Hey, hi, hello! I'm Forrest, yep, just like Forrest Gump, and I am the Senior Manager of Growth Marketing at Going. Before Going, I managed part of the growth strategy at Coinbase. I’ve spent over half a decade building my chops and working for digital marketing agencies across various industries.
In a nutshell, my role focuses on acquiring new users through various digital advertising channels. Our growth strategy currently spans across search, video/TV, social ads, and influencer/affiliate marketing. Each of these channels is a crucial piece in our marketing puzzle.
My role is fascinating because I have a tremendous impact on introducing Going to the world, which, in turn, helps people travel and experience the world without breaking the bank on flights. One of the most powerful levers we have is our creative. "Creative" typically references all the parts of an advertisement that we control. This includes video creative via animations or with real actors, static images, and ad copy. All of these elements need to work harmoniously to grab someone's attention, spark their travel interest, and provide enough value to encourage them to sign up - all while they scroll through endless content. The key here is doing this as effectively and efficiently as possible. This leads us into the other half of my role.
How do we know if something is efficient? We need to evaluate success (or failure) by analyzing our data, and we have a lot of data that can be used to measure our efforts. It's this balance between creativity and objectivity that is my why. Very few jobs strike this balance of allowing for wicked creativity and brainstorming of big ideas while also, requiring analyzation of objective data-driven results. Remember, the data never lies.
I learned about Going (formerly Scott's Cheap Flights) in 2017, so they've been on my radar for a while. The rebrand to Going at the beginning of 2023 aligned with my exploration of new opportunities, and it was during this time that I rediscovered the brand – talk about perfect timing! Coincidentally, they had a Senior Manager, Growth Marketing role open. Among all the roles I'd been exploring, this opportunity truly aligned with my skillset and experience, and the rebrand's fresh and polished look further fueled my excitement.
I had a fantastic recruiting and onboarding experience. We were in the home stretch of the process heading into the weekend, and I had been told to expect some news that would wrap up the process. Despite not having any material updates, someone still took the time to reach out and acknowledge that we'll roll through the weekend and pick up in the following week. That should be the norm, but unfortunately, it was not in my experience. This moment (and many others during my recruitment process) was testament to the values that Going upholds.
Onboarding was well structured and provided me time to meet with each team leader and various members of the marketing team. Right off the bat, I noticed that everything the company talked about from a culture perspective was true. For example, many people keep their Slack status set to "away" to avoid the "green dot culture." If you know, you know.
With a strong onboarding experience and culture feeling A1, I began ramping up my journey to take over the growth program. We all know that starting a new role is challenging, especially in a fully remote environment. You need to figure out who to go to for what, and it can be overwhelming for everyone, especially because I ask a lot of questions. Where is this data from? Is it cohorted to sign-up date or membership start? Wait, so who do I ask for that?
Going did a fantastic job setting up New Employee Onboarding (NEO) meetings over the first 2-3 weeks. Most companies I've onboarded with cram everything into the first week, so getting all of that info to "stick" can be challenging. The thoughtfulness of the NEO meetings and the lengthened onboarding period genuinely made taking on a new position much easier.
The team here is patient and always willing to answer anything with clear communication, especially in our collaborative Slack channels. I've felt highly supported by my colleagues at various management levels.
Over time, something I have noticed is that people actually take PTO, which you can read about from my colleague, Wendy, here. I'm talking about week-long-vacation-not-checking-slack-or-emails-PTO, too. Lastly, the leadership team is involved and transparent. From sharing critical business metrics to prioritizing company-wide retreats twice a year, leadership has had a profound impact on shaping our company culture. Every individual in the organization truly unites in support of our collective mission: to help people travel and experience the world.
In general, for me to be successful in a role, I need room to run, explore, and test. My manager has set a fantastic example by providing me with the tools and resources to be successful without micro-managing.
Over my initial 90 days with Going (and beyond), I've been encouraged to push the boundaries of our current channel mix, strategize and shift how we report on data, and make contributions to a larger vision that genuinely excites me. As we head into the end of 2023, I'm eager to fine-tune our channel mix, dial in our creative strategies, optimize each landing page experience, and help create an exceptional onboarding journey for new users. The lift required is substantial, but the collaborative and creative journey to get there is absolutely worth it.
If, after reading this, you're even more excited, motivated, or curious about Going, then I encourage you to explore our careers page, join our talent community, or apply to any open roles!
Until next time!
Forrest (not Gump)