App Marketing

How EasyTaxi kickstarted their app growth - by restructuring the team

Paul Malicki
Global CMO

We talked to Paul Malicki, Global CMO at EasyTaxi, about how exactly he’d gone about turning around their mobile presence from an after-thought to a core growth driver. Here’s his take on one of his key initiatives.

Sometime early last year, I realized Easy Taxi required a fundamentally different approach to performance marketing. Since its inception in 2011, Easy Taxi has scaled from a tiny idea conceived at Startup Weekend Rio to a major player in 30 countries and 420 cities. Based out of Sao Paolo, Brazil, we’re the world’s most-downloaded taxi app with offices all over the world – but achieving this was no small feat, and would have been impossible without a marketing approach that could evolve alongside our business.

What was always seen as merely a way to drive app install traffic now had to develop into a more sophisticated part of our international marketing universe, with a clear strategy and defined place within the company.

We took some time for careful rumination, and eventually identified core issues that had to be addressed, including:

  • A complete lack of clear insights into user-level conversion funnel data – per market, per channel, and per individual campaign;
  • Laborious and manual approach to traffic attribution analytics and reporting as such;
  • Lack of internal organizational focus; specialization of team members based on channels and not marketing objectives;
  • Low productivity, which stemmed from all the above and was accompanied by significant communication issues and lack of transparency towards our 30+ local- and regional- managing directors.

After a period of strategic reorganization and rethinking the way we utilized adjust within our workflow, I expected significant growth. But we didn’t just grow; instead, we scaled at an unprecedented rate – and are still expanding.

Easytaxi marketing team in Sao Paolo

The EasyTaxi marketing team in Sao Paolo

Defining our new approach

As CMO, my ambition was to create an efficient, centralized global marketing team that could assist our local teams in winning their markets. We were operating in an extremely competitive and well-funded urban mobility segment, and although this made expansion a high-pressure endeavor it nevertheless helped establish a relentless, growth-oriented attitude within our team. I eventually realized that I could directly control all of our digital marketing efforts, subsequently freeing the local leaders to tackle the operational challenges they experienced within their competitive individual markets.

On the surface, our plan was simple. We would hire the best and the brightest to our headquarters in Sao Paulo, where we would establish a “one stop shop” for all things digital marketing, and then buttress the centralized marketing efforts with tailored local content. If this was successful, we’d expand it: not a single offline marketing campaign would be launched without utilizing whatever best practices we built over time. But ideas are a commodity – execution is where the real competitive advantage lies.

Springing into action: Assembling a high performance marketing team

Our first step was a thorough review of our available resources, right down to our individual team members and software packages. We didn’t want to take our future growth for granted and decided to limit both the number of providers and team size as much as possible in an effort to maintain both our momentum and culture of exceptionally fast execution.

The truth is that no matter how great of a digital marketer you may consider yourself, it takes the dedication and skill of an entire team to succeed. I knew this, and wanted only AAA-level team members who understood as well. What does it mean to be AAA-level? You don’t have to be someone with 10+ years of marketing experience working in high profile Silicon Valley startups. You need to be fresh, ambitious, intelligent and – most importantly – passionate.

Since our business was largely driven by partnerships and word-of-mouth, I built a twofold marketing model that looked at growth as a combination of:

  1. Strategic marketing, including alliances, brand, CRM, viral campaigns and all-things-offline; and
  2. Performance marketing, including acquisition, B2B advertising and retargeting.

The performance marketing team would be combined into one global head and comprised of three to four people with mixed professional backgrounds – both business and technical. Each team member was hired based on motivation first and resume second, with the only hard requirement being previous international experience.

The final result: a dynamic team

In the end, we pushed for two major changes to our previous setup:

  • A switch from channel specialization to a marketing objective pursuit, and
  • Clear ownership of attribution, content, and other secondary objectives.

We addressed the first issue by reshuffling the team. Our all-round Facebook specialist became a user acquisition executive while the SEM expert was to take care of retargeting. We also added a dedicated ASO specialist, whose KPIs consisted of tackling free installs and boosting conversions.

The change looked more or less as follows:

Easytaxi team structure changes

Fig. Performance Marketing Team migration from platform-focused to objective-focused.

And finally: establishing a successful workflow

Not surprisingly, the upgrade had a very positive effect on team morale. Our “hungry for knowledge” starters were able to practice real, performance-driven marketing and learn a few platforms at the same time. Each team had an additional specialization, such as relationship with product team or image strategy. However, all team members were required to know how to use the key tools like adjust.

Although the reporting and attribution platform setup was ultimately the responsibility of the team head, we established a dedicated tracking expert on the IT team who we could rely on for the technical implementation. His role would be crucial for all product updates from adjust and for advanced implementations like third-party store tracking. To enable faster and more accurate reporting, one Business Intelligence team member focused on marketing worked to create a more specific performance marketing dashboard, help analyze impact of reattribution, and manage data quality.

Presently, the Easy Taxi teams around the world are working seamlessly with our centralized, global team. Now that we are firmly anchored by a core team of marketers with solid technical and business footprints, we’ve been able work together to scale at unprecedented rates. Our clearly defined roles have left no room for confusion in terms of our areas of responsibility, and we’re sufficiently technically equipped to handle and interpret the reams of newly-utilized data we recieve through adjust to not just recognize local patterns, but to use them to our benefit.

Born in June 2011 in Brazil, Easy Taxi is the largest taxi booking app in Latin America, connecting passengers and taxi drivers in the fastest, safest, and most convenient way. The app is available cost free for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, and today it counts with over 20 million users and 400 thousand taxi drivers registered across the globe.

In addition, the app offers Easy Taxi Corporate, the company’s corporate solution, and Easy Taxi Pay, the in-app mobile payment solution.