Tim HickleHire Me
Digital Marketing Specialist
I began my career at PERQ, a marketing SaaS company. While there, I managed sales support, trade show operations, and digital marketing. Throughout this time, I accomplished the following:
- Crafted 2014 digital marketing strategy, including SEO, SEM, and content marketing.
- Developed processes for new, digitally focused service offerings, including social advertising, targeted display ads, and social commerce.
- Managed the sales, setup, and operation of all "new market" clients.
- Managed a team of 7 contractors to create content for new market clients.
- Tripled one client's web traffic with content promotion.
Digital Marketing Strategist
I joined MilesHerndon, a branding agency, to grow as a marketer. I ran all of their digital marketing efforts, both for the agency and their clients. Here are a few key accomplishments:
- Successfully launched the MilesHerndon email lead nurturing and inbound marketing efforts.
- Achieved 10x average monthly web traffic, including a 745% increase in organic search traffic.
- Attained a 5.8% conversion rate on the MilesHerndon website.
- Achieved an average email open rate of over 40% on all marketing emails while growing our email list 30% month-over-month.
- Managed digital marketing strategy for a dozen clients, ranging from digital PR and SEO to PPC and email marketing.
Director of Inbound Marketing
My first leadership role came as the Marketing Director for Springbuk, a health intelligence SaaS startup. I was employee number 36, and marketing hire number one, meaning I inherited every marketing and communications challenge associated with scaling a Series-A stage company.
Some of the accomplishments I’m proudest of throughout my time at Springbuk include:
- Achieving an average of $9.23 returned for every dollar of marketing spend, and an ACV to CAC ratio of 5.45
- Coming in 20% under budget and 40% ahead of revenue goals throughout 2018.
- Running all marketing and communications efforts during our $20M Series-B fundraising round.
- Architecting and executing on “the most professional communications strategy that I have seen in a software startup,” according to a prominent Indianapolis investor.
- Building two Mira-winning pitches, one for Scale-Up of the Year and the other for Company Culture of the Year.
- Managing all recruitment, management, and personnel decisions as we grew the marketing team to five FTEs.
Head of Demand Generation
Responsible for both sales and marketing at an early-stage startup, including outbound sales, prospecting, sales messaging and support, prospect list building and targeting, digital marketing and traditional marketing efforts. Key accomplishments include:
- Taking Woven from $50k ARR to $450k ARR in 18 months
- Building a scalable and repeatable outbound process that took us from 2 sales meetings scheduled per month to an average of 20, while hiring and managing 3 SDRs
- Launching the Scaling Software Teams Podcast, which featured conversations with engineering leaders from Drift, Stripe, Zapier, Product Hunt, and AngelList.
- Working with Woven’s CEO to craft a Go-To-Market strategy that increased revenue by over 3x in less than a year, leading to a $2.5M round of seed funding.
World-class inbound marketing requires patience and a focus on creating value for an audience before monetizing the audience. The single biggest mistake that an inbound marketer can make is focusing on getting quick wins at the expense of generating something that can deliver results consistently for the next year. Here's how I approach inbound differently:
- Build Long-Term, Highly Useful Assets: The only way to build an audience is by providing value. Every great inbound strategy starts with a content centerpiece that's highly valuable and can't be found anywhere else. These should solve a material problem for your audience and be just as useful in a year as they are today.
- Grab All The Land You Can: Think of Search Engine Result Pages and social media followings as land on the frontier. It's all yours for the taking, and some of it may be valuable, but it's hard to appraise the value beforehand. The solution is simple... Grab all the land you can. Focus on long-tail, less competitive spaces and you can grow into more competitive spaces over time.
- Add Value To Your Audience Every Week: I believe in weekly email cadences, but you can go more frequent if you'd like. Frequency doesn't matter as much as your ability to provide value. Making your audience's lives better and easier will earn you mind-share and wallet-share. Making sure your audience knows about your product will earn you unsubscribes.
- Progressively Profile Your Audience: If you're not using this active engagement to learn more about your audience, you're leaving data on the table. Use things like audience surveys and engagement data to create cohorts for sales targeting. Build this profiling model around pain points that win deals instead of traditional lead scoring practices.
- Use Your Audience To Generate Long-Term Assets: Finally, now that you have an audience, turn them into a content engine. Use survey data to create unique reports. Prompt user-generated content via email and social media. Zip those into a long-term asset and repeat the process.
This Methodology in Action
- At MilesHerndon, this process helped us 10x our average monthly web traffic, including a 745% increase in organic search traffic. We also attained a 5.8% conversion rate across the entire MilesHerndon website.
- At Springbuk, this approach helped generate the inbound pipeline necessary to exceed our Q1 and Q2 2018 marketing-sourced revenue goals by 40% while remaining 20% under budget.
- At Powderkeg, this strategy helped us increase organic site traffic by 435%, leading to increases in our email list size and event attendance.
I'll be honest. I believe that the vast majority of "Account-Based Marketing" efforts are misnomers. They're marketing and sales alignment efforts, which are important, but stop dramatically short of the value that true Account-Based Marketing can provide. If all you're doing is running targeted ads and sending direct mail to the same list of targeted accounts that sales is prospecting, you're only at step one of a three step process:
- Align, Align, Align: Marketing and Sales Alignment is step #1. Without aligning on target lists and targeting criteria, your efforts are dead in the water. Once you're aligned and targeting the same accounts with both marketing and sales efforts, you can begin diving deeper.
- Marketing Gathers Invisible Firmographics: Marketing has a superpower that the sales team doesn't know to ask for... Marketing can collect data that's invisible to your competition. When sales reps are targeting prospects, they're doing so based on externally observable criteria, like company size or industry. This means they're targeting the same companies as everyone else with the same broad messaging as everyone else. World-class ABM uses progressive profiling to enhance this data set with characteristics that aren't observable to competitors. For example, you might ask questions associated with your primary pain points or timeline to purchase when gating content. Layering this information on top of effective targeting can supercharge your Account-Based Sales efforts.
- Use Conversion Data to Steer Future Cohort Building: If marketing is unable to lead the targeting process, that's a sign of a lack of alignment. Marketing should be able to use this firmographic data to build cohorts for sales to target that they didn't even know could be targeted. This is the indication of truly world-class ABM. That's how you turn a list of known accounts into a list of unknown great-fit accounts.
This Methodology in Action
- At Woven, we built a robust account targeting framework for our SDR team that helped us grow from $50k ARR to $450k ARR in 18 months.
- At Springbuk, we used information gathered on the market to put together creative campaigns that returned an average of $9.23 for every dollar of marketing spend.
- We also used the Healthiest Employers program at Springbuk to create highly-valuable thought leadership pieces that helped with account outreach and targeting.
Fundamentally, there are two ways to view demand generation. Some folks are great at click funnels, landing page optimization, and using paid ads to drive engagement. Personally, I don't believe in that methodology. It's fast, but it doesn't generate any demand. At best, it captures demand that already exists and it pays high rents to access it. It is almost never the most cost-effective way to generate long-term user engagement. I view demand generation through a longer lens. Here's my process:
- Plant a Flag in the Ground: Everyone, including B2B buyers, make decisions emotionally and then justify them rationally. Marketing with rationality is a loser's bet. Marketing with ideology and tribalism is how you generate new demand that didn't exist before. Pick a belief and stare at it unflinchingly. Profess this to the world and you will generate a tribe of supporters and a tribe of detractors. That's how you know it's working.
- Ally with Other Tribes: Once you have started to gather your tribe, build alliances with neighboring tribes. Analyze your market to understand what solutions are sold up-market, down-market, and laterally with you. Use those relationships to expand your tribe. Podcasts and webinars are great channels for this.
- Amplify: Once the machine is whirring, use paid ads to amplify your message and earn new tribe members. Give them a sense of identity for working with you and use this to turn them into brand ambassadors.
This Methodology in Action
- At Woven, we created a tribe of followers who were passionate about engineering management through the Scaling Software Teams Podcast, which featured conversations with engineering leaders from Drift, Stripe, Zapier, Product Hunt, and AngelList.
- At MilesHerndon, our podcast, Obsessed With Design, reached the “New and Noteworthy” section of the iTunes Podcast store and cracked the top 50 charts for Arts podcasts in the iTunes Podcast store in its first two weeks.
- At Springbuk, we led the market by pioneering Health Intelligence software as a category to compete with Health Analytics Software, which helped us raise a $20M Series B.
I believe that the single biggest mistake that most organizations are making today is under-investing in management training. My greatest professional passion is management because I think that effective management can make or break my direct reports' careers, and I take that responsibility incredibly seriously. I've crafted my management philosophy over years of management experience, combined with producing a podcast on management where we interviewed leaders at companies like Google, Drift, Stripe, Zapier, and Uber. Here are three core tenants of my management philosophy:
- Effective 1:1s and Feedback are the Linchpin: I believe that running effective 1:1s is a skill that takes a lot of deliberate practice to develop. World-class 1:1s aren't used as status updates or project check-ins, but rather to develop the trust and human bond necessary to coordinate teams to achieve more together. Furthermore, effective feedback can uplift and level-up teams. Ineffective feedback can derail, distract, and demoralize them. You can read more about my philosophy in my Manager README.
- Emotional Honesty Over Everything: The biggest mistake that managers make is not understanding the emotional creatures underneath each of our professional personas, including themselves. Underneath, we all have trauma that we're overcoming and love that we're chasing. By understanding those traumatic events and how their teams received love from their parents, world-class managers can coach their teams using the tactics that they will be most responsive to.
- Coach With Their Goals in Mind: My job as a manager is to understand my direct-reports' personal goals outside of our organization. From there, I can align their goals with the organization's goals. If I do this effectively, we're all better off. If I don't, they'll view our relationship as transactional.
This Methodology in Action
- At Springbuk, we used this methodology while managing all recruitment and personnel decisions as we grew the marketing team to five FTEs.
- At Woven, we used this methodology to hire and train three full-time SDRs in a remote work environment.
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