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Karola is the Head of Marketing at Bolt, the second ride-hailing platform after Uber by the number of operating markets. 
 
In the past 2.5 years since Karola joined the company, Bolt has expanded to 20+ new markets, grown from 200 employees to 1,300+, and gone through a rebranding (from Taxify to Bolt). She started out by creating a scaleable paid acquisition strategy for the brand, going on to build and lead a 30-person global marketing team, overseeing the paid acquisition, influencer marketing, social media, branding, local marketing campaigns, website optimization and much more.
 
Karola is also one of the world's leading Facebook Advertising experts (check out her blog) and has contributed on the topic to TOP business blogs, including EntrepreneurContent Marketing InstituteSocial Media Examiner and AdEspresso. She’s also frequently consulting brands on growth marketing and Facebook marketing.
 
In this AMA, you can ask Karola about a wide range of subjects. Here are a few to start the conversation:
  • Facebook & Instagram marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Copywriting and website conversion optimization
  • Content marketing and growing website traffic with SEO
  • Hiring and leading a marketing team
 
Read more articles by Karola and feel free to reach out via her blog at karolakarlson.com.
  • TK

    Taavi Kalvi

    about 1 month ago #

    Thanks for doing this, Karola.

    1) What's the number one mistake people make when trying to improve the performance of their PPC campaigns?
    2) Can you talk about an experiment that was a really big win or led to some breakthrough insights at Bolt?
    3) If you were giving a lecture at university to a group of MSc. students in a marketing/entrepreneurial class, what philosophies, tools or books would you share with them?

    Thanks! :)

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      2) Can you talk about an experiment that was a really big win or led to some breakthrough insights at Bolt?

      When I joined Bolt in 2017, one of my first tasks was to come up with better creatives for our Facebook ad campaigns. So I figured what people care about most when ordering a ride… Duh, the cost of the ride, of course!

      So I created a completely new type of Facebook carousel ads that nobody in the industry was using. The carousel ad included 5 cards with popular routes in the city and showed the average cost of that ride (which was much lower than with regular taxis).

      These ads picked up super well and are still one of our top performers. We even see some competitors using the same ad format now. 😄

      4 Share
    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      3) If you were giving a lecture at university to a group of MSc. students in a marketing/entrepreneurial class, what philosophies, tools or books would you share with them?

      I recently wrote a blog article on “how to learn marketing” where I shared all the advice I wish someone had given me when finishing high school.
      https://karolakarlson.com/how-to-learn-marketing/

      I’d say that the most crucial skill for every marketer is creative problem-solving and critical thinking, as well as writing skills and understanding the basic foundation on how human psychology works.

      You can find the list of my all-time favorite marketing and branding books here: https://karolakarlson.com/marketing-books/

      2 Share
    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      Thanks for your questions Taavi! So... Let's get right into them.

      1) What's the number one mistake people make when trying to improve the performance of their PPC campaigns?

      Well, this really depends on the campaign… Usually, the biggest PPC mistake is looking at the wrong metrics and KPIs in the first place. Let’s say your goal is to get new B2B clients for a SaaS tool. So you optimize your campaign on getting new leads. When trying to improve your campaign results, you want to increase the number of leads or lower the CPA (cost per acquisition) of leads. While opmizing on this, you may forget to look at the quality of the leads, so you may end up with more leads with lower quality. So always try to optimize your PPC campaign performance towards more revenue, not mid-funnel or vanity metrics.

      Another one is always optimizing the same thing. Let’s say you want to optimize your Google Search PPC campaigns, so you add new keywords + negative keywords. Maybe, instead of working on this, you should test another channel (like Facebook/Instagram) or another campaign type instead. Or another target audience.

      1 Share
  • LL

    Liis Laisaar

    about 1 month ago #

    1. What has been your number one learning/lesson from your entire marketing career?
    2. Which do you prefer when entering a new market: a) start wide and get maximum exposure OR b) start with as specific targeting as possible and expand later based on already collected data? Why?
    3. What has proven to be the key deciding factor when recruiting new people to your team? (Which qualities make the best team members and employees in marketing (e.g. experience, willingness to learn <-- how to validate this, etc.?)
    4. Agency or in-house? Why?

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      Hi Liis and great questions! 🙌

      1. What has been your number one learning/lesson from your entire marketing career?

      One of the things I learned early on is that you should go a bit wild and test things that others haven’t tried yet. A lot of the best-performing marketing hacks/projects are not shared in marketing blogs.

      For example, when working on content marketing and SEO in the project management software startup Scoro, I came up with an idea to compile a list of 50+ project management tools, include Scoro as #3, and thereby be listed in the first Google search result for the “best project management tools” keyword.

      First, my manager was strongly against the idea: why would we promote our competitors? But I kept pushing to test out the idea and it worked: our listicle ranked as #1 result on Google and we got tens of new leads from there every month. Today, Scoro has published more than ten similar list articles and they’re working out very well.

      1 Share
    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      2. Which do you prefer when entering a new market: a) start wide and get maximum exposure OR b) start with as specific targeting as possible and expand later based on already collected data? Why?

      It depends on the product and your marketing budget.

      In Bolt, we’re marketing a consumer product relevant to most people, so we can use wide targeting in our online ads and let Facebook and Google algorithms to optimize our campaigns based on results. If you’re marketing a niche product, I’d recommend starting narrower. If you already have a user base, I recommend using Facebook Lookalike audiences.

      1 Share
    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      4. Agency or in-house? Why?

      I always prefer in-house marketing teams to agencies as the people’s motivation to grow the business, test new things and get results is times higher. In-house people genuinely care about the company and go the extra mile to make things work. Having worked in and with agencies, I have seen projects often handed over to interns which can lead to low-quality work and poor results. It also takes a ton of time to onboard agency people and to keep communicating with them on a daily basis to approve ideas and changes.

      In Bolt, we’re growing so fast and changing things up all the time, so we need to be able to get new campaigns live in less than 1-2h sometimes. This would never be possible when working with an advertising agency.

      I do see a benefit to using local agencies if there’s a need for local contacts to execute a one-time marketing/PR campaign.

      1 Share
    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      3. What has proven to be the key deciding factor when recruiting new people to your team? (Which qualities make the best team members and employees in marketing (e.g. experience, willingness to learn <-- how to validate this, etc.?)

      Having interviewed tens and tens of people while growing the team in Bolt, I realized at some point that you simply feel it during the interview if a person is a good match to the team. There’s a kind of special connection and understanding that you get when meeting the right candidate to a position.

      I always look for the proactive “let’s get things done” attitude and evaluate the candidate’s home task and previous work experience. I never look at a marketing candidate's educational profile as this is not what matters. I also like to hire people with good copywriting skills and a creative problem-solving-oriented mindset.

      I also follow the rule of “If it’s not a YES!! it’s a no” when hiring. If a candidate doesn’t seem to be the perfect fit for the role, we’ll just keep looking rather than making the wrong hire.

      0 Share
  • KK

    Karolina Krolicka

    about 1 month ago #

    Hi Karola,

    1. What metrics do you use to understand why a campaign failed (I mean Bolt-specific, is it a number of new users you're focusing on, retention, rides, other?) How do you use those findings to inform your next campaign?
    2. How do you set up your team KPIs? Do you work with some framework, e.g. OKR?
    3. What is your biggest struggle currently?
    4. Do you/your team have any influence on the product? How does cooperation between marketing and product team look like?

    Thanks a lot!

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      Hi Karolina! Thanks for tuning in 🙃

      1. What metrics do you use to understand why a campaign failed (I mean Bolt-specific, is it a number of new users you're focusing on, retention, rides, other?) How do you use those findings to inform your next campaign?

      The way we measure campaign results in Bolt completely depends on the goals. For user acquisition campaigns, we measure metrics like the nr of first rides and app installs. And we also compare the user acquisition CPAs with the LTV (lifetime value) of users. For user engagement campaigns, we measure KPIs like extra rides taken compared to the past similar period, etc.

      We always report on every marketing campaigns’ results, calculating the ROI and sharing the key takeaways with all team members.

      Luckily, we have many online campaigns which makes the data easily accessible and the ROI more measurable. But there are also marketing campaigns where other factors like seasonality come to play, so we need to take all of it into consideration when calculating the ROI.

      2 Share
    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      2. How do you set up your team KPIs? Do you work with some framework, e.g. OKR?

      The global marketing team at Bolt is currently using a quarterly OKRs approach. We make sure that all OKRs are measurable and directly linked to the projects that a particular team member is working on.

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      3. What is your biggest struggle currently?

      Haha, when growing as fast as Bolt, you run into a lot of struggles.

      I’d say the biggest challenge is understanding the business impact and ROI of all the different online and offline marketing activities that we’re doing.

      We’re testing and learning something new every month, adding layers of data analytics to our campaign reporting and improving the attribution between different marketing channels.

      • VS

        Vasyl Sergienko

        27 days ago #

        "I’d say the biggest challenge is understanding the business impact and ROI of all the different online and offline marketing activities that we’re doing."

        Have you ever use advanced Analytical models like Bayesian time series for instance to explain your marketing decision? Could the results of these models be understood by senior management?

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      4. Do you/your team have any influence on the product? How does cooperation between marketing and product team look like?

      We have specific product teams that work on improving our app, so that other specialized teams like marketing can focus on their main goals.

      However, in Bolt, everyone is welcome to submit their ideas to the Product team that will then evaluate the business impact of each idea and put together the product roadmap based on the highest-impact items.

      The marketing team (and all other teams) get regular updates on the product plans and we often plan our messaging around upcoming product updates.

      2 Share
  • VS

    Vasyl Sergienko

    27 days ago #

    Hey @karolakarlson, thanks for doing this - honored to have you here.
    I heard about the Bolt Marketing team and I'd love to learn more details.
    A few questions that come to mind:
    1. What is the ideal marketing team structure?
    2. What do you think about marketing automation and who is responsible for that in the team?
    3. Do you have a dedicated Analyst in the team or is it a shared resource?
    4. How to balance between creativity and data-driven culture?

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      Hey Vasyl and thanks for bringing up the data and analytics topics!

      1. What is the ideal marketing team structure?

      There isn’t one single ideal marketing team structure that would fit all companies. But all marketing teams benefit from having clear ownership of projects, clear reporting structure, and team leads not having more than 8 direct reports. I personally like to keep the global marketing team functions centralized in the HQ rather than, for example, having a separate Facebook marketing function in every market.

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      2. What do you think about marketing automation and who is responsible for that in the team?

      Marketing automation is a highly relevant project when working with a large scale of users. In Bolt, we have multiple teams working on automation, for example, our Lifecycle marketing team.

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      3. Do you have a dedicated Analyst in the team or is it a shared resource?

      Up to this point, we’ve used a shared analyst resource (as the company’s growth has been so fast, it’s hard to keep up with hiring), but as the marketing function is expanding, we’re considering hiring data analysts to work specifically on marketing projects.

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      4. How to balance between creativity and data-driven culture?

      First of all, you can also be creative around the ways of interpreting the data. Different people can look at the same data and come up with different takeaways. Also, you need to be creative to come up with new ideas to improve the results reflected through data. So I’d say that the data-driven and creative approaches go very much hand in hand in today’s marketing.

      1 Share
  • CS

    Cecilia Schmitz

    about 1 month ago #

    Hey Karola! We're so excited to have you on, thanks for doing this!

    I recently read that all Bolt rides in Europe are now 100% carbon-neutral and I personally loved the news!

    Here go a few questions on this topic:

    1. How do you actually make Bolt trips greener? What's involved in the carbon offsetting process?

    2. Where did that come from? I mean, we clearly know about the importance of fighting climate change. My question goes it the way of understanding Bolt's culture: have you always seen it as a green company?

    3. What does that change in Marketing?

    Thank you again!

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      Hi Cecilia and thanks for having me! 😍

      1. How do you actually make Bolt trips greener? What's involved in the carbon offsetting process?

      To estimate how much CO2 our rides in Europe emit, we partnered up with a verification agency that dug deep into our data and made an informed prediction. To balance that amount of CO₂ emissions, we’ll support green projects that focus on carbon emission neutralizing.

      On top of supporting carbon emission neutralising projects, we’re working on reducing CO₂ emissions by creating environmentally friendly transport options for you to move in cities, such as scooters.

      You can read more about the Bolt Green Plan initiative here: https://blog.bolt.eu/2019/09/all-bolt-rides-in-europe-are-now-carbon-neutral/

      1 Share
    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      2. Where did that come from? I mean, we clearly know about the importance of fighting climate change. My question goes it the way of understanding Bolt's culture: have you always seen it as a green company?

      We believe that using technology to create an efficient network of shared cars, scooters, bikes and public transport is the only viable alternative to every person needing a private car in the future. That’s a future with less traffic, fewer parking lots and lighter pollution, with more time and urban space for people to do what really matters.

      As Bolt has grown to a big tech company, we want to have even more positive impact already today, so we decided to launch our Green Plan — a long-term commitment to reduce the ecological footprint of Bolt as a company. Our first step is to make all Bolt rides in Europe 100% carbon neutral by buying verified emission reduction, offsetting the CO2 emissions that Bolt rides create.

      1 Share
    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      3. What does that change in Marketing?

      Making greener daily choices is important to many people. So the CO2 neutral rides topic has definitely become one of the messages we communicate to our users across Europe. We also talk about living a life less damaging for our planet around the office, discussing better ways to recycle the trash or skip using plastic cutlery.
      And we recently launched the #greenchallenge social media campaign to invite our app users to share the ways that they live a greener lifestyle on a daily basis.

  • KK

    Kati Kuustik

    29 days ago #

    Hi Karola,
    What I’d love to learn more about is your experience with the recent rebranding launch.
    1. What was your approach for the launch campaign – which channels and assets did you find most valuable and why?
    2. What goals did you set for the rebranding launch?
    3. If you had to do it again, what would you do differently? Or what were your biggest learnings?
    And anything else you think worth mentioning regarding this topic. :)
    Thanks!

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      Hi Kati!

      1. What was your approach for the launch campaign – which channels and assets did you find most valuable and why?

      First of all, I’d like to mention that I was surprised by how little information about rebranding you can find online. There were literally no articles sharing knowhow on how to rebrand a company.

      During rebranding, our most valuable channels were those that helped us reach the highest number of our app users: PR, in-app messages, and emails. We also used other marketing channels like online ads to communicate about the brand name change from Taxify to Bolt. Also, Google Search ads were very helpful in making sure that people will find our website and app store listing with both the old and new brand name.

      2 Share
      • KK

        Kati Kuustik

        27 days ago #

        I've found that there are quite many articles on how to do the rebranding / decide if you should rebrand, but very little information mostly on how to approach the launch of the new rebrand.

        Thanks for the replies!

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      2. What goals did you set for the rebranding launch?

      Our main goal was not to lose users and the volume of rides not to drop. There were, of course, a set of lower-level goals that every involved team monitored.

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      3. If you had to do it again, what would you do differently? Or what were your biggest learnings?

      The thing with rebranding is that you probably (and hopefully) only get to do it once. 😅 If I had to help a company go through a rebranding again, I would focus on planning early on, having clear timelines, and making sure that all teams follow it. Which is what exactly happened in Bolt and why our rebranding went almost smoothly. Although there are always some last-minute surprises!

      I’d also start preparing the new brand’s marketing assets earlier and upload all new ad campaigns in advance. It took our 2-person advertising team weeks to replace all of our 5000+ online ad creatives.

  • PC

    Pedro Clivati

    27 days ago #

    Karola, thank you for doing this and looking forward to your answers:

    1) How do you ensure alignment and collaboration between the marketing and the product team @ Bolt?

    2) Does Bolt have a dedicated growth team (responsible for running experiments that haven't been done before) or if it incorporated into other departments?

    3) What are the guidelines you follow to compete with highly funded competitors with almost endless cash? (I haven't looked a Bolt's financial metrics before this question so I might have wrong presumptions).

    Congrats on your achievements, super inspiring! :)

    • MG

      Mary Green

      27 days ago #

      Great questions, @pedro

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      Hi Pedro!

      I'll skip the first question as it was answered above.

      2) Does Bolt have a dedicated growth team (responsible for running experiments that haven't been done before) or if it incorporated into other departments?

      We don't have a dedicated growth team as every single team is responsible for working on the highest-impact projects and running tests on a regular basis.

      We run ad experiments, test new messages, email subject lines, creatives, and much more every week.

      • KK

        Karola Karlson

        27 days ago #

        3) What are the guidelines you follow to compete with highly funded competitors with almost endless cash? (I haven't looked a Bolt's financial metrics before this question so I might have wrong presumptions).

        The reason Bolt has been able to grow so rapidly is that we're smart with our spending and how we scale the global teams. If you compare the ratio of funding received by Bolt, Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hailing platforms, Bolt has by far the best ratio of investment and revenue growth.

        In marketing, this means running less costly outdoor campaigns that are often impossible to measure, and focusing on higher-ROI online channels instead. We also work with an in-house marketing team instead of having ad agencies in multiple countries – just one example of how we're more efficient with our money.

        2 Share
  • MP

    Maksymilian Plociennik

    about 1 month ago #

    Hi!
    I have 3 questions for you.
    1. Can you recommend a book about growth or inbound marketing besides "Growth Hacker Marketing" by Ryan Holiday?
    2. What would you do, if you have to lead a business at the grey market? You know, in a situation, where you can't promote your brand on Facebook, Reddit etc.
    3. Have you ever a situation, where you had been sceptical to some idea, but in result, it proves a great move? What was that?

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      Hi Maksymilian!

      1. Can you recommend a book about growth or inbound marketing besides "Growth Hacker Marketing" by Ryan Holiday?

      I recently published a list of 49 marketing books which also listed some growth hacking books. However, I rather recommend reading online materials on the growth hacking topic as they're more up to date. Also, some product management books are great for learning the data-driven growth hacking approach.

      https://karolakarlson.com/marketing-books/

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      2. What would you do, if you have to lead a business at the grey market? You know, in a situation, where you can't promote your brand on Facebook, Reddit etc.

      Tricky... And truth be told, I haven't marketed such a product before. My first approach would be to find industry influencers and try working with them. Also, building virality to the product so it will pass from person to person. And testing out affiliate marketing.

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      3. Have you ever a situation, where you had been sceptical to some idea, but in result, it proves a great move? What was that?

      I have a really good manager at Bolt who taught me to be a lot more critical and always question the ROI of different projects. Whenever my team proposes something that I don't think is a good idea, we talk it through and see if we can run a small-scale test to check the ROI.

      For example, we tested animated Facebook ads some time ago and they performed worse than static ads. But after 6 months, we tried different video ads (longer ones) and they performed well. So it's always worth to test all ideas you think may bring results and even revisit some tests multiple times.

      1 Share
  • EL

    Eduarda Lemos

    27 days ago #

    Hey Karola,

    I noticed that Bolt has differents blogs for each country. My question #1 is What's the biggest challenge for a B2C company related to content marketing strategy? and #2 How do you manage the content production process understanding that each country has different personas/language etc?

    Thanks :)

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      Hey Eduarda!

      #1 What's the biggest challenge for a B2C company related to content marketing strategy?

      In my opinion, the biggest challenge for all brand blogs is understanding how to create extra value for your users that they can't find elsewhere.

      For example, at Bolt we focus on blog articles that share useful information to our drivers. As this information is much harder to find compared to lifestyle-related advice for riders (as there are so many blogs and magazines already creating this type of content).

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      #2 How do you manage the content production process understanding that each country has different personas/language etc?

      We try to keep our blog content as evergreen and universal as possible and localize it to many languages. Sometimes, our local teams also write additional blog content targeted at their market specifically.

  • KK

    Karola Karlson

    27 days ago #

    Thank you everyone for tuning in! I had a lot of fun answering all of your questions! 🙌😌

    I will check the AMA in the upcoming days and will answer any new questions you add. Also, feel free to reach out via LinkedIn or my blog at karolakarlson.com – let's keep in touch!

  • KP

    Kian Paras

    26 days ago #

    Hello Karola,

    1. This is a very open-ended and more of a process question and how you go about things but with Bolt being in different markets, how are you able to work and adjust as best you can in creating and executing marketing plans for the different product offerings in each market? I can imagine what "success" or "failure" in one market can be totally different for another. You may have already covered a little bit of this with Mr. Hale Schneider's question.

    2. Aside from your blog, I've read a lot of your guest posts in different blogs and platforms. I am a little biased towards the Copy Hackers one and KlientBoost as my favorites among your written gust posts but the Adespresso ones and Entrepreneur piece are up there too. What was your mindset like early on in figuring out which blog/publication/platform to pitch and how did you pitch to guest post or wrote for them?

    3. I remember reading your work and learning a little bit about your career profile while I was doing college internships and I only gradauted in 2017. From the outside, it makes it seem like you "Bolt(ed)" upwards so quickly (jk, bad pun) or rose up relatively quickly but you may see it differently.

    What is your work life balance/integration prioritization or however you call it like, especially when you were just getting started!? Because you have Bolt, the blog, possibly other side hustles and clients although you did mention you do not have the capacity at the moment, and possibly other hobbies and personal pursuits. You may have alluded to it with Ma'am Mary Green's question but gosh it makes it look like you worked 24/7 to get where you are at. I personally think it's super cool with all you've done so far and I can imagine some of your best work is yet to come. :)

    Thanks again for doing this Karola! I have enjoyed reading your work. I think you also do the graphics for that and I have enjoyed those too. The Advertise.Grow blog in particular was really helpful at a time when I was looking for my first remote digital marketing side job and I am really appreciative of that.

    Hope you have a great day and continue on and bring back the Ponycorns!

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      19 days ago #

      Hi Kian! Love the questions 💯

      1. We're able to use quite a global approach when it comes to marketing in specific countries. Our product offering is not that different from market to market and we focus on promoting our main service above others.

      2. Thanks a lot! I started out pitching to 10+ marketing blogs, and it was very hard to get in initially. Once you already have a few strong articles in good blogs (in my case, HubSpot and AdEspresso) you can pitch to the next ones and will have proof of your writing quality to present.

      You can read more about my guest blogging journey here: https://karolakarlson.com/guest-blogging/

      3. About the work-life balance... I guess that early in my career I was so into marketing, looking at it as my job, hobby, relationship... (kidding about the last one :p)... But seriously, I think I easily worked at least 60h per week, also spending the Sundays working on either planning for Botl or writing to my blog.

      By now, I've taken a step back and try to limit my workweek to 50h max. It's become more about managing my time and focusing on the high-impact items only, removing meetings from my schedule, and learning to say "no" to more low-efficiency projects.

      However, I believe that if you find a career you're really passionate about, working the extra 20h per week doesn't feel like a burden. Instead, you'll be thrilled to learn by doing.

      I would also say that I was very lucky to have the right opportunities to enter my life at the right time. E.g. I got an email from the CEO of Klientboost inviting me to freelance for their blog and Bolt reached out to me just as I was about to leave my past company. So it's all about doing good work and noticing the good opportunities as they arise. You'll be offered cool jobs only if you put yourself out there.

  • SC

    Steven Clark

    25 days ago #

    Karola Karlson you have great work i like your writing expertise

  • NA

    Nataly Avanesova

    about 1 month ago #

    1.What's your best advise on how to launch a ride hailing app: proper marketing tools, media mix, strategy focuse.
    2.Any local marketing tips,how to integrate local specifics to marketing campaigns.

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      Ney Nataly!

      1. What's your best advise on how to launch a ride hailing app: proper marketing tools, media mix, strategy focuse.

      It's a very crowded industry and entering it as a new player requires a lot of initial investment. From the marketing perspective, discounts and online ad channels are the best place for getting started.

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      2. Any local marketing tips,how to integrate local specifics to marketing campaigns.

      We always use our local teams' help for localizing the marketing campaigns and often, they also give us advice on which messages would work the best in their market. Our HQ global marketing team leads have regular calls with the local team leads to understand the market's current needs and agree on the best marketing strategy per market.

  • AV

    Ane Voje

    28 days ago #

    Hi Karola, thanks for doing this.
    - Which would be the key target groups for Bolt? Do they differ a lot across markets or regions?
    - What is your approach to influencer marketing? How do you measure its success?

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      2. What is your approach to influencer marketing? How do you measure its success?

      We have a very data-driven approach to all marketing activities and influencer marketing is no different. We measure the CPA of new users acquired through our influencer marketing activities by counting the referrals made with each influencer's unique referral code. We also check the reach and CPM of the influencers' posts and compare it to our other online channels' metrics.

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      Hey Ane, great questions! 🤜💥🤛

      1. Which would be the key target groups for Bolt? Do they differ a lot across markets or regions?

      We're lucky in Bolt for having a very big user base – everyone in cities needs to move around and wants to get an affordable and fast ride from time to time. So when setting up online ad targeting, for example, we target a broad audience and let Facebook and Google algorithms do the optimization based on results.

  • SA

    Soner Alemdar

    27 days ago #

    Hello Karola,
    Very impressed from your achievements and your experience.
    Just a quick shot: What it need to be done to perfectly grow your business throughout the social channels?

  • RF

    Rob Fulton

    27 days ago #

    How much of your life is dedicated to learning your craft and improvement? I love hearing how others invest in their craft.

    For example - I mastered high ticket sales and practiced and improved that one skill the past 10 years and I read 100s of books, attend live events, coaching, consulting, writing books, ETC. Made it my whole life. I STILL maintain a strict deliberate practice schedule.

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      Hey Rob!

      I feel that I can learn the fastest through my work. Also, running a blog around Facebook advertising helps me stay aware of all the best practices and latest hacks.

  • MG

    Mary Green

    27 days ago #

    Hi Karola, I'm here from your Linkedin post. My question: what's an average workday look like for you?

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      Hi Mary,

      My regular workday is always full of surprises, project managing some marketing campaigns, attending meetings, discussing ideas with the team, and sharing information between teams. 👀

      But my favorite days are the ones where I disconnect from Slack and email for 4h or longer and focus on macro-level planning and improving the current team/reporting structure.

  • SJ

    Saura Johnston

    27 days ago #

    What do you recommend for someone getting started from scratch on building their personal brand?

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      Hi Saura,

      Based on my experience, a good way to get started is by creating a blog and writing about the topic you want to be known for. This can also be some other channel, e.g. Instagram.

      2 Share
  • AV

    Andreas Velling

    24 days ago #

    Many of your answers include KPIs around user acquisition. But what about awareness?

    1) How do you approach branding/awareness? Is this just a "side-product" of having the right messages or do you have separate branding campaigns?
    2) Should a new company first focus on client acquisition only or should branding also start from the get-go?

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      19 days ago #

      Hi Andreas,

      We do not run many branding-only marketing campaigns as we're a highly performance-driven company and like to work on things that we can measure.

      However, we've set the key brand messages and all our performance marketing campaigns also revolve around those messages.

      2) I'd say that you need to understand your brand's mission and key value proposition from the get-go. But especially with new brands, earning some revenue and getting to the first 1000 paying users should be the priority, so I'd focus on acquisition campaigns first.

  • LH

    Lê Hưng

    14 days ago #

    thanks karola

  • HS

    Hale Schneider

    27 days ago #

    Hi Karola! Thanks for being here with us today.

    I saw on Bolt's website that you are currently hiring for marketing roles in 4 different countries.

    I'd love to hear more about your experience leading an internationally distributed team.

    What are some challenges you have faced?

    How do you handle communication and deliverables among many locations?

    • KK

      Karola Karlson

      27 days ago #

      Hi Hale!

      I'd say that the main challenge is always finding the best people, no matter where they're located. Also, as our HQ marketing team is based in Tallinn, Estonia, it's a bit harder to find people with international experience than, say, in London.

      The good thing is that Bolt is a very international company and we have teams in 30+ countries around the world. So we have built up a strong information-sharing system that involves internal wikis, Slack channels, and regular all-hands meetings where the information is shared between everyone globally.

      I've gotten so used to discussing things with people on Slack or via a call that having a team based across multiple locations is a natural way of working.

      We always set quarterly OKRs and focus for each team and give them relatively much freedom on achieving those results.

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