Mastering paid growth | Jonathan Becker (Thrive Digital)

Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career

May 7 2023 • 1 hr 34 mins

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Jonathan Becker is the founder and president of Thrive Digital, where he and his team have deployed more than $3.5 billion in paid acquisition budgets for companies like Uber, Asana, Square, Tempur-Pedic, and MasterClass. He spent the first part of his career mastering SEO and is a world expert in DTC, lead generation, demand generation, and user acquisition. In today’s episode, we discuss:

• Signs that your company is a good fit for paid growth

• Strategies for optimizing ad creatives

• The merits of different marketing channels: paid vs. organic search, TikTok and short-form

• Insights on attribution and how to approach it effectively

• How market conditions and AI impact paid growth

• The crazy story of how Jonathan won Uber as a client

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In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Jonathan’s background

(07:25) The crazy story of how Jonathan won Uber as a client

(11:56) Interchangeable terms for “paid growth”

(12:31) Why you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket

(16:48) What kind of companies should pursue paid growth

(23:07) Is it possible to reach scale exclusively through paid growth?

(27:07) The evolution of performance marketing

(29:39) Advice for founders choosing between SEO and paid

(32:18) Strategies for optimizing ad creatives

(44:43) Paid vs. organic search, TikTok and short-form

(49:56) Where to spend money in order to drive growth for B2B SaaS

(55:06) Attribution in performance marketing

(1:04:18) The impact of AI on paid growth

(1:12:52) Advice for early-stage startups on hiring in-house vs. hiring an agency

(1:17:09) Qualifications to look for in your hires

(1:23:23) How Jonathan won Snapchat as a client

(1:28:55) Lightning round


• Andrew Wilkinson:

• Garrett Camp:

• TikTok:

• Grammarly:

• Athletic Greens:

• Supermetrics:

• Recast:

• Midjourney:



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