Where Are You on the Growth Marketer's Hierarchy of Skills?

Where Are You on the Growth Marketer's Hierarchy of Skills?

Hubspot's Scott Tousley shares the internal career progression framework he's used to build competitive skills and a career path on their growth marketing team.

When I joined HubSpot’s growth team in 2014, led by Brian Balfour, I felt wildly unqualified. I had one skill. I (sort of) understood content marketing. That was it.

That’s why, after many hours of deliberating this topic, and fine-tuning feedback from other intelligent growth marketers, I’m happy to share the internal career progression framework we use at HubSpot.

 

TaskRabbit’s pioneering marketplace model & missed growth opportunities

TaskRabbit’s pioneering marketplace model & missed growth opportunities

Last Thursday, furniture giant IKEA announced that it would be acquiring the pioneering on-demand labor marketplace TaskRabbit. While the purchase price was undisclosed, leaked reports indicated that TaskRabbit last raised in 2016 at a valuation of just $40M, a significant down round from its previous $120M raise.

Today, we’ll look at the growth dynamics behind the gig economy, and why some companies flourished while others like TaskRabbit struggled to maintain their foothold.

RealtyShares' Marketplace Efficiencies and Network Effects

RealtyShares' Marketplace Efficiencies and Network Effects

RealtyShares recently announced that it had closed a $28M Series C that the company plans to use to expand its crowdfunding platform to better cater to high net worth individuals and institutions looking to access new tiers of the real estate investment market.

Founded in 2013, RealtyShares connects accredited investors looking to put money into commercial or residential real estate, with real estate developers looking to raise capital. The company says it has 120,000 users on its platform, who have invested $500 million since the company's inception.

3 Key Growth Lessons

1. RealtyShares built supply side density through process-based innovations, which enabled growth and network effects within the marketplace as a whole.

2. By aggregating smaller investments in “18 hour cities,” the company is able to open up new supply that wouldn't otherwise have been profitable or efficient for investors. 

3. Moving upmarket to monetize

Zello's Explosive Growth by Design, and Freemium to Enterprise Ladder

Zello's Explosive Growth by Design, and Freemium to Enterprise Ladder

Two weeks ago, beating out Facebook and Snapchat, Zello became the most downloaded social app in America after becoming the de facto organizer app for the “Cajun Navy” in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

This isn’t the first time Zello has accomplished this feat, though. The app also topped the app stores in Egypt, Venezuela and Ukraine after being used as the main source of political organizing in each of those countries.

While many in America are hearing about Zello for the first time only now, the app has quietly accumulated over 100 million registered users and $10M a year in revenue, all while remaining completely bootstrapped with a staff of 20 people.
 

Dropbox’s Playbook for International Expansion, with ChenLi Wang

Dropbox’s Playbook for International Expansion, with ChenLi Wang

There have been two pillars to growth at Dropbox. The first, Dropbox’ freemium model based on word-of-mouth referrals, is something that most of us have experienced if we count ourselves among the company’s 500 million users. The second driver behind Dropbox’s growth to hit the 500 million user milestone is something that’s less visible many of its core users.

As of this year, 75% of Dropbox’s users are now outside of the U.S. In the past year and a half, Dropbox finalized key distribution partnerships with Softbank, Vodafone, Telmex and other partners that help carry it into new geo-linguistic markets (as well as onto different platforms). 

We recently spoke to ChenLi Wang, who oversaw international expansion as head of the company’s product and business operations teams, about frameworks for international growth, which countries and what timing, deciding on your first international outpost, some unexpected benefits of international, and its biggest risks.  

How an $800M Company Grows through Influencers and Content

How an $800M Company Grows through Influencers and Content

Ipsy is a vertically integrated beauty company, covering all ends of the consumer funnel from discovery through its media properties and creator relationships, to sampling with its monthly subscription beauty bag to commerce through its site and app. The company is valued upward of $800 million based on last year's series B and the growth the business has seen since then. 

Ipsy’s a fascinating case study because the company seeded its growth with influencers and content. When I spoke with Ipsy’s EVP of media and partnerships, Spencer McClung, at a 500 Startups event in Los Angeles, we dug into how Ipsy (which is part of the 500 Startups portfolio) has scaled its influencer-driven content marketing -- and kept it affordable and defensible -- in the hyper competitive space of makeup and beauty.

How to Leverage User Psychology to Trigger Growth and Adoption, with James Currier

How to Leverage User Psychology to Trigger Growth and Adoption, with James Currier

Marketplaces are important, and the success stories are well known: Etsy gives makers a global reach, Upwork connects Web developers in Vietnam with graphic designers in Romania, eBay has spawned legions of niche entrepreneurs in the 21 years since it was first founded as an auction site.

But James Currier, managing partner at NFX Guild and member of the Reforge Collective, says it’s their sister category “market networks” that will drive the next wave of innovation, and unicorns. 

Casey Winters on Pinterest's Retention Wins, and Why 90% of SEO Advice is Wrong

Casey Winters on Pinterest's Retention Wins, and Why 90% of SEO Advice is Wrong

Pinterest recently announced that they hit 150 million monthly active users sharing over 75 billion “ideas.” This represents a 50% increase in their top line metric, and was accompanied by growth in new demographics.

Casey Winters is the former growth product lead at Pinterest where he helped the service to crack international growth and surpass its 150 million MAU mark. Winters previously led growth at GrubHub where he helped that company grow from three cities to over 500.

We sat down with Winters to unpack the metrics that really matter at Pinterest (and any other business), the right way to run experiments and deal with failures and why 90% of everything that’s written about SEO out there is wrong.

Thrive Market's Multi Channel Content Machine: A Study of Content-Based Growth

Thrive Market's Multi Channel Content Machine: A Study of Content-Based Growth

This is a case study of Thrive Market, a subscription e-commerce business that specializes in delivering natural and organic foods, but at wholesale prices. They recently closed at $111 million dollar series B, and have just passed the $120 million dollar annual revenue mark.

As a student of content and growth, I’ve long admired Thrive Market for the way they’ve used content as a dominant growth channel to achieve unusual, and positive, results.

I recently spoke to Thrive Market’s founder and co-CEO Gunnar Lovelace at a fireside event for 500 Startups in LA about his company’s content-fueled growth, and what content frontiers they’re exploring next.