The 3Cs Framework and 3Ps Framework of Growth Hacking


I use the 3Cs framework and 3Ps framework to generate new growth hacking ideas and new marketing ideas for startups and businesses.

And it’s been one of my most effective ways I’ve been able to generate a huge list of new ideas in bulk.

The 3Cs stand for:

  • C – Channels
  • C – Competitor
  • C – Communities
3Cs framework of growth hacking

Here’s how to use it:

πŸ‘‰ Step 1: Channels – Make a list of all the channels where the target audience is active.

This is similar to what most digital marketers usually do. The next 2 steps are more unique to growth hacking.

πŸ‘‰ Step 2: Competitors – Once you understand your target persona, make a list of all the competitors (include direct competitors and audience competitors)

P.S. Audience competitors may not be providing the same solution or solving the same problem as your startup but they would be targeting the same audience.

πŸ‘‰ Step 3: Communities – Find all the comments where the target audience has discussions or posts.

Once you have this list of the 3Cs, you can then start ideation how you can tap into them.

There are different ways to leverage the 3Cs in growth hacking and growth marketing.

The framework we can use here is the 3Ps framework of growth hacking.

And the 3Ps stand for:

  • P – Piggybacking
  • P – Partnerships
  • P – Paid Opportunities
3Cs framework of growth hacking

Here are the 3Ps:

  1. Piggybacking – Finding ways to enter the target channel or competitor or community and move the audience from there into your funnel
  2. Partnerships – Explore collaboration opportunities
  3. Paid opportunities – Find paid targeting options in the target 3Cs where you can run ads or sponsorships on them

I suggest the startups I consult to execute in the same order.

πŸ‘‰ Step 1: Piggybacking – Try to execute growth hacks first where you can piggyback and leverage the OPNs of the 3Cs

πŸ‘‰ Step 2: If piggybacking fails or if piggybacking is successful and you find opportunities to create a partnership, go ahead and reach out to the target channel, competitors, or community for an organic partnership.

πŸ‘‰ Step 3: If none of the above work, use the money. If you don’t get a good deal, then go back to your list of 3Cs and repeat the 3P framework with another channel, competitor, or community.

Growth hackers usually follow the order Piggybacking > Partnerships > Paid vs Digital marketers who might follow Paid > Partnerships (usually piggybacking is a growth hacking skill).

You can choose to follow the order as per your analysis of the particular target. Sometimes, it easier to get into a partnership than piggybacking when both you and the target have aligned interests.

And in some cases, it could even be cheaper to explore a paid opportunity than run scripts, hacks, scraping, or other workflows for piggybacking.

You can adjust your strategy based on the specific case but in general, the 3Cs and 3Ps frameworks are extremely useful and handy tools for growth hacking ideation.

I hope you find value in using these frameworks for your growth hacking campaigns. All the best!