Growth hacking is tough work and here’s how to automate it, intelligently


After going through growth hacking blogs and implementing that #1001 hack, you’re probably tired. You will start to wonder how to make all this sustainable, besides having to run the daily operations of your startup /business. Well, good news, here’s artificial intelligence to the rescue.

The word Artificial intelligence often conjures the image of robots which looks from humans (like in my favorite show West World) or the voice assistance like Alexa, Cortana etc. But A.I is actually more integrated into our life than you think. According to Tim Urban, author of this blog post, The A.I. Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence,

There are three major AI caliber categories:

AI Caliber 1) Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI): Sometimes referred to as Weak AI, Artificial Narrow Intelligence is AI that specializes in one area. There’s AI that can beat the world chess champion in chess, but that’s the only thing it does. Ask it to figure out a better way to store data on a hard drive, and it’ll look at you blankly.

AI Caliber 2) Artificial General Intelligence (AGI): Sometimes referred to as Strong AI, or Human-Level AI, Artificial General Intelligence refers to a computer that is as smart as a human across the board—a machine that can perform any intellectual task that a human being can. Creating AGI is a much harder task than creating ANI, and we’re yet to do it. Professor Linda Gottfredson describes intelligence as “a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience.” AGI would be able to do all of those things as easily as you can.

AI Caliber 3) Artificial Superintelligence (ASI): Oxford philosopher and leading AI thinker Nick Bostrom defines superintelligence as “an intellect that is much smarter than the best human brains in practically every field, including scientific creativity, general wisdom and social skills.” Artificial Superintelligence ranges from a computer that’s just a little smarter than a human to one that’s trillions of times smarter—across the board. ASI is the reason the topic of AI is such a spicy meatball and why the words “immortality” and “extinction” will both appear in these posts multiple times.

What we see in our everyday lives is the ANI and Tim gave fantastic examples:

Artificial Narrow Intelligence is machine intelligence that equals or exceeds human intelligence or efficiency at a specific thing. A few examples:

  • Cars are full of ANI systems, from the computer that figures out when the anti-lock brakes should kick in to the computer that tunes the parameters of the fuel injection systems. Google’s self-driving car, which is being tested now, will contain robust ANI systems that allow it to perceive and react to the world around it.
  • Your phone is a little ANI factory. When you navigate using your map app, receive tailored music recommendations from Pandora, check tomorrow’s weather, talk to Siri, or dozens of other everyday activities, you’re using ANI.
  • Your email spam filter is a classic type of ANI—it starts off loaded with intelligence about how to figure out what’s spam and what’s not, and then it learns and tailors its intelligence to you as it gets experience with your particular preferences. The Nest Thermostat does the same thing as it starts to figure out your typical routine and act accordingly.
  • You know the whole creepy thing that goes on when you search for a product on Amazon and then you see that as a “recommended for you” product on a different site, or when Facebook somehow knows who it makes sense for you to add as a friend? That’s a network of ANI systems, working together to inform each other about who you are and what you like and then using that information to decide what to show you. Same goes for Amazon’s “People who bought this also bought…” thing—that’s an ANI system whose job it is to gather info from the behavior of millions of customers and synthesize that info to cleverly upsell you so you’ll buy more things.
  • Google Translate is another classic ANI system—impressively good at one narrow task. Voice recognition is another, and there are a bunch of apps that use those two ANIs as a tag team, allowing you to speak a sentence in one language and have the phone spit out the same sentence in another.
  • When your plane lands, it’s not a human that decides which gate it should go to. Just like it’s not a human that determined the price of your ticket.
  • The world’s best Checkers, Chess, Scrabble, Backgammon, and Othello players are now all ANI systems.
  • Google search is one large ANI brain with incredibly sophisticated methods for ranking pages and figuring out what to show you in particular. Same goes for Facebook’s Newsfeed.
  • And in expert systems like those that help doctors make diagnoses and, most famously, IBM’s Watson, who contained enough facts and understood coy Trebek-speak well enough to soundly beat the most prolific Jeopardy champions.

So, what are the ANI tools for growth hacking, you may ask. Here’re some tools I know of:

  • Appointments/ Scheduling: or Evie for scheduling appointments with prospects or partners
  • Social Media content/ recommendation: 
  • Everything: 
    • Opentopic for full marketing automation with their cognitive bot SIA, in collaboration with IBM Watson
    • Ontraport, enables all your business tools, data and customer information is in one system and everything works together seamlessly.
    • Infusionsoft
    • Salesfusion

Free Hacks to make your life easier:

  • Plan your ads in advance with these tricks using the Customiser
    • Add a countdown timer on your google ads
    • Allow your ads to be updated on a recurring basis, on its own
    • Target different geography with different promotions
  • To grow followers on Twitter: use crowdfire and follow others based on hashtags that are relevant to your business. Make sure you like their posts too and at least 20% will follow you back. Crowdfire also allows you to automate your message to new follower so share about your business/ product in that message
  • Email
    • use mailtrack to check if the user has opened the email you sent
    • Mailchimp for tracking email campaigns and setting up email subscriber list
    • Or Mail merge there are a few chrome extensions that you can use with google excel

Feel free to share other tools with me in the comments below!

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