By @SimonCocking

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Hosted by Jason Roe @jasonroe, cofounder of last year’s Dublin Growth Hackers events. The event took place at the NDRC and marked the first event of 2015, with valuable insights for growing your startup and SME from people that had already done so.

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Not everything can be hacked

Connor Keppel @Con_Keppel was first up, from Phorest. An active twitter account @thephorestword and a great blog too. Connor made the point that sometimes there are no shortcuts to achieving ongoing sustained growth. Sometimes it just needs work, finding a good idea and keeping at it. A growth hack may achieve a nice spike in usage, but to keep growing you need to keep differentiating your product and your attention to your customers.

Phorest supplies salon software to businesses. As you might imagine this is a particular niche, however this is actually a really good strategy. To aim to become the best in one clear field. Too often at pitching events, you will hear a company proclaiming how many different areas their product could succeed. The trouble is you often then become spread between too many different markets, with different customers and different needs. Phorest focused on making themselves well known in this one area first.

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Keppel illustrated this by their strategy of aiming to rankly highly for a range of very specific Salon search related terms. He mentioned ‘Salon Display Windows’ as an example. Writing entertaining but also informative articles offering advice and help to Salon owners looking to improve their street front presence. Keppel mentioned being inspired by the Hubspot guide for creating good content, giving particular value to creating readable, evergreen, useful articles for your readers.

Value eats scale for breakfast

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Next up, DC Calahane, CMO from Teamwork

The always entertaining DC Calahane@donal_cahalane, from Cork based Teamwork @teamwork. He was clear to define Traction as an attempt to achieve true growth, with ongoing momentum, as opposed to a Growth Hack that achieves a short quick fix.

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Calahane spoke about the close link between the support team and Teamwork’s customers. This link between the guys fixing the bugs, and the people using the product, has really helped to demonstrate Teamwork’s commitment to building customer happiness. A strategy of growth through customer care.

He also mentioned the value of going for one niche first. Become the best in that area first, use the lessons learned to then look at other similar markets next. Bit by bit you then build up a wider market presence, having learned in a smaller, less competitive area first.

The value of planning really helped Teamwork to grow their business, with the involvement of the whole team, not just the marketing people. Overall referrals has been one of their highest sources of new business. They have really tried to reward this too, to continue to encourage more happy customers to refer other future clients too.

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Useful evening, more to follow

Overall it was a useful evening. The event was also carefully planned with pizza and networking opportunities to try and ensure that it was as productive a night as possible for everyone. Next event coming late April, watch out for more details.

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