In How I Grew This, Mada Seghete dives into the stories behind the World’s top companies and the leaders driving their growth from campaigns, measurement and tests to their personal journeys becoming growth leaders.
Head of User Acquisition @ Hopper: Makoto Rheault-Kihara- Strategic Paid Social, Massive Growth & The Culture That Empowers It
Makoto Rheault-Kihara leads user acquisition at Hopper, one of the fastest-growing travel apps with over 60 million in sales to date. Makoto was previously the Director of Marketing at Cruisehub, an OTA aiming to modernize the cruise industry and lead search engine marketing at Busbud, a bus travel booking platform in 80 countries.
Hopper differentiates its paid social strategy by focusing on user acquisition AND long-term trust through investing in paid social and other mobile ad channels. They use Facebook as the primary focus of their paid social ads with TikTok as a growing secondary channel.
Paid social is becoming a lot more abstract and therefore more creative. Makoto believes paid TikTok ads must be kept fresh, platform-focused, and generated at a higher frequency.
The pandemic did affect the travel industry but Hopper still achieved a 110% YoY growth last year and is on track to do over $1B of business this year. They did this by following a diversification strategy based on customer needs and expanded into hotels and car rentals.
Hopper’s customer-obsessed culture and self-contained, autonomous teams have helped them grow multiple product arms simultaneously. A weekly catch-up call and an executive team focused on cross-team communication help these siloed teams at Hopper learn from each other’s challenges and successes.
Sometimes ads that marketers like don’t appeal to actual customers and may end up performing worse than some simple customer-oriented ads. Over time, Hopper moved to these customer-centric ad creatives which helped them reduce expensive failures and triple their RPM (revenue per 1000 impressions).
At Hopper, Makoto focuses on maximizing the overall contribution margin of a cohort and on-target rate to check their ability to drive revenue from specific target purchases or user actions.
Because Hopper diversified across three generic categories (hotels, flights, car rentals), their ad targeting still focuses on great creatives and has not changed much since IDFA deprecation in iOS 14.5.
Interested in joining the Hopper team? Click here to check out their open positions! https://www.hopper.com/careers/
CEO @ Yummly: Brian Witlin- Retaining Customers, Personal Growth & Pokemon Go
Today we’re joined by Brian Witlin, CEO of Yummly. Brian’s life has been dedicated to building and scaling consumer-focused startups and commercially successful teams over several years. In this episode, Brian shares his experiences of building and scaling Yummly and other companies along with his core message of living a well-rounded life, which is especially useful for founders in the early stages of their career.
Yummly is a recipe discovery platform with a mission of helping people become the best version of themselves whilst achieving their goals in the kitchen. In the episode, Brian talks about how Yummly moved from conception to its current state by empowering its consumers and taking risks.
In the episode, Brian describes how cooking went from being a way of sustenance to a form of healthy living throughout the pandemic.
Brian also talks about the importance of relevant lifecycle messaging and how Yummly leveraged this to shift from an acquisition-focused to a retention-oriented growth strategy.
In the episode, Brian shares how user-centered design and design thinking sparked his curiosity and has helped him start several new businesses. He also talks about his passion for helping set other entrepreneurs up for success.
Brian also explores why recipe and food hardware startups struggle to attract investors and wind up early. Finally, Brian also shares his advice for startup founders on separating their identity from their work and avoiding burnout.
Senior Director, Mobile Marketing and Growth @ Electronic Arts: Jayne Peressini- The Power of Campaign Iteration
Jayne Peressini is the Senior Director, Mobile Marketing and Growth @ Electronic Arts (EA). Her team manages user acquisition, retargeting, and user retention across the multiple genres of games that EA produces. Jayne’s interest in gaming dates back to the pre-iPhone era when her Dad purchased her a console on which she became hooked to playing games.
Jayne believes that mobile gaming helps people gain a sense of community and can sometimes act as a welcome distraction, which is why mobile gaming metrics have been going through the roof during the pandemic.
She also believes in taking a challenging campaign and iterating through to make it work. She fondly recalls a campaign where she challenged assumptions about women playing sports and eventually succeeded after multiple iterations.
Furthermore, Jayne firmly believes in the idea of “you only fail when you quit” and also emphasizes the importance of working together through failure in order to achieve success as a team.
Jayne thinks that, especially after IDFA deprecation in iOS 14.5, gaming companies should focus on overall user lifecycle metrics. She favors choosing the right time to transition them across the lifecycle instead of using interruption marketing.
Jayne’s team management philosophy revolves around giving due credit and providing genuine encouragement regularly. Jayne advises younger folks in gaming to reach out to mentors with whom they identify personally and ask them for specific advice while also encouraging senior mentors in the industry to share their knowledge freely.
Head of Lifecycle Marketing @ Calm: Sue Cho- Generating Power Users with Data & Email
Today we’re joined by Sue Cho, who has been the Head of Lifecycle Marketing at Calm for three years. For over a decade, Sue has focused on all their engagement, retention, and conversion. In this episode, Sue talks about everything from career advice, her current work at Calm, her vision for the team, and her badass dog Lizzy.
Sue starts by telling us about her radical decision to move to the mountains, how the lockdown period was great for Calm’s business and how it suited her personality.
Next, she shares her accidental journey into the world of email marketing and how she found her community in this job. Sue advocates embracing a data-driven approach, especially when it comes to matters of subjective opinion.
At Calm, Sue emphasizes finding the right metrics that move the needle on business goals and giving Calm’s users a consistent experience regardless of their platform.
She also highlights an exciting challenge that she’s working on that, if executed well, would help them avoid Apple and Google conversion taxes.
She talks about her team and provides insightful advice for email marketers to improve email open rates, and even shares a cool exercise for this.
Sue describes her process for activating new users and converting them into power users through gentle yet personalized reminders.
Sue also shares how she developed authority in her field with a combination of her Asian-American values of hard work and perseverance, her opinionated nature, and a data-driven approach to her work.
Her entrepreneurial attitude shines through as she talks about why she started the San Francisco chapter of the Email Geek’s club. In the rapid-fire round, Sue shares the one app she would never delete from her phone, an animal she would love to talk to, her badass dog Lizzy, and the most unlikely app on her phone.
Head of Growth @ Licious: Prathamesh Dembla- Compound Interest, Lockdown Growth & Why Marketers Should Also Teach
Today we’re joined by Prathamesh Dembla, the Head of Growth at Licious. Prior to Licious, Prathamesh was Head of Digital Marketing at Milk Basket. In this episode, Prathamesh talks about the positive effects of both lockdowns, working from home and one key skill that has benefited reliable professionals during these challenging times. He also shares what has helped him develop his business acumen and how his love for teaching makes him a better marketer.
Prathamesh discusses various growth hacks he has implemented at Licious and how Branch has helped them with the attribution and channel optimization of these strategies. Prathamesh also stresses how “atomic personalization” helps them with conversion rate optimization.
Prathamesh then goes on to share key takeaways from his experience as a co-founder of Infinity Minds, a personal development company for children.
In terms of risk-taking, Prathamesh breaks down how he decides which risks to take and how startups can avoid “analysis paralysis” with an execution-first mindset. As Head of Growth at Licious, Prathamesh talks about his biggest challenge during and after a period of hypergrowth amid COVID-19 lockdowns.
Prathamesh then finally talks about his leadership style and the power of compounding in business, relationships and health.
Head Of Marketing @ MediBuddy: Ashish Bajaj- Balancing Growth & Values
Ashish Bajaj is the Head of Marketing at MediBuddy, which joined forces with DocsApp in 2020 to become India’s largest digital healthcare platform. Previously, he held roles as the Head of Media and Brand Alliance at Ola and as a Channel Marketing Manager with Microsoft.
In this episode, Ashish fondly shares warm anecdotes from his current and past work experience to highlight the positive impact those projects have had on the lives of their customers. Ashish believes that the impact their campaigns leave and the value they contribute to their customers’ lives provide a much greater high for marketers.
Ashish opens up about his outdoor sales experience working for his family in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and how that contributed to his growth story.
Finally, Ashish also shares potent advice for new startups who often get distracted by the hypergrowth of other startups in a race to achieve “unicorn” status.
Educational and fun
Better than anything you can get in school. A great insider’s view of growth and marketing.
A must for app developers
I run a consumer mobile dating app called coffee meets bagel and like other mobile developers, growth is something we consntantly work on. This podcast is a gem filled with real examples and practical tips from experts. I got so many growth ideas from this. A must for mobile developers in charge of growth.
Come for the growth tips, stay for the journeys
Enjoying the tips, but really listening to hear about the guests' journeys. Great start!