Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Mastering paid growth | Jonathan Becker (Thrive Digital)
Mastering paid growth | Jonathan Becker (Thrive Digital)

Brought to you by Braintrust—For when you needed talent, yesterday | AssemblyAI—Production-ready AI models to transcribe and understand speech | Miro—A collaborative visual platform where your best work comes to life

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

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google, Overcast, and YouTube.

Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/mastering-paid-growth-jonathan-becker-thrive-digital/#transcript

Where to find Jonathan Becker:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/jzbecker

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanbecker123/

• Website: https://thrivedigital.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

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: https://www.linkedin.com/in/awilkinson/

• Garrett Camp: https://www.forbes.com/profile/garrett-camp/

• TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/

• Grammarly: https://app.grammarly.com/

• Athletic Greens: https://athleticgreens.com/en

• Supermetrics: https://supermetrics.com/

• Recast: https://getrecast.com/

• Midjourney: https://www.midjourney.com/

• DALL-E: https://openai.com/product/dall-e-2

Storyworthy: https://www.amazon.com/Storyworthy-Engage-Persuade-through-Storytelling/dp/1608685489

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike: https://www.amazon.com/Shoe-Dog-Memoir-Creator-Nike-ebook/dp/B0176M1A44

American Kingpin: https://www.amazon.com/American-Kingpin-Criminal-Mastermind-Behind/dp/1591848148

The Big Short: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1596363/

White Lotus on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/the-white-lotus

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.

Lenny's Newsletter

Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career

Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.