Growth hacking your results


Facebook may have one billion + users but if you’re living in the U.S.A, you’re not exactly top of mind. “India is the single, most important country for growth,” said Alex Schultz, VP of Growth, Facebook yesterday at VentureBeat’s 2014 GrowthBeat conference.

Facebook hit a wall back in 2007. It was no longer growing its existing user base. Schultz said there were a number of reasons for why that happened, in particular, because the social networking platform was no longer able to ramp up new users, getting them each to find 10 new friends in 14 days, which is considered a significant benchmark for any social networking app.

Alex was part of the original growth team at Facebook. He worked on a number of tasks, including the company’s SEO products and optimizing email campaigns. In 2007, Facebook was still only available as an English-only social networking platform. Competitors like MySpace had already made itself available in multiple foreign languages. Facebook immediately set out to concentrate its resources on attracting the non-English speaking audiences.

“There’s a very fine line between removing friction and tricking users” – Alex Schultz, Facebook growth market #GrowthBeat

— Dylan Tweney (@dylan20) August 6, 2014

India became ground-zero as Facebook it set out to translate (and continues to translate) the nation’s near 800 languages. Hindi is the world’s 4th most widely spoken language in the world today. Facebook has worked hard at translating not only Hindi but more than 80 other languages spoken in India. This includes the top three languages spoken, including Hindi, British English, and Indian English. Schultz made it clear that Facebook is no longer focused on squeezing new users out of the United States but instead has tasked itself to make the world more open and connected, which is why the company still has a growth team.


7-ElevenGood news, Slurpee and Taquito fans! The folks at 7-Eleven have heard you loud and clear…via mobile! Since the convenience food chain transitioned to its mobile app, it has received nearly 14,000 comments in less than a month, which is more than what it typically gets in a whole year with an 800 line, according to Michael Debnar, the leader of 7-Eleven’s Innovation Team. “When a company says it’s mobile-first and mobile-only, we are mobile first and mobile-only,” said Debnar at GrowthBeat. Debnar also announced that in six month’s time, 7-Eleven would be introducing new delivery networks allowing customers to stay in their cars while getting their products.

Backstage at #growthbeat getting ready to chat with 7-11 and @Medallia. Man I need a Big Gulp.

— Ina Fried (@inafried) August 6, 2014

Digital is important, and according to Debnar, the chain has 65% smart phone penetration with 18 to 35 year old males being the targeted demographic. Debnar said 7-Eleven no longer considers itself a traditional company. He even compared 7-Eleven to Uber. “I’m a huge fan of two-sided marketplaces. You have on the one side a bunch of cars, and you have on the other side a bunch of people who need a car, and they are the glue,” said Debnar. 7-Eleven has nearly 8,500 stores in the United States and for Debnar, “the chain can be that glue for a lot of things.”

Technorati @ GrowthBeat 2014

7-Eleven is working on taking a page from various startups. It created an investment channel called 7-Ventures that launched back in 2013. It has invested in customer loyalty startup, Belly, and KeyMe, a digital locksmith startup. “7-Eleven has Amazon lockers in various stores, including KeyMe services. We can become this two-sided marketplace because we have a box that’s everywhere and we can connect people who need stuff from these companies and services, “ said Debnar. 7-Eleven is exploring new categories for development and if it can align itself with complimentary disruptive services, it will do so. For Debnar that means investing in more experimental food and beverage startups.


The Eventbrite team one day made a useful discovery. It realized that users of the app who attend events also organize events. The company is now working to get users who purchase tickets to understand that they too should throw events on Eventbrite, according to Evenbrite’s senior director of marketing for user growth, Brian Rothenberg.

Rothenberg told marketers at this year’s GrowthBeat 2014 that his company is unique in its approach to growth – combining product and marketing under one umbrella. More than 58 million people have purchased tickets via EventBrite.

Rothenberg said Eventbrite gets more than 20 million unique visitors a month. Working with both his product and user experience teams, he’s trying to determine where in the product can the company message that people organizing events can also purchase tickets.

Hey, marketers! Find that one, key growth driver. http://t.co/C7pu668BNI @eventbrite #GrowthBeat #marketing pic.twitter.com/XgWKD14RmG — Engagor (@engagor) August 6, 2014

In directing his analytics teams to review people’s usage patterns, Rothenberg made the observation that once a person attends one event, they could very well attend another. “That piece of data helped us use better targeted trigger emails once a person has attended two or more events,” said Rothenberg.

When it comes to strategies that drive engagement, social remains a big player. Eventbrite’s social email outreach has 40% open rates, and their click to purchase rate is 5%, which is also impressive for an ecommerce company. Rothenberg didn’t abandon more old-fashioned ways of marketing to people. “We’re even testing outbound phone calls. When behavior deviates from past behavior, we can still reach out to them.”

Eventbrite will be sure to continue tinkering with its marketing success as it now boasts a 1 billion evaluation. Be on the lookout for that IPO.

Technorati's Travis Wright leading a GrowthBeat panel.

Technorati’s Travis Wright leading a GrowthBeat panel.

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