When asked how he’d describe his job to a 10-year-old, Ada’s Senior Performance Marketing Manager Raffa pulls his right arm back to mime a slingshot: “I choose the target, the size of the stone, the length of the elastic, think about the risks involved, and press enter. Then we make it more fun with ten targets, ten stones, and keep iterating until it’s perfect.” He spoke to us about why his last roles have been in health tech, and how to get the right attitude, results, and sustainable growth in startups.
Why is performance marketing an important part of a startup?
Performance marketing is important for a startup because it speeds up the creation of value in three ways:
- reaches the target audience and introduces them to the product
- generates value for customers by optimizing and improving experiences
- captures value back for a startup, such as getting app reviews and customer feedback
Any tips for marketers wanting to get good results in a startup?
Think about how you can move between smaller and bigger companies or projects, and test yourself as a marketer with different resources. Study your startup’s industry, competition, everything you can to help yourself anticipate the context of your work. Also, make it your business to keep on top of developments in marketing. Like startups, marketing changes really fast, so you can never stop learning.
Become really good at the foundations of your job, then maintain your curiosity. Ask yourself, ‘How do I discover one new thing every day?’ Behind this question you evaluate your curiosity level. Follow this with, ‘How do I implement one new thing everyday?’ Behind this question you evaluate your desire to make every day count.
Startups are competitive places, but my tip is to compete against yourself. Competing against others won’t make you any friends. There is a quote I like that says, “Nothing and nobody is better than your best.” Give your 100% everyday and you will become better for sure. Your attitude is what you do when nobody is watching. You can be at work for 40 hours a week but really work only 10 hours. If you want to get good results, make each hour count.
Something I think applies way beyond marketing and startups is to plan your career five to 10 years ahead — for real, not just to prepare for the inevitable interview question.
Your last roles have been in health tech. What attracts you to this sector?
When I arrived in Berlin in 2014 I noticed people seeking jobs with specific companies to chase a salary increase. For me, it’s important to always learn something new, and I felt like the healthcare industry is changing so much that this would be an exciting area to focus on.
I started in marketing for a cosmetic surgery company and learned a lot. For example, many surgeries we consider to be cosmetic are actually functional — some people get a nose job because they think it improves their appearance, others get the procedure because it improves their ability to breath.
Then I moved to medical tourism, because I wanted to understand the trend of people going abroad to save money on medical procedures. This taught me how much the healthcare system needs to be improved.
Both jobs showed nobody was working on technology: they were focused on the transactional side, making a profit without focusing on improving patients’ experience. That’s why I was so excited to start at Ada where we are really improving the healthcare system. If you are lucky enough to work at Ada you have the chance to help people with their health and be part of a tech product that is one of a kind in the world.
How do you stay healthy?
Exercising and eating well. I’ve been into surfing, crossfit, and yoga, but my regular thing is actually starting every morning with dancing, at the moment to Anderson Paak. Then for breakfast I make a smoothie with banana, oats, rice milk, strawberries and a mixture of dried ginger my girlfriend bought back from China.
What’s your favorite thing about working at Ada?
I believe this is just the beginning for Ada. We are growing very quickly, so in my job I feel like I can do things, say things, change things, improve things, anything is possible. The full potential is so far from being tangible, but spending time with the marketing and communications team everyday, pulling the slingshot from my desk, sipping a little coffee, sharing great moments with the team — that’s what I love about working at Ada.