Q&A with Diana
Diana’s blog post: Scaling Growth at Mobile-First Startups: Challenges and Tips
Diana Kim is the Senior Growth Marketing Manager at Ibotta in Denver, CO. After graduating college she realized that startup life was the life for her and joined the team at Ibotta. Diana has spent the last 3+ years growing the Ibotta app and changing the way consumers get rewarded for making every day purchases.
How did you get into mobile marketing?
I stumbled into Ibotta after graduating from the University of Colorado Boulder, and was immediately drawn by the startup culture. It’s been exciting to be a part of Ibotta’s growth over the past three and a half years. My career evolved as we hit key milestones and the needs of the business transformed. I’ve advanced across the organization, from social and content driven marketing into the current mobile user acquisition role after our Series B round. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to learn into the space and learn from some amazing people along the way.
What do you like most about mobile marketing?
I like the challenge of adapting our growth strategy and infrastructure within a rapidly changing mobile landscape. There are no perfect methodologies or solutions in this space so we’re writing the rules as we go, and making them unique to our business. What I love the most is the collaboration and creative process – not only with our internal teams, but also with our partners.
What is the biggest mistake you made as a mobile marketer?
My biggest mistake early in my career was being too risk averse and hyper-focusing on hitting certain KPIs. There are logical risks and tests to run, but enable the data to build your underlying hypothesis.
What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?
- Let the data drive your network mix decisions. It will allow you to choose the right partners and scale efficiently towards your growth goals.
- Collaborative alignment is key in building mutually beneficial relationships with partners. Clearly communicate the challenge you’re facing, and set expectations upfront. That will set the partnerships up for success from day one and build the foundation of a great and long lasting relationship.
What does a quality mobile user look like to you?
Quality users start with Ibotta every time they make a purchase, and verify each purchase to get cash back into their accounts. They are loyal and become advocates for us by sharing out their great experiences with their friends and family.
What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?
Understanding what motivates a user, and delivering a high value, low friction experience targeted against those motivations so that they are excited about continuing to use the product.
What is the biggest challenge in marketing the Ibotta app?
One of our biggest challenges has been educating consumers on the unique space that Ibotta is in because we’re more than just your typical mobile couponing app. We are a marketplace for consumers to get real cash back on their favorite brands, and at their favorite retailers and restaurants. There have been some preconceived notions Ibotta is “too good to be true,” but in less than four years we’ve paid our users over $100 million in cash. We’re actively testing creative concepts to educate and convey that there is value being left on the table.
How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?
I’m constantly reading articles, blogs and whitepapers on emerging trends and technologies. It’s also been helpful to keep an open dialogue with each of our partners on potential improvements and upcoming product changes, or conversations with others in the industry about how the space is evolving or how they are solving key challenges.
How important is diversifying user acquisition outside of Facebook?
As a performance marketer, it’s crucial to continuously diversify your media mix in order to minimize potential risk. You may see short term gains, but it will be difficult to control cost and volume volatility within your long term growth strategy. Also, consumers are getting technically savvier, and it’s becoming increasingly important to place the most relevant message, at the right time. Getting a better understanding of your core demographic’s interests, behaviors, socioeconomic status, along with where they’re consuming media is critical to building your network mix and ad placement strategy.
How important are the holidays to your business and what season is the biggest time for you?
Since our core business is grocery focused, we’re essentially an evergreen business. However, as we’ve expanded into non-grocery verticals with key brand and retailer partnerships, including Best Buy, it’s crucial for us to maximize our marketing efforts in Q4 and other seasonal shopping windows.
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