How can something disastrous to your health and expensive like narcotics have such a huge following? Through uncomplicated and effective growth hacking, here are the three things you can learn about from the drug marketing environment. 


1. Eliminate Options – Drug dealers can’t run Super Bowl ads to promote their products.  A commercial for ‘Coke’ following an ad for Coke would signify the apocalypse (well, that and the sky falling).  Further, from what I’m told and see in various movies, drug dealers only take cash; usually, a briefcase is involved to exchange the product or the funds. This is a disadvantage to their marketing strategy. Right?

Wrong.  By having limited options, these businesses become masters of what they can do to get their products out and promote them.  You have marketing limitations, too – budget, know-how, time, and resources. Instead of lamenting what you can’t do, focus on what you can and do it well.  Don’t understand SEO marketing very well? Either learn it, pay someone who knows it, or forget it and focus on marketing your product another way.  Ask yourself this simple question: ‘How do I get customers?’ in 100 words or less.  Then, focus your effort on the answer to that question.  It is hard for any business to be masters of all the different marketing tactics available.   Pick your battles and master them.

2. Hit the Road – Drug dealers know where their customers are.  They know which neighborhoods, time of day, and people to discuss their product with.  Sadly and tragically, many people probably go to them for repeat business (inbound marketing is all the rage these days), but they hit the road and ensure they are visible in places they need to be.

Digital marketing is important, but if you want to reach someone, don’t send them an email or a Tweet.  Anyone and everyone do that.  Take the extra step of showing up or being personal about how you reach out to them.  It’s amazing, but the response rates of talking directly to someone face-to-face are through the roof! Whenever you say ‘hi’ to someone on the street, they automatically say ‘hi’ back or at least smile at you (unless you’re in New York).  If visiting your potential customers isn’t logistically possible, try to recruit them to your stable by being personal in how you market to them. I assure you they haven’t waited weeks for your unsolicited and impersonal webinar email invite to enter their inbox.  Be as direct and personal as possible.  You’ll get your message across every time that way.

3. Offer Trials – Dealers understand that the more you give, the more you get.  They are confident that their product will serve their target customers ' needs.  Dealers usually offer discounts to first-timers and new customers to try their products out.  They know that you’ll come back and bring friends.

As a growth hacker, you need to give first.  You know what benefits your product has to your potential customers and how it can solve their problems, but the world is full of snake oil salespeople, and things that are too good to be true probably are.  That’s why new customers are apprehensive about hearing what you or your product can offer them.  You can remove some of that fear by letting them try your product and giving them all the tools, support, and help needed to succeed. 

Because of savvy growth hacking and marketing tactics, drug dealers sell their products in up-and-down economies.  Their products are dangerous to your health, but it doesn’t stop them from successfully selling on a tight budget. 

something all great growth hackers do.

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