason, it is crucial to establish some values within the corporation before resorting to growth hacking.
Defining the business’s core values will manifest into what goals the entity wants to achieve. It also shapes the working environment that also guides any instances for decision making.
Produce Inoffensive Contents
In terms of issues regarding ethics, businesses should opt to refrain from making controversial insights regarding sensitive topics. Such topics include:
These comments evoke emotions that always spark heated controversies. This is true, especially now, where social media postings are a prevalent outlet of information. Going against this prudent action damages the relationship of the business to its consumer. It also destroys the company’s brand altogether.