What I Would Do as CMO of Voice123

by Jun Loayza on June 5, 2013


I’ve been involved with entrepreneurship since my senior year of college where I built and launched Bruin Consulting from the ground up.  Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to lead the marketing, branding, and acquisition campaigns for early-stage startups (where I was the founder) to the largest brands in the United States such as Sephora, Whole Foods Market, and the Los Angeles Clippers.

There is a clear distinction between early-stage marketing, growth-stage marketing, and big-brand marketing

Early-stage marketing: Early-stage startups must conserve cash at all costs.  Their goal is not necessarily to bring in A LOT of traffic or generate a ton of revenue; rather, their goal is to find product-market fit.  During the early-stages of RewardMe, I implemented the following grass-roots methods of marketing and user-acquisition:

  1. Door-to-door sales: Yup, I did it.  I walked door-to-door to sell RewardMe to restaurants and retailers.  Keep in mind, I did this without even having a finished product to show them — I basically sold them with nothing more than a vision and screen shots of what it will look like.  
  2. Gift box drop-off: Because door-to-door sales was very time consuming, I developed a plan to reach more people at once and ensure that they’ll read our marketing materials.  I created a RewardMe “Gift box” that I would drop-off at their restaurant location that was addressed to the General Manager or owner. I put on my courier hat, took a pen and clipboard with me to make it seem like I was a courier, and dropped off the gift boxes to about 100 brick-and-mortar stores in the Mountain View area.  You can see what these gift boxes looked like here and here.
  3. Free food promotions: In order to get users to download and use our app, we partnered with our clients in Mountain View to create a “Free Lunch” campaign.  A user who downloads our app receives a free lunch that day with our partnered restaurant.  We successfully ran this campaign over 5 days.

Growth-stage marketing: Growth-stage marketing happens when you have found your product market fit, you have a finished product, paying customers, and capital to grow your company.  For RewardMe, our growth-stage started during the Fall of 2011.  We successfully raised $1,000,000 in Angel funding, had a fully functional product, and had paying clients.  I utilized the following marketing and sales techniques for our growth-stage:

  1. Conferences and Trade shows: We sponsored several conferences and trade shows in the franchise vertical.  Here I am at CETW 2012: watch video here. It was a great opportunity to meet with high-level executives from our target market: franchises with 50 locations or more.
  2. Company blog to build thought leadership: My goal from the beginning was to build though-leadership in the loyalty marketing industry.  To accomplish this, I built the RewardMe blog, which posts expert content on how to utilize loyalty marketing.  We rank well to this day for specific keywords and successfully launched posts that drove leads:
  3. Case Studies, Videos, and Guides: In addition to the blog, I wrote case studies, created videos, and published guides to further established ourselves as the absolute experts in the industry:

Big-brand marketing: Big brands generally hire agencies for a specific campaign.  For example, Sephora approached me to help them build a social platform that acquires more users into their Very Importan Beauty Insider Program.  You’ll notice that the marketing campaign is very very specific.  I therefore built the Birthday Sephora App, which continues to drive users to this day.

What the CMO’s role should be at Voice123

Voice123 is in their growth stage: they’ve found a product-market fit, have users, have a product that people pay to use, and are profitable.  They’re now ready to take their marketing to the next level and really focus on scaling out the business — this means establishing thought leadership and expertise in the industry, building out a content strategy for social marketing and SEO, creating a paid advertising campaign that measures ROI, and A/B testing elements to improve conversion rates.

This is what I would do as the CMO of Voice123.

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Working remote can be extremely difficult.

In those moments when communication is less than ideal and the situation seems dismal, joining the ranks of a team in a physical office space can sound like a good idea.

Everyone has these moments.

When this happens, it’s important to stay calm and not make any decisions you may come to regret. I can assure you, there are several ways to connect your remote team and streamline your communication.

I can recall, in great detail, specific instances where I felt like pulling my own hair out or just sleeping the day away. Time zones were the enemy and a constant darkness loomed over my head like a perpetual loneliness that only working alone can bring.

This could’ve been solved if I only knew what I know now. Communication in any organization, especially remote teams, should become the most vital centerpiece of the team culture.

I’d like to share some tips that have helped us communicate better and ultimately destroy the cloud that haunted our productivity and group collaboration.

[click to continue…]


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