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How I Grew This
24 minutes | Sep 22, 2022
[Greatest Hits] Chief Growth Officer at Tilting Point: Jean-Sebastien Laverge - Driving Growth in the Gaming Industry
Jean-Sebastien Laverge, the Chief Growth Officer at Tilting Point, joins us in the next episode of How I Grew This podcast. As a CGO, JS oversees more than forty game titles. Before Tilting Point, he worked for twelve years at Gameloft, where he helped generate significant annual revenues by developing retention and monetization strategies. Tilting Point is a leading award-winning free-to-play games publisher that empowers independent developers to accelerate their growth. It started as a premium game publisher then shifted to the freemium model. The team has now built a new model called progressive publishing. Some of the company's most successful games include Star Trek Timelines, Warhammer: Chaos & Conquest, and SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off. Tilting Point approaches growth in three directions. Firstly, paid growth, which is about user acquisition. Secondly, organic growth includes ASO, distribution platform optimization, IP integration, and marketing buzz. And lastly, monetization growth improves the user's LTV. Some of the most impactful paid channels remain Facebook and Google. When you synchronize the three axes you can unlock maximum growth for your game. According to JS, to engage and bring people back into the game, you can advertise specific offers or push notifications and emails. If you want to start in the gaming industry, you need to be passionate about it, be analytical, and understand data and statistics. If you are a leader in the gaming industry, be transparent and find good talent to help and support you.
26 minutes | Sep 15, 2022
Director of Product, Mobile App for TechStyle Fashion Group: Heather Lind - Driving Business Innovation and Performance Through Mobile App Growth Initiatives
In this episode of How I Grew This, Heather Lind joins Mada Seghete to discuss what it takes to become a great product manager and leader, how a mobile app impacts business growth, and how to measure the success of your app and features. Heather is currently the Director of Product, Mobile App at TechStyle Fashion Group, leading the product team for the company’s trendsetting mobile applications. She has been operating in product and technology for eleven years, and her unique career trajectory includes working at every stage of the product life cycle.
28 minutes | Sep 8, 2022
[Greatest Hits] Chief Digital Officer @ PSG: Russell Stopford - Weaving Design, Story, and Sport into the Fabric of an App
Russell Stopford has led digital initiatives across everything from film to sports. He took his passions for the arts as well as his curiosity for emerging technologies and combined them to develop a powerful intersection between storytelling and digital product management. As both an award-winning documentary filmmaker and builder of mobile apps over the past decade, Russell is driven by a pursuit for perfection. As the sports industry transformed into an entertainment opportunity, Russell found himself highly sought after for his knack for weaving together brand stories and the end-user experience for the modern-day consumer. He’s currently producing a film series around the 50th anniversary of Paris Saint-Germain while in parallel working to bring a first of its kind sports app that could revolutionize its category. All this and more on this episode of How I Grew This.
40 minutes | Sep 1, 2022
[Greatest Hits] 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.
45 minutes | Aug 25, 2022
[Greatest Hits] CEO @ AllTrails: Ron Schneidermann - Leading a Small Team to Enormous Growth
Ron Schneidermann is the CEO of Alltrails, where he spent the past six years helping grow the company, which is now one of the top five health and fitness apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Before joining Alltrails, Ron led growth teams at Yelp and co-founded Liftopia, the global leader of ski lift ticket bookings. Ron shares that the two most important things for any company are momentum and culture. If you lose either of them, they are impossible to rebuild. Have belief in your business model and look at the advantages in context. When you cannot control certain aspects of the funnel, let full-funnel growth (across all stages) be the central driver of your business. If your app is “content-centered,” your data sets hold the power to convert and retain users. First, focus on improving the quality of data you can provide to your audience. Don’t get attached to results because any growth experiment can fail. Instead, focus on learning from successful and failed experiments. Find and monitor feedback loops based on what your users respond to. The key to growth is to keep adapting as your audience adapts because they are the chief driver of your business growth. Re-engagement via push notification may put you at risk of annoying your customers. People may forget that they have the app installed, so it’s always better to focus on outside-the-app strategies such as SEO, personalized content, and reminders via emails to drive re-engagement through deep links into the app. Try not to depend on one platform because it can make a huge dent in your growth charts if the platform changes. Try to own your channels of growth as much as possible. Daily and sometimes even weekly metrics may be distracting. Monthly metrics provide a more accurate view of your audience’s changing consumption habits and are a healthier way to monitor growth. Ron shares that to maintain culture momentum during growth, your company’s senior leadership has to be the culture vanguard and train the rest of the leadership across the org. This becomes easier if people in your organization have a personal connection to your mission and stay longer. Ron’s final advice: be honest with yourself when making important decisions because you will be proud of the practical decisions you make and reactionary paths you avoid after you retire. Having a personal set of core values helps identify opportunities and enjoy the process of executing them.
32 minutes | Aug 18, 2022
VP of Product at Bonusly: Andrew Brinkman - How to Build and Scale a Top-Rated Product
Andrew Brinkman, the VP of Product at Bonusly, joins Mada Seghete in this episode of How I Grew This. Andrew has over fourteen years of experience building product teams that drive outcomes from Sling TV, Hudl, PenLink, and IBM. He has a proven track record of building and leading high-performing products that customers love. In this episode, Mada and Andrew discuss how to validate customer desirability, leveraging existing organic demand to drive expansion, and how to build a company culture that inspires more dialogue, collaboration, and transparency.
31 minutes | Aug 5, 2022
Katherine Kelly, VP of Higher Education Marketing at Handshake - Enhancing Career Opportunities Through Mobile Software
In this episode of How I Grew This, Mada is joined by Katherine Kelly, VP of Higher Education Marketing at Handshake, to discuss how Handshake leverages mobile growth opportunities in higher education and the job market. Katherine started her career working in higher education and moved over to tech. She was an associate producer at ESPN, an Instructor of Design History, and a Research Assistant at The Victoria and Albert Museum. Katherine was also an Editor, Writer, and Host of her web series, ‘Just the Tips’.
30 minutes | Jul 28, 2022
Senior Product Manager at RTL2: Ben Okkenga - What It Takes to Become a Star Product Manager in the Television Industry
Ben Okkenga is the Senior Product Manager at RTL2, a TV network from Germany. Ben has spent the last ten years building growth in various departments. Currently, he is responsible for RTL2 projects and products, like the gaming website, mobile apps, and Smart TV applications. In this episode of How I Grew This, Ben talks about how to attract, engage, and retain users on your app, the product that brought RTL2 Connect the Smart TV Award, and how to succeed as a product manager.
33 minutes | Jul 21, 2022
Chief Marketing Officer at Nude: Yoann Pavy - Driving Mobile Marketing Growth in the FinTech Industry
Yoann Pavy is a growth marketing leader, passionate about disruptive businesses, growth marketing, and culture. He is the CMO of Nude, a UK-based FinTech app that helps first-time buyers save for their deposits faster. Yoann and his team are working on designing growth features within the app that would be useful to the end user and bring more first-time buyers. As a result, they have developed three growth features. One is called ‘Team Up’, where couples or friends can view each other's lifetime ISA balance, see their time-until-you-buy combined, and get double the government bonus. Another one is the ‘Nude Giveaway’, which is a lottery-type feature, and the third one is ‘Gift Time’, a new unique feature on the market that allows a customer to share a payment link to their friends and family to contribute to their Nude Lifetime ISA. Yoann also talks about what paid channels they use, how to create a balanced mix of social advertising, some of his career ups and downs, and bits of advice for mobile marketing enthusiasts.
27 minutes | Jul 14, 2022
Principal of Digital Engagement and Experience at Telstra: Tomas Warden - How to Get the Most out of Your App
Tomas Warden joins us today from Telstra, where he has spent the past thirteen years in various roles. Currently, he is the Principal of Digital Engagement and Experience, responsible for driving the E2E digital experience strategy across Telstra's digital sales and service channels. Telstra is Australia's leading telecommunications and information services company. In this episode, Tomas shares insights from his career, mobile growth strategies, and how his team drives growth through the company's app.
33 minutes | Jul 7, 2022
CMO at Paired: Gessica Bicego - Growth-Hacking Branding Tips for Your App
Branding means more than simply creating a logo and placing some ads. As Jeff Bezos said: "Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room". The main question is how to do it successfully. In this episode, Gessica talks about some of the best practices and channels for building your brand. Gessica is a computer scientist with a deep passion for marketing and is currently the CMO at Paired, an app that focuses on building deeper connections with your partner.
29 minutes | Jun 30, 2022
[Greatest Hits] CMO @ Fishbrain: Lisa Kennelly- Scaling as the Dominant Player in Your Niche
Lisa Kennelly has been the CMO at Fishbrain for over three years and oversees marketing operations, strategy, and vision. Since the fall of 2020, Lisa has been responsible for growing and managing Fishbrain’s eCommerce marketplace. Outside of Fishbrain, Lisa is an advisor and mentor of multiple early-stage founders and startups. Fishbrain is a mobile app and online platform with map-based tools, fishing forecasts, social networking features, and recommendations on fishing gear. Fishing is the most popular hobby in the world… and is huge in the US, Fishbrain’s biggest market. During the pandemic, Fishbrain was a beneficiary of other businesses and sports shutting down and also from becoming the primary online retailer focused on a variety of fishing gear. Riding this wave, Fishbrain has grown to over 13 million users. Lisa led Fishbrain’s marketing expansion beyond their (mostly) paid advertising campaigns. Fishbrain’s social network feature attracts new users and contributes to their user retention. Fishbrain grows through SEO, word of mouth, influencers and even offline marketing (billboards, radio ads, etc) in some southern US states that have a thriving culture of anglers. Sometimes, all that is required to stand out in the market is observing a pattern and disrupting it with a bold design decision. At Clue, a female reproductive health app, Lisa and her team disrupted the ongoing pattern of having a pink-themed female health tracker app. This bold design decision contributed “big time” to their growth. If you are working with influencers, focus on micro-influencers because they are more approachable and have a more dedicated fan base. Nail your product benefits, product positioning, and its messaging. Be rigid about how influencers can use them and how they must not use them. If you are in a newer, less-saturated niche, SEO is a great channel because it’s easier to find content gaps in the niche and fill it with high-quality content. Lisa shares that to increase your premium subscriptions: make your pro membership content truly valuable and meant for the regular, high-frequency user - not just the occasional user. Split testing can be used to avoid making decisions. Sometimes, you just have to believe in your ideas and execute them because non-determinant results of A/B testing can be paralyzing. Lisa also shares management lessons for CMO’s: empathy, honesty, vulnerability, and direct feedback help connect with employees. Sometimes, simply giving your employees a kind ear to vent can do the trick. Consuming leadership content has also helped Lisa in her quest of becoming a great CMO.
26 minutes | Jun 23, 2022
[Greatest Hits] Director, Growth Product @ The Athletic: Caitlin Roman - Rewards of the Unknown
Caitlin Roman brings her collective experiences in consulting at McKinsey and Product at LinkedIn & Medium to the world of sports news at The Athletic. Having come up in these subscription powerhouses, Caitlin has a potent combination of high-level business strategy experience along with the tactical ability to work side by side with her teams to execute. All of these elements were crucial for a subscription business like the Athletic during a tumultuous 2020 in sports. Caitlin and her team released a number of initiatives during this time including different content formats like short format commentary and breaking news, and pricing strategies to keep users tuning in even when sports weren’t in play. If there’s a word we would use to describe Caitlin it would be resilient! Far before she was leading her team through the bumps of the pandemic, she had two keystone experiences that she shared on the show that shaped her. The first is her passion for media at a young age. Working as a newspaper editor in both high school and college, Caitlin sought out the challenge of the daily deadline for her daily newspaper. She talks about the late nights and stress but attributes this as the reason why she loves working in the trenches with her teams today, drawing similarities to product management. Before Caitlin found her way to LinkedIn, she lived and worked in Ethiopia as a part of a Gates Foundation initiative in agriculture. During a solo trip in a gorge in Kenya, she fell and broke her back and had to self-rescue. After this grueling experience she recovered, but Caitlin didn’t only not fly home but continued her work at the time setting up microfinance systems for farmers. To hear more about Caitlin’s amazing story about how she found her way into the product in subscription powerhouses, how she thinks about leading her teams, and her adventures in Ethiopia, take a listen to this episode of How I Grew This.
37 minutes | Jun 16, 2022
[Greatest Hits] Former Global CMO @ Potbelly: Brandon Rhoten - Speaking in the Voice of Your Customer
As marketers, we all hope that our efforts will transform a brand and have it become the talk of the town. Our next guest, Brandon Rhoten, has been able to do just this at several of the brands he has transformed. Brandon has worked at Wendy's, Papa John's and Potbelly and although his approach has differed with each challenge the results have been the same: transformational change. We learn that a company looking to adapt and evolve doesn’t need to hop on the hottest trend; it needs to isolate its market problem and find a solution that aligns with its brand’s positioning. In the case of Papa John's, it was moving their advertising to digital channels from traditional ones. For Wendy's, it was reasserting its voice with clever and funny ads on social platforms like Twitter to engage with a younger audience. In this episode, Brandon shares exactly how he approached evolving the marketing strategies at each of these companies to adapt to the times and ultimately get incredible results. Hear this and how they hired comedians for Wendy's Twitter account, why PotBelly hired former professional football player Peyton Manning and why Brandon studies the financial news as much as anything else, all on this episode of How I Grew This.
38 minutes | Jun 9, 2022
VP of Growth at Blue Apron: Kar Paramasivam - Leading Growth in the Meal Subscription Business
In this episode of How I Grew This podcast, Kar Paramasivam talks about the growth strategy at Blue Apron, a direct-to-consumer, chef-designed meal kit company. Starting his career as a banker, Kar shifted his focus to startups, where he got his first opportunity to lead a growth team at Shipt. From this point, Kar made his way through companies like Spacious.com (acquired by WeWork), Nutrafol, and CUUP, to his current role as a VP of Growth at Blue Apron. Kar shares some successful campaigns and approaches his team adopted to leverage Blue Apron's app and increase user retention and engagement.
36 minutes | Jun 2, 2022
SVP of Digital Products, UX and Operations at CVS Health: Tracey Weber - Improving the Digital Customer Experience in Healthcare
The Covid-19 pandemic pushed the healthcare industry to its limits, but it also led to new opportunities in terms of accelerating digital transformation. In this episode, we discuss the growth of digital transformation in healthcare with Tracey Weber, SVP of Digital Products, UX and Operations at CVS Health. Tracey joins us with over twenty-five years of experience in leadership roles across multiple consumer industries and extensive digital operations. Before joining CVS Health, Tracey was the General Manager of Marketplace and Digital Ecosystems at IBM, the President and COO of Gilt Group, and held several other leadership positions at companies like CitiBank, Travelocity, and Barnes & Noble. Today, Tracey shares some of the newest trends companies adopt to fulfill the rising consumer expectations for digital healthcare experiences.
28 minutes | May 26, 2022
[Greatest Hits] Senior Mobile Delivery Manager @ Belk: Matt Hudson- How to Win in the Changing World of Retail
Today we talk with someone who has seen the very beginnings of mobile and has helped some of the world’s biggest brands learn how to adapt and innovate by going mobile. Our guest is Matt Hudson. From the early days of mobile at just twenty-one, he helped Rock Fish build their mobile app and strategy, and he’s gone on to the same for Sam’s Club, Charles Schwab, and now Belk. Matt shares several campaigns that drove an incredible amount of growth, like the “App Attack” campaign. To drive downloads to the app, they had stores compete to see who could drive the most downloads, and they ended up driving 1.5 million total downloads through that campaign. Hear this and how Matt was featured in the Washington Post by proposing to his wife via Words With Friends, how he got started in mobile, and why he believes there’s still so much opportunity for growth and more all on this episode of How I Grew This.
31 minutes | May 19, 2022
Senior Director of Digital Experience at Hawaiian Airlines: Kevin Bowling - Building an Outstanding Digital Experience in the Airline Industry
As people's reliance on technology grows every year, many travelers believe a positive digital experience is the number one criterion when choosing an airline. So airlines try to meet the latest technological demands to remain competitive and grow their business. To better understand the most recent digital trends in the airline industry, we invited Kevin Bowling, Senior Director of Digital Experience at Hawaiian Airlines. Leading the digital experience technology team, Kevin is responsible for mission-critical customer-facing products, including HawaiianAirlines.com and iOS and Android apps. Today, Kevin shares Hawaiian Airlines' approach to digital innovation to better engage and retain different types of travelers.
25 minutes | May 12, 2022
[Greatest Hits] VP of Marketing @ Junglee Games: Bharat Bhatia- Growing Despite Saturation
The days of unsaturated channels and growth hacking, as we used to know it is over. Our guest today, Bharat Bhatia, dives deep into new strategies and the understanding of the product that has helped him achieve continued growth. Bharat comes from the gaming industry, an industry that he explains has one of the tightest bonds between product and marketing. He shares how he and his team approach that integration through in-app growth channels. In addition, with today’s growth channels like Facebook and Google ads more saturated and restricted, he breaks down how he has approached growth, especially when reaching the tipping point of scaling beyond existing audiences. Hear more about how Junglee Games grew through COVID, how he has managed to take better care of his physical health, and the most important and unexpected lesson he learned at business school, all on this episode of How I grew this.
28 minutes | May 5, 2022
Vice President, Fan Insights, Analytics & Engagement Marketing at PGA TOUR: Travis Trembath - Driving Brand Growth Through Fan Engagement and Customer Acquisition
Travis Trembath, Vice President, Fan Engagement at PGA TOUR, joins us in this episode of How I Grew This podcast. The PGA TOUR is the premier sanctioning and organizing body for men's professional golf, representing the best players in the world. Currently, Travis serves as the voice of the fan for the PGA TOUR and is passionate about building great teams and positively impacting people. Today, Travis shares some insight on the PGA TOUR’s strategy for acquiring and engaging fans, delivering the right content on the right platform for different types of fans, and advice on how to become an engagement, insights, and marketing leader.
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