The world of tech startups is full of vague, cringe-worthy jargon and clichés, and surely the term 'growth hacker' ranks right up there.

First coined in 2010, it refers to non-traditional marketing experiments that lead to business growth. For example this could be using social media, viral marketing, Google or Facebook adverts.

© Growth Tribe
© Growth Tribe

Despite the shudder-inducing name, there is some logic to the principles behind 'growth hacking' (or its more acceptable synonym growth marketing) and examples of it succeeding when done properly.

Dropbox, Airbnb, Uber, Tinder, PayPal, YouTube and Pinterest all adopted these sorts of techniques when acquiring their first users (some tactics more above-board than others).  

It is these skills that you can expect to learn at Growth Tribe, a two-day course backed by Facebook launched in the UK in February. Techworld took the class in April along with a broad mix of startup founders, heads of marketing and consultants of different varieties.

The course canters through a vast range of topics and lessons. However it is remarkably practical and hands on.

In just two days we were taught how to build a website, online form and a chatbot, how to test your site with users, how to do user research, how to acquire users, basic behavioural psychology, SEO skills and how to do copywriting among many other skills. In total there were 32 hands-on exercises using 31 online tools (most of them new to the class).

It is not cheap at £1,548 and is not something that everyone will have the luxury of being able to attend (Techworld attended the course courtesy of Growth Tribe).

However, for the amount you learn, it is absolutely worth it - especially so if you work in a startup as a founder or in marketing. Even this editor working in publishing learned a lot of new tricks.

We're constantly told that the UK needs more digital skills. Rather than focusing on just sending more people to university or digital apprenticeships, there's a lot to be said for updating the skills of existing workers. Though unaffordable for some, these sorts of courses could be part of the answer for plenty.