Replay Webinar

How to accelerate the growth of your innovations without a budget?


In this webinar replay, you'll learn how to accelerate the growth of his innovations without a budget, with advice from Lion's Head of Growth. What are the techniques and mindset "Growth Hacking" to adopt to quickly accelerate the growth of your innovations on a limited budget and in times of crisis? 

Lion is the school of the avant-garde and of the Startup ecosystem which transmits the tools, techniques and methods of the most innovative companies. Startups like PayFit, Comet, Alan, Doctolib, Blablacar have notably accelerated their growth thanks to the methods, advice, tools and ecosystem of Lion.
This school emanates from The Family : accelerator for digital start-ups created in 2013 (inspired by the American Y Combinator) and which to date has helped more than 300 Startups to raise more than 100 million euros. The total valuation of startups in The Family's portfolio now exceeds one billion euros.

Before starting, let's remember this principle that in a company in times of crisis, we cut marketing and innovation budgets. Yet those who often do the best are those who pivot their business model. Distributing economically means rethinking your marketing / innovation strategy more nimbly and for this, there has been a proven method for more than 10 years: Growth Hacking.

We will see its definition and its subtleties later. Finally, you will see that the "without budget" remains possible, but it is of course necessary to see this rather as an image, because this strategy ultimately requires few budgets of course, but above all it requires a state of mind, a culture, a desire and above all a team… It is thanks to these components that the magic can operate…

Finally, we are talking about a violent and lasting crisis, but "Post-crisis" can and must be an opportunity to seize to draw its game. Startups certainly make (even more) the difference to meet the challenges of tomorrow, because our modes of consumption of innovation will change. 

The idea is therefore to take advantage of this period to do a “from scratch” overhaul of our innovation / business strategies. 3 keywords to remember here: resilience, agility and creativity!



#1 – The fundamentals of an innovation strategy adapted to the crisis


Uncertainty and failure are a culture inherent in innovation, but this is rarely the case in a business historically where you have to justify your actions, your expenses and above all seek to maximize profit and short-term profitability. . 

However, commercializing innovation does not necessarily require large budgets. Some companies will start from a customer pain point and attack the big players in the market by responding specifically to this pain point.

Innovation is therefore either to take risks to seek to "disrupt" a state of the art, or to improve your innovations incrementally: the little extra that will sell your innovation ...
Finally, strategic innovation marketing goes through several phases: understanding my client, building his business model, prototyping his offer, confronting it with the market, improving it based on feedback from the field and finally putting his innovation on the market and communicating around his strategy (exploring, structuring, test and drive…). 

However, be careful, this is not about applying this type of method or steps to the letter. You should never lose your intuition and your execution skills! These methods are not absolute truths, you should certainly be inspired by them, because they have been proven, but it is essential to keep this "beginner's luck" and to have a broad and open mind towards all these methods. concepts ...

Talk about now Minimum Viable Prototype : make sure to have an innovation that can be improved but which attracts the market, then finalize this innovation in order to then make it viable and launch it on a large scale, having been the first to do so, at the right time ...


#2 – The fundamentals of a successful Growth Hacking strategy


As indicated in the introduction, the fundamentals of Growth Hacking are ultimately simple, it is about generate sustainable growth in a short period of time having as skills: creativity, data analysis, coding and business / marketing intelligence. 

Growth Hacking is not a magic formula! Just because you hire a “GH” doesn't mean your growth will explode in no time! If you do not know your customers, if you do not feel the emerging trends in your market, if you do not respond to these issues: this method will be useless in the long term.

Finally, there are different levels of Growth Hacking. For example, if you are booting, you will need a “jack of all trades but expert at nothing” GH. Then, the more you grow, the less this type of profile will serve you because you will have to specialize each of the skills according to your needs via experts in acquisition, retention and all stages of the process. AAARRR framework which we will talk about next.

Finally, Growth Hacking is also related to techniques and methods of manipulation of consumer psychology (see the reference book on the subject "Influence and Manipulation") But again, without your customers understanding what you are doing, enjoying it, and talking about it around them, the hacks will not succeed. Growth Hacking will then only serve to accelerate this appetite.

Let us not forget again the creativity to innovate. We are all creative at different levels but we need 3 desires: to learn new things (for example discover the methods of growth hacking here), be inspired by others (because there is very little absolute creation) and discover, be inspired by things that potentially have nothing to do with the subject you are dealing with.

Finally, today, sometimes, very good innovations do not find their market and conversely, some bad ones are successful ...The famous Product Market Fit is a relatively biased concept because it must also be accompanied by other “Market Fit” (example: model, channel).

There are several ways to test this PMF:

  • If 30% your customers would be very overwhelmed to no longer be able to benefit from your product.
  • Customers who answer 9 and 10 in the satisfaction survey (your “power users”, with whom to co-construct your innovations).
  • Finally, retention: how often do your customers use your innovations over time?

Sure the AAARRR framework, don't forget the Awerness, the reputation of your brand, the value you create and the retention of your users (how to ensure that your customer remains a customer for the longest time…).

Knowing that Growh Hacking is more and more product oriented, this framework can and must be modular: not necessarily in the classic sense (for example, more and more platforms offer the answer to your needs before asking you to activate your account: from activation to acquisition …).

Some examples of Startups that have grown rapidly and whose testimonials are very inspiring:

  • Alan (make a historic market “sexy”)
  • Swile (tackle a virtual market monopoly)
  • Spendesk (answer a pain point ...)

Finally, in times of crisis, another strategy can greatly inspire you: this is the so-called "Blitzscalling" (materialized by the founder of LinkedIn). 

It is a question of being inspired by a military strategy which consisted of create a small, but very well prepared, equipped, mobile and fit army to launch them against more robust armies heavy, slow and tired mails.

In entrepreneurship and the success of Startup, it is the same thing. For example Uber, without investors would not have been able to find a place so quickly in a tired market… Likewise for Airbnb which launched internationally very quickly to occupy the ground as quickly as possible. These two mastodons have very inspiring stories on this subject because they started only with intuitions and agility then were ultra responsive to very quickly launch lots of innovations and thus impress competitors who are historically well established ...

Scare your competition away by being in constant execution: the art of War and psychological wear and tear!

Here are some resources to better understand this strategy that is Growth Hacking


#3 – Use the Right Hacks to Grow Fast


There are plenty of examples of hacks (growth hacks). If you google that you will see a lot of it!

This is the very principle of Growth Hacking and innovation: sharing discoveries with the community (going beyond the state of the art) and challenging them to constantly discover others, test them and share until these "hacks" fall into disuse because they are overused or because of a reaction from the supplier where this hack worked before ... Go for example on the forum to realize it!

Here is an article which summarizes for example some tools according to your budgets.

Here is another article that gives you some examples of hacks according to your stakes.

Finally, don't forget that a hack has a very short lifespan. The correct iteration process for these hacks is: analysis, ideation, prioritization and testing. We all have ideas for hacks (especially in times of crisis in our personal lives), however it is important to prioritize them according to the DNA of your company and its challenges. Currently, ICE Scoring is the most efficient way to classify hacks. On a scale of 1 to 10, you classify your hacks according to the I of Impact, the C of Confidence and finally the E of Ease, the ease of implementation.

Honestly, you will have 100 hacks that will fail for one that will work. ButThe best hack is to talk to your customers ! Listen to what they say, what they watch, where they will cultivate themselves before, during and after the possible use of your innovation… Your customers will be very happy to help you!


#4 – Confront your innovations with your post-crisis market


Be the first to launch your innovations! It's actually easier said than done but understand what we mentioned above, namely launching a perfectible prototype but at the right time, rather than an excellent product at the wrong time ...

Fake it until you make it is the summary of this strategy.

Do not waste time perfecting your innovations if they can meet the needs of your potential first customers and ambassadors as they are. However, be careful: this is not a marketing artifice without any foundation, it is simply a question of going faster than others with an idea, an original concept!

Your market has changed with this crisis, so you have to quickly project yourself like this, it was nothing compared to the worst you could encounter. Anticipate the worst possible scenarios and learn to follow your intuition accordingly, this is where you will be the most innovative! This is how you will make the right decisions and seize the right opportunities.

When you are an entrepreneur you need 3 qualities: courage, consistency and passion ! It is thanks to these 3 qualities that you will be able to innovate correctly and then use Growth Hacking to go faster! No longer be afraid to throw, run and be constant and courageous!

Finally, confronting your innovation with your market in a period of crisis can be done quickly by launching a flash receptivity study to then develop and / or adapt a prototype that meets the current or future needs of your market. Do not hesitate to send the right partners to co-develop your prototypes ...

In conclusion, you can come out a winner from this crisis provided that all of your company's departments are aligned with the same objective. Like a car, money is gasoline, but you have to define a trajectory and that each employee knows how to drive.

Do not forget the DNA of your company, but make it evolve towards Growth, digital and sustainable innovation!

Some principles that will allow you to get there in the current and future period:

  • Do not think you are an expert on a subject because everything changes quickly: do not be sure ...
  • Understand the strategies but take the height: keep your creativity ...
  • Do not intellectualize too much, know how to draw among the methods, hacks ...
  • Cultivate the passion for success and the desire to get out: transparency and belonging ...
  • Project yourself in the worst possible scenario: innovate in a sustainable way to survive ...


Share this article
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Articles in Relationship


Private financing: how to raise funds and what types of funds?
Industrial property valuation strategy: economic and financial valuation well done for better fundraising
Good practices and methodology
Feedback from our experts

Keep in touch !Subscribe to the newsletter

* Please fill in the required fields.

In accordance with the provisions of the regulations on the protection of personal data, GAC, as data controller, processes your data in order to respond to your request related to GAC products and services.
In accordance with the regulations in force, you have the right to access, rectify, delete and oppose your personal data. You can assert these rights by contacting our DPO at: and by proving your identity. You can also lodge a complaint with the CNIL. Learn more.

Scroll to Top