Creating a Foundation for High-Growth Marketing

This is my first post on working with start up companies in the area of User Acquisition and Engagement. As Operating Partner for Subtraction Capital and during my time at BEA, Red Bricks Media, Levi’s and Practice Fusion, I predominantly worked on growing the user base by leveraging data, design and content. My current focus covers all aspects of the funnel, from creation of the company’s target market and persona to finding the pathway to gaining an active user.

For the entrepreneurs I work with, customer acquisition is a primary goal. They need to rapidly gain and saturate their target market. After the product or service MVP has been released, attention is focused on ensuring healthy, viable growth and longevity for the company. To accomplish this goal, the founders start looking to hire an experienced marketing professional but at such an early stage company, they may not have the capital needed to commit to a full-time hire. If they are fortunate enough to have the capital to make a hire, that single person is responsible for all aspects of marketing and communication, a huge scope. When I engage with a company, my first task is to join forces with this person, review the existing data and understand how it is being collected. Often, we restructure the way data is being collected and alter the reported metrics to provide deeper insight. Next, we create an integrated marketing plan and backlog, we work with product and engineering to get marketing requests prioritized into the existing sprint structure. Just these tasks, making sure the data collected is providing insight, setting up a marketing plan, and getting marketing requests prioritized in the product sprints, creates the marketing foundation needed to prepare for rapid growth.

Ultimately, investing in setting up this integrated structure early, creating the trilogy of acquisition (product, marketing, engineering), allows the marketer to focus on the most important thing, finding the best way to rapidly gain valuable, engaged users.

In future posts I will dive into the specific areas I touch on above:

Acquisition and Channel Development
Reporting and Data Analysis
Organizational Structure
Branding & Design
Communication & Engagement Strategy
User Experience

If there is something you’d like to hear about first, post it in the comments below.


Kellie helps the firm and our portfolio companies with marketing, product, and design. She has over 15 years experience as a Creative Director and Online Marketing leader at multiple companies, including Practice Fusion, Levi Strauss and Red Bricks Media.


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