Interview with Shamanth Rao
Founder & CEO @ RocketShip HQ

We offer high-velocity advertising creative production & performance marketing services that help our clients hit their growth & profitability goals in a capital-effective manner. Check out RocketShip HQ here.
Hi Shamanth! Could you please introduce RocketShip HQ and what led to your founding the agency last year?
RocketShip HQ is a full-service growth marketing agency. They use video ad creators to drive performance and crowd. So RocketShip HQ was born out of my trying to scratch my own itch. For the past decade, I've helped mobile apps grow and the last three companies have worked for they all had successful exits. I noticed that making effective video ads was really really hard. The most common approach I saw was to work with designers or design agencies that could come up with elaborate storyboards and beautiful ads that didn't necessarily drive the best performance. Video ads were hard to build expensive to make and I realized that their elements to effective ads and these could be built affordably this could be built quickly and I founded Rocketship HQ with the mission to embrace the creative elements that make a difference to performance and to use these to drive growth and performance for advertisers.
What separates your aesthetic and approach to creative production and marketing apart from others in the field? What makes your agency unique?
We are unique in that we don't have a specific aesthetic or approach. Other than that we are very very performance focused. We don't care about any specific kind of static are about how elaborate or nuanced an ad is. I think the proof of how effective an ad is is in its performance. The proof is in the product. It helps that we are very plugged into how the ad performs in the wild. We managed campaigns for on very many of our advertisers. We take very close look at the performance data for our advertisers and this lets us work on performance data that the creative aspect of advertisements which allows us to come up with ads that actually perform and at that low-performance metrics out of the water. To give you a very concrete example. We have recently seen tremendous success with short formats. These are video ads that last no more than four to six seconds. These have stretched our creative boundaries because we have never made these kinds of ads in the past because we have to figure out how to convey our key messaging and how to prioritize our key messaging in such a short period of time. We don't have the luxury of making elaborated storyboards or doing going through elaborated planning sessions, because we stayed open to performance related feedback because we've stayed open to adopting these four to six-second ad creatives. You've seen tremendous growth for our clients from these ads. Ultimately embracing performance is good for us good for our advertisers and good for the viewers of our ads.
You're also the host of the How Things Grow Podcast. What have been some of the most innovative and intriguing guests you've had on the show?
The How Things Grow Podcast has been an amazing experience in ways that I did not quite anticipate before I started it. I've heard some fascinating stories and it's so hard to pick some favorites from them. I would say some of the things that come to mind would be the story of how New York City went from a wilderness to a metropolis and just a couple of centuries, and then there was the story of the daily deal space there's the group bonds and the living socials of the world and why it exploded and why it crashed, that was fascinating to me especially after having lived through that crash myself. Then we had stories from the early days of ride-sharing again, very fascinating, especially given how ubiquitous ride sharing is today, and most recently last week we had stories from behind the scenes of drop boxes explosive referral program from its early days. There are so many stories that are so intriguing, so fascinating because of the outline lesson on facets of better-known technologies and better-known brands. And I would encourage you to check out HowThingsGrow.go to get the inside stories of how companies grow and how technologies emerge.
What's next for your work with RocketShip HQ? What are the main markets, partnerships, and formats will you be focusing on in 2019?
We're very focused on new formats and emerging media. Messenger ads and story ads for Instagram and Facebook are huge opportunities, but they also require us to think from the ground up and to understand user behavior from first principles because there is no precedent for media like this. We are also running a pilot test for playable interactive ads that we're very very excited about. These ads let users engage and interact with ads before they install apps. These are just a few of the partnerships that we have focused on in 2019 and we are very excited for the year ahead. If you'd like to find out more go to and write to us.