Part 1: Growth hackers and marketers to follow in 2017


When Dropbox launched its referral campaign, who do you think would have predicted that growth hacking would become so established years later? Especially 2016 presented us with so many new growth hacking services, conferences, academies and experts in the marketplace.

Make a google search on growth hacking and you will get close to 20 million results. But who are some of the people contributing to all this content, new and innovative ideas, and mastermind hacks that we will continue to talk about in the future?

Sean Ellis is one of them, but the list extends way beyond one single name as you will see as we go along introducing several growth hackers and marketers that you MUST follow in 2017. The first one on the list is…

Neil Patel

Does this name ring a bell? Yes, we thought so. As co-founder of CrazyEgg, KISSmetrics and HelloBar, Neil Patel needs a business card three times the size of everyone else. He assists huge companies like Amazon, HP, General Motors, and NBC in their growth efforts.

Ask him anything about SEO, content marketing, digital marketing, growth hacking, social media and more, and he will provide you with an answer that you will be able to understand, even if your field of expertise does not fall within growth marketing or similar fields. And that is one of the great things about Neil Patel. He communicates complex concepts, and what some would consider as boring stuff, in a language that anyone can comprehend. In short, he is an A-class growth hacker.

Brian Balfour

With a background working as VP of Growth at HubSpot and now CEO of Reforge, Brian Balfour doesn’t need much justification for being on our list of growth hackers to follow in 2017.

He has been featured in several publications like Forbes, OnStartups, and Hacker Monthly on topics such as growth and user/customer acquisition. And you can be rest assured that he knows what he is writing about. He is the man behind several VC backed companies and has helped grow user bases to more than millions of daily active users. His resume includes companies such as Blue Bottle Coffee, Gametime, and Lumoid.

So, if you got five minutes check his blog Coelevate where he shares a lot of in-depth posts on growth, marketing and customer development. This blog is packed with must-reads.

Vincent Dignan

If anyone should be rewarded the mastermind title, it should be Vincent Dignan. He is an entrepreneur, growth hacker, and speaker. Last year he wrote a book together with Austen Allred while traveling around the world to give talks on the secret sauce to growth.

“Hacking” is among one of his core skills even though he does not write any code. Sounds unreasonable? It’s not! Via fast social media growth combined with, what some would characterise as, guerilla community management hacks he helps early stage companies grow basically from zero to several thousands followers, signups over whatever the goal might be.

Previously, we interviewed him on how to make things go viral and the result is right here. We give you the full interview, jam-packed with lots of secrets that you cannot afford to miss. Go check out the interview now!

Nir Eyal

You might not know him by his name, but chances are that you will recognise one of his publications. Ever heard about Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products? This is a must-read for any product manager, designer, marketer, and startup founder that wants insights to create habits that last and actionable steps for building products that people absolutely love.

However, Nir Eyal did not only reach our list of growth marketers to follow in 2017 because of Hooked, but also because of his areas of expertise which cover psychology, technology, and business combined with UX design, neuroscience, and behavioural economics.

In addition to having his own blog, Nir and Far, he also writes for the big ones; TechCruch and Forbes while also regularly speaking at Fortune 500 companies and other industry events.

Sujan Patel

Content marketing is king! But who is the king of content marketing? We consider Sujan Patel to be a fair candidate. He is an entrepreneur and marketer with an eye for growth. He is the co-founder of and partner in several other software companies you might know; Quuu, Mailshake and Narrow.

One of Sujan Patel’s goals is to aid marketers and entrepreneurs alike to scale their businesses. Previously he has helped companies such as Sony, Mint, Sales Force and lots of others to create brand awareness and acquire more customers to ultimately grow.

Like some of the other marketers on this list, Sujan Patel is an author. He has co-authored several publications including 100 Days of Growth as well as the Content Marketing Playbook, which reveals content marketing strategies and techniques that Sujan Patel has used himself to help businesses grow.

Noah Kogan

Meet the Chief Sumo at AppSumo and the man behind SumoMe; a suite packed with tools to grow your blog. Say hi to Noah Kogan who has experience working at Intel, Mint and Facebook.

If you’re not already familiar with AppSumo, now is the time. This is Noah Kogan’s playground where he promotes tools and lots of great content to aid entrepreneurs and other like-minded people to become better at what they do (read: kick a**)!

He also has is own blog where he writes about everything from tacos to marketing, cold emailing secrets, startups, self-exploration and books he has read. And yes, you read tacos! All his advice is indispensable, so go, go, go. Check his blog here.

Hana Abaza

The first time we encountered Hana Abaza was during Neil Patel’s live Growth Hacking Summit in October last year. Since then we have followed her closely. If Sujan Patel is the king of content marketing, Hana Abaza might be the queen.

She was previously VP Marketing at Uberflip, but as of January 2017 she embarked on a new journey as Head of Marketing at Shopify Plus. Surprise, marketing is her thing. However, she also writes about tech, growth and startups.

And not to forget, she is a skilful communicator being able to present tech solutions to mainstream publics with clear results: more users and increasing conversion rates across the board. Find her now, and follow her.

Ehsan Jahandarpour

In 2016, Ehsan Jahandarpour was listed in Forbes magazine as one of the top 20 growth hackers. Yet, this is not the only reason to follow him in 2017. He is a known growth hacker and startup coach across the globe, and he is also the creator of the Advanced Growth Hacking Program.

Specifically, he is recognised for his pioneering and actionable growth hacking strategies, which he has used to help businesses such a Microsoft, BBDO, PETRONAS and other startups to grow.

Wait, there is more. Ehsan Jahandarpour is also a writer. Socialmediatoday, Forbes, Inc, Fox news, Huffington post, and Life Hacker are just a few examples of the magazines he has written for in the past, so it is likely that you will find one of his post if you search these publications.

Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré

Let’s invite another woman to the party, Nichole Elizabeth DeMere. She is a SaaS consultant and customer success evangelist.

What does this mean? She helps startups right from the beginning to the end: from problem/solution fit to product/market fit and then further to growth marketing and customer development.

But these are not the only things she masters. Her core skills include identifying strengths and weaknesses in SaaS companies, finding ways to improve customer retention, and strengthen brands. She is definitely a growth hacker you should follow in 2017. If you think the name is familiar, perhaps you have met her at Product Hunt, and HubSpot where she writes lots of interesting content. Check her own site here.

That is it for now, but don’t worry, the list continues. We have already several other growth hackers and marketers lined up for you, but we don’t want to reveal all of them at once. Next week, we complete the list, so be prepared. You might already know some of them while others will be new to you. 2017 is full of surprises!

Leave a comment