The recent post on the KISSmetrics blog, "13 Critically Important Lessons from over 50 Growth Hackers" is incredibly informative:
What I love about this post is that it focuses on helping readers avoid common mistakes and misunderstandings about marketing. It's so good, I'm going to break out a couple of the principles listed and add my own commentary.
"Leaky buckets don’t need more water, they need their holes fixed."
I cannot possibly emphasize this point enough. I frequently run into entrepreneurs who are convinced that they can grow their way to success, despite poor retention.
While there are rare cases of entrepreneurs being able to hack enough short-term growth to trick another company into a bad acquisition, the fact is that a leaky bucket is a fundamental, long-term problem that requires a true fix.
If you have a consumer app, and you're not seeing enthusiastic usage from your use base, getting TechCrunched isn't going to provide any lasting boost.
Marketing generally takes money and helps you get to your final destination faster. If you're going nowhere, getting there faster is of limited utility.