Ryan Holiday’s seminal book on growth hacking, aptly called Growth Hacker Marketing, is a microcosm of information, case studies and tactics to use when approaching marketing from a growth hacker mindset. Growth hacking is the “in” term this season for marketers looking to sell themselves as experts. Growth hacking in its simplest terms build a self-perpetuating message that is easily sharable and leads to more conversions, whether your conversions be an email signup or sale. The difference between growth hacking and a normal marketing strategy is the data driven, results oriented approach to return on investment. Traditional marketing had a throw it against a wall and hope approach to where to spend funds. With growth hacking and the systems it provides you replace advertising dollars with time and trackable workflows. One of the better things I thought was included in the book was a glossary of terms with a great explanation on what each refers to when it comes to the subject of growth hacking. I see these terms bandied about on social media postings, mainly on job applications by “experts” with no explanation as to what each means. I have an educational background in digital marketing, although I am by no means an expert, and even I wasn’t sure what some of these terms actually meant. So here is a list of some of the terms, with my own explanations as to their meaning, that was included in Growth Hacker Marketing.

A/B Testing

Creating two versions of a product & comparing the results to see what performed best. Taking the winning version & tweaking it & repeating the test.


Funding your business on an extremely tight budget, usually without any outside funding. Building a business with your own funds, no venture capital or outside loans.

Bounce Rate

The rate at which people leave your services without being converted i.e. not hitting Buy. It is the measure of lost opportunities before conversion.

Cohort Analysis

The measure of specific data, catalogues into subgroups to segment your customer base so that certain people get served specific messages. An example of this would be to track specific users through the sales funnel to provide different user types what they are looking for.

Conversion Rate

The measure of the number of people who complete a specific action after generating an impression. For instance, the number of users who provide an email address after visiting your website. Math: Number of people who see your offering divided by the number of people who perform a specific action

Growth Hacker

Someone who will utilize whatever means necessary to grow a business by utilizing results driven data and building feedback directly into a product or service.

Growth Hacking

Customer acquisition techniques that are trackable, testable and scalable.

Minimum Viable Product

Bare bones version of your product that can be released and tested with limited users to provide feedback to improve the product or allow it to evolve in another direction.


A change in direction based on feedback on your MVP or service. Instagram is a successful example of a pivot.

PMP or Product Market Fit

The state in which your product or service fulfils a real need for your buyers that they are willing to buy into. Finding product fit by amending and testing for public interest/need.


How likely it is for someone to buy or share your product or service. How much mindshare does your product soak up.

Vanity Metrics

Metrics that have no real value but boost the ego for a product or service. Metrics that do not lead to more revenue but serve as visible growth in non-monetary values. For instance, liked on facebook that don’t lead to more buyers.


The person to person spread of ideas.

These are some of the terms from the book. I would definitely recommend buying and reading Growth Hacker Marketing. It is a short book and will help get a handle on the language and processes used by marketers today. If you hire freelance marketing agents or just want to know exactly what all the gibberish your marketing department spouts in meetings. By Ryan’s book here.