VentureBeat presents: AI Unleashed - An exclusive executive event for enterprise data leaders. Network and learn with industry peers. Learn More

In this week’s episode, Stewart and Travis interview the amazing Everette Taylor, a serial entrepreneur who went from being homeless to cofounding GrowthHackers and creating GrowthPup, and who is now the VP of Marketing at Skurt. He reveals the secrets of his success throughout this fascinating, eye-opening conversation (which includes a home truth about growth hacking.)

In the news, we discuss app marketing, a new report on app store optimization, an AI tool that automates the process of buying ads for apps, and a study that explains just how important native advertising has become. Hint: With 600 percent growth in spend over the last three years, it’s pretty darn important.


  • Welcome to VB Engage episode 48! [0:10]
  • We have Everette Taylor Jr. this week: once homeless and now VP of Marketing of Skurt. Next week we will speak with John Miller, one of the founders of Marketo, who now runs Engagio. [01:35]
  • Watch for Episode 50, where Noah Kagan will be joining us. Noah was Facebook’s employee #30, got fired, and decided to run his own company: AppSumo. [02:10]
  • There’s a new study by Peggy Anne Salz on app store optimization (ASO), which has been published by VB insight. It’s a guide on how to get your apps found in the app store. [03:15]
  • Did you know that about 2,300 apps launch every day? [03:30]
  • Peggy Anne Salz surveyed 500 ASO users, interviewed 35 ASO professionals and found out that video is one of the most powerful tools for conversion. [04:35]
  • Travis’ marketing agency, CCP Digital, does a lot of social advertising and search management and has found out that the ROI is higher in Facebook video ads than in standard images. [05:10]
  • For example, Rovio, the company behind Angry Birds, testified that the video trailer for the game improved conversion by 60 percent and that users from the video ad networks had 20 percent higher retention rate than any of the ad networks.  [06:15]
  • It is never enough to make an epic app; you need to be able to market it to the right targeted audience. [06:50]
  • If you are an app developer, marketer, or publisher, or you just want to learn more about ASO, check it out here. [08:00]
  • Nativo took data from 600 brands and discovered that over the last three years, native ad spending has increased by 600 percent. [8:55]
  • What’s interesting is that the first movers into native ad have been decreasing their native ad spending, while the latecomers are now increasing their native ad spending. [10:30]
  • If you are building your marketing on other people’s platforms, early mover advantage is not a good thing because the best practices have not been nailed down yet. [10:45]
  • The latecomers were able to review the case studies, pick up the best practices, and get the results. [11:15]
  • Word of advice: Do not be the guinea pig! [12:15]
  • How expensive are sponsored ads? Time Magazine will cost you $200,000. [12:35]
  • Google has rules against “follow links,” so you’re not getting any SEO juice. It’s better to divide ad spending across many smaller sites and engage micro-influencers instead. [13:25]
  • If you have spent big money on an article, you can take that article and advertise in Facebook ads targeting your prospects. [14:25]
  • Sponsored Content by itself is like a tree in the forest. When it falls, and assuming it makes a sound, does anybody hear it? If you are not amplifying it to the right audience, then you are not getting the real punch for that content. [14:45]
  • Bidalgo launched its AI agent to help app marketers automate the entire process of buying advertising. [16:00]
  • Bidalgo claims that AI will deliver a better return on ad spending than any human possibly could. It can automate all the workflows, and it assumes the high-waste, menial tasks that take ages for a person to do and completes them in seconds. [16:30]
  • This is the best application for AI in the marketing world — completing complicated tasks that everyone wants to get rid of so they can do more creative stuff. [16:45]
  • As per Travis’ experience, there are so many things that need to be done to get an app to a certain point. AI is an amazing technology that would certainly make the process easier. [18:25]
  • Patrick Witham, director of user acquisition at Product Madness, has been using Bidalgo and claims the company was able to increase its 7-day return on ad spend by 15 percent in four weeks. [18:55]
  • We’re also running out of domain and brand names! We might need AI to create new brand names. [19:30]
  • Let’s welcome Everette Taylor! He is VP of Marketing of Skurt, which is a mobility company that delivers cars for rental. Like Uber for rental cars! He also founded MilliSense and GrowthPup and is on the founding team of GrowthHackers. [21:10]
  • At 27, Everette has been involved in many startups, and he shares what he’s learned. [22:15]
  • Empathy for customers and users leads to accelerated growth. This helps you build better marketing strategies, better products, and better processes to serve clients. It also grants you the ability to be emotionally intelligent while still being data- and impact-driven. [22:45]
  • A lot of people focus on data and metrics as their sole source when it comes to growth and marketing. But what about discovering more about your users, their behavioral patterns, what makes them tick, and what can help you convert more of them? [23:45]
  • What was the catalyst to give you emotional intelligence? [24:20]
  • While growing up in a predominantly Black and Hispanic community, Everette interacted with more White and Asian people when he started working at 14. This helped him get out of his comfort zone and understand more about people from different backgrounds. [26:00]
  • He became completely homeless at 17 and, at his lowest, was able to get insight into people’s real needs. [27:15]
  • Eighty percent of the sales process is entirely driven by emotion, and the remaining 20 percent is the actual process of buying. No one is going to make a purchase unless they are emotionally attached to an item. [27:45]
  • Before you use data to better know your customer, use that data to find out the best marketing channel for your audience. [29:00]
  • The more you look at data, the more you will realize how to personalize your campaigns and tactics to engage your users. [29:45]
  • What are the secrets to growth hacking? [31:00]
  • One of the biggest issues is thinking that there is one solution that will work for everyone. [31:40]
  • By looking at data, Everette and his team were able to hack growth by maximizing the traffic they were getting from Twitter. They have discovered ways to target their users. They have automated the process of pushing out content. [33:55]
  • Stewart once sent out 50 expensive remote-controlled cars to a group of targeted decision-makers but did not include the remote controls. He was able to book appointments with the recipients by offering the remote controls as a prize for attending his meeting. [35:00]
  • Twitter is more lenient about how you can grow followers than Instagram is. [36:40]
  • MilliSense was able to improve by automating the process of getting people real followers, engagement, and clicks on Instagram. [37:40]

Next week, we interview the one and only Jon Miller, cofounder of Marketo and CEO of Engagio.  We discuss account-based marketing and how Marketo and Engagio are inherently different in their approach to lead generation.


AI Unleashed

An exclusive invite-only evening of insights and networking, designed for senior enterprise executives overseeing data stacks and strategies.


Learn More

If you missed last week’s episode VB 047, Stewart and Travis interview John Rampton — entrepreneur and author — on a range of marketing-focused topics. During this episode, he states that we’re now in a “pay-to-play world.” What does that mean, and where do we go next? John helps us understand what the future holds.

As always, thanks for tuning in. You know something that isn’t “pay-to-play?” Rating, reviewing, and subscribing to VB Engage. You can do that for free on your favorite podcast platform. Go on — you know it makes sense.


VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.