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Growth hacker chases users and growth

Globally, growth hackers constitute one of the fastest growing professions. In the autumn, the Kauppalehti newspaper hired a growth hacker to look for new means and ways for speeding up the growth of digital business.

Kauppalehti’s new growth hacker, Laura Tuomela, develops data-based new marketing and product development methods in order to expand the audience and subscriber base of Kauppalehti’s digital content. Tuomela’s job title comes from the startup world. Growth hacking refers to innovative, swift response and action that is based on proven knowledge.

In addition to systematic analysis and utilisation of data, growth hackers perform a lot of testing and learn from the results.

‘Analytics have always held a strong interest for me. Creative use of analytics is part of my new job,’ Ms Tuomela describes her work in Kauppalehti.

Kauppalehti”s growth hacker Laura Tuomela analyzes anonymous visitor data to assist product development and attract new visitors at Kauppalehti”s website.​

In the old media world, the printed newspaper or TV news broadcasts held a permanent place in consumers’ lives. Today, media houses are facing the challenge of establishing a permanent place for their digital offerings in consumers’ daily lives. Thus, Kauppalehti also aims to focus more strongly on phenomena that are topics of the day in people’s face-to-face discussions and in social media. New perspectives and different channels make it possible to keep the most interesting topics going for weeks.

‘We are planning, for example, to conduct editorial work in a new way on the Internet by changing the mode of presentation or introducing content into a new context,’ Ms Tuomela explains.

‘Journalism still constitutes the core of Kauppalehti. It is my job to analyse how it can be offered in a more interesting and efficient way. This includes considering whether the title of a news item is search engine-friendly and how the news story should be packaged if we want to make it easy to share in social media.’

Seeking growth through well-built and attractively served content

As the job title suggests, a growth hacker’s work is about seeking commercial growth. Ms Tuomela believes that growth should be sought by making the Kauppalehti brand attractive to new audiences. 

‘My means for looking for such audiences include testing, analysing and challenging.’

In her work, Ms Tuomela uses anonymous visitor data from Kauppalehti’s online services. Anonymous web analytics, such as the duration of the visit, content choices and sharing of content, are obtained on visitors. In addition, the analytics indicate the website and link through which the visitor came to the Kauppalehti online service. Ms Tuomela uses these data to analyse readers’ behaviour, to find out what types of content should be offered for different visitor groups and to detect any stumbling blocks in the subscription system that interrupt the subscription process. For her, data constitutes a tool for analysing what has been done right, what could be learned from the observations and how Kauppalehti should act in future. 

‘The main objective of using the data is to continuously improve Kauppalehti’s response to the needs of its readers and to provide readers with genuinely useful services.’

‘We are going to test new operating models. What is important is that the testing is also based on data, not instinct or hunch,’ she explains.

Kauppalehti online service to undergo reform in 2015

  • Everything will change: the online service user interface, technology and content. During the reform, Ms Tuomela will focus on the strategic idea of paid content in digital channels.
  • The reform was started in January by redesigning the news section and front page. Section silos were removed from the News section, and we started organising news items by theme.
  • In addition, the new online service takes into account people’s different reading habits at different times of the day. In the evening, Kauppalehti offers deeper, analytic information, as people have more time to spend with the content than during the day.
  • Later in the year, Kauppalehti will redesign the rest of the online sections. After that, it will continue reforming and honing the operations on the basis of experience, visitor data and feedback.

Read more about the topic: Which digital trends shape media industry the most at the moment? Here’s what three digital development experts think about it.