This might be the longest cover letter you’ve ever read, it’s definitely the longest I’ve ever written. That being said I’ve included links to every section below for easy navigation. And even a tl;dr for the longest section if you’re in a rush. 😀
I was very excited when I came across the position for Growth Marketer, Mobile Apps, WordPress.com on LinkedIn. As of late, I haven’t been actively looking for full time positions (more on that below). But, it’s hard to pass up a chance to work in a great role for such an incredible company.
To start off I want to share my story in app marketing (this is the longest section, feel free to skip directly to the tl;dr). Followed by why I want to work at Automattic. Then what I can contribute to the team. I’ll answer the questions posed in the job posting (definitely can’t forget that!). And, I’ll finish up with some fun facts.
👇 Without further ado 👇
My story in app marketing
I’ve been working in the app marketing space just over nine years. My journey started shortly after university. I thought it would be a good idea to apply for a UK youth mobility visa and head over to London to find a job.
My first job was at a small app development consultancy called Apsmart. I worked there as a paid intern helping them with their marketing efforts. My favourite project was creating and implementing a marketing plan for their first in-house product release, a music application for iOS and Android called MPme.
After Apsmart, I landed a full time position at a company called Somo. They were one of the first specialist mobile advertising agencies (and have since transitioned to be strictly a design and build agency). I started at Somo in an entry level position (Campaign Executive) and was responsible for media planning and buying, reporting, and analytics for various mobile app clients.
My favourite achievement at Somo was receiving their yearly “Be Brave” award in 2012 for my work pitching for a large gaming client. Being still pretty new I was only meant to contribute to the planning portion of the pitch. At the last minute, I was pulled into the actual pitch with the C-level executives from both firms. I wasn’t expecting or ready for this at all! Growth comes from being uncomfortable, right? 😅 Good news is, we won the business.
My visa eventually came to an end and I moved back home to Calgary at the end of 2013. I took a few months off over Christmas to spend some time with family and friends. After starting my job search, Somo reached out and within a week I was back working for them again as a remote contractor! Essentially, I picked up where I left off after departing the UK only a few months prior.
With some client changes at Somo my contract work began to wind down in mid-2015. I decided to partner with a former contact (and fellow Canadian) from the UK to start our own boutique mobile agency. It was (and still is) called Todo Mobile. My primary role was media operations and planning/buying for our clients (this apart from the typical multiple hats that any founder might wear including but not limited to accounting, Human Resources, legal, etc).
We had fun for five years but alas we eventually found ourselves with conflicting visions for the company. In mid 2020, I decided that it was best if we went our separate ways. We had a comprehensive and amicable transition and still keep in touch from time-to-time for mutual support.
After departing Todo Mobile, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. I did know that my support was needed at home during the pandemic. With my wife working full-time from home and our kid on summer break I elected to take some time off to support my family.
When school returned, and our lives were feeling a bit more normal, I decided to take the jump and operate as an independent consultant in the mobile growth space. If I’m honest, finding new clients hasn’t been particular easy for me. New business was one hat that I didn’t wear at Todo Mobile. That being said, it’s now February and I feel through networking and outbound reach out I’m starting to build up a new business pipeline. My hard work is starting to pay off!
This begs the question, why after all this effort am I applying at Automattic…
tl;dr – I moved to London after university and started a paid internship at a mobile development consultancy. Shortly after that I joined one of the first specialist mobile marketing agencies called Somo. After working there for almost two years I returned to Canada and continued working for Somo as a remote contractor. With contract work at Somo winding down I started my own boutique mobile marketing agency called Todo Mobile. After five years I left Todo Mobile, took some time off, and then started working as an independent mobile growth consultant.
Why Automattic? Why Now?
It’s a good question.
I’ve just spent the last four months building up my new consulting brand and pipeline. Why would I leave that all behind for a more regular full time position?
Well the answer is pretty simple, I’m here to serve. It doesn’t matter if it’s fractionally through freelance/consulting work or through full time employment. I simply want to work for (or with) good companies who are making a meaningful impact. Automattic fits the bill perfectly.
Passing up the opportunity to apply for a position like this would be, in my opinion, a mistake.
What can I contribute?
In depth app marketing experience
To start I can contribute over nine years’ experience helping companies grow their mobile app customer bases.
I’ve worked in multiple different verticals (publishing, utility apps, gaming, and more). This has given me a deep understanding of mobile user lifecycle along with technical knowledge of the tools required to get the job done. I can use this breadth of experience apply innovative solutions for growing the WordPress.com app.
Ability to manage a team and multiple projects
Spending the majority of my career either at an agency, or with a small startup (or both) I’ve honed my skills to effectively juggle multiple projects, stakeholders and strategies. Working simultaneously with various clients has allowed me to practice managing resource tradeoffs and understanding the future impact of those tradeoffs.
Experienced distributed worker
I’m used to coordinating with teams from around the globe. Now, utilizing asynchronous communication to balance work with a distributed team in different time zones feels most natural.
Thirst for new knowledge
I know, it’s cliche. But it’s true.
Like I said, I’m here to serve. In order to serve better, we need to grow. In order to grow, we need to learn.
When I’m not working or spending time with my family you’ll likely find me devouring a book, trying to expand my knowledge base. I like to explore a wide range of topics. Everything is connected and you never know where you might find something that will impact the way you think and contribute on a daily basis.
To answer your questions
Can you share your most successful non-paid mobile app growth campaign/strategy? What made it so successful? Is there anything you would do differently looking back on this now?
It depends by how you defined ‘non paid mobile app growth campaign/strategy’. For me, two definitions come to mind:
- A free (non-paid) to download app and the campaign to drive growth, or
- A owned (non-paid) media strategy to drive app growth.
To cover my bases, I will talk about both. 😊
Free to download growth strategy
The most successful campaign I had the opportunity to be involved with was King.com in 2013.
We utilized an abundance of growth channels delivering our campaign across Facebook, Twitter, Google, IronSource and others. Our focus was to drive low cost installs and a positive return on ad spend (ROAS) for their game ‘Bubble Witch Saga.’
What made it so successful was the speed at which we were able to execute and optimize the campaign. Given the large size of budget ($1M USD+ to be delivered in one month) this took cross-team, cross-client coordination to achieve. Throughout the month we had to make quick decisions, in real time, to ensure we were on pace to deliver the client’s goals.
Looking back I think we could have been even more efficient with their budget. But, given our agency’s fee was based on a percentage of total media spend, we were incentivized to spend their entire budget even if it meant sacrificing some performance. A common problem with performance marketing agencies then and now, depending on their incentives.
Owned media growth strategy
There is no denying that the majority of my work in mobile app marketing has been in paid acquisition. Although I have provided owned media strategy insights where necessary, most of the clients that I’ve had the opportunity to work with have handled this type of strategy in-house.
That being said, paid and owned strategies are by nature interconnected. Any solid growth marketing strategy should be rooted with an efficient owned media strategy.
I believe the following transferable skills would apply greatly to any owned media strategy:
- As I mentioned above, my understanding of mobile app customer lifecycles.
- Experience advising advertisers on user experience changes. For example:
- I worked with The New York Times’ growth team to advocate with their product team a major UX change.
- We rewarded users who registered with an additional five free articles per month.
- This change allowed our mobile re-targeting efforts to work more efficiently.
- Ability to quickly learn and implement various ad tech solutions.
- I’ve had the opportunity to work with various different mobile growth SaaS products (Appsflyer, Branch, Kochava, App Annie, Localytics, and more).
- I pride myself in my ability to quickly learn and implement these new technologies if they are required to meet agreed upon objectives.
- For anything that I have less experience with (MixPanel, Amplitude, Heap, etc) I’m confident that I will be able to become proficient with them quickly.
🇵🇱 I learned to speak Polish so I can communicate with my wife’s family. Well, I’m still learning. The quest of acquiring a foreign language is one that never truly ends. 🇵🇱
🍕 Shortly after co-founding Todo Mobile I worked evenings as a waiter at a local pizza restaurant. It allowed me to earn some income while balancing the efforts of starting a business with raising a family. Also, pizza.🍕
☕️ I didn’t start drinking coffee until I was 26. I’m now making up for lost time. ☕️
If you’ve made it this far, thank you. 🙏
It goes without saying, but, I would love the opportunity to move forward to the initial Slack interview.
Here are some quick links that might be helpful:
- My resume used for this application.
- You can find my full work history on LinkedIn.
- My personal blog.
Thanks again. ✌️