It's a mixed bag. Sometimes, it's not a real job change but revisions to the existing one; or, if a company rebrands, it will read like a new job.
Today (well, probably tomorrow), at least for some of my connections, that person is me. And, in this case, it is more than just a routine edit of the Experience sections. I'm going to be slightly presumptuous and assume that at least a few people will want to know more than just the headline. I certainly am excited to tell the story.
Want the short-version? Skip to "What Is Grow.co"
The LeadsCon Journey
For the past six-plus years most people have known me as the lead gen guy or the LeadsCon guy. LeadsCon started as an itch in 2005, and by 2007 it had become a fire that I needed to extinguish by doing it. I was working in Los Angeles at the time, celebrating my fifth work anniversary with Oversee.net, one of the largest companies that no one had heard about. It was a company that in 2007 earned more than double Box's 2013 projected revenues, and the latter just filed to go public and seeking a roughly $2bn valuation. Having been among the first hires outside of the founders, it was not an easy decision. Luckily, the founders (who have since begun new ventures) were supportive.
In April 2012, Access Intelligence, owners and operators of industry leading events and publications, purchased LeadsCon; and, for the past 18 months, I have had the pleasure of continuing to lead the business I founded. In fact, if you didn't know that I sold it, you wouldn't know that anything has changed. That speaks volumes to the leadership and quality of character of those at Access Intelligence. So many acquirers make promises to the founder only to make swift changes so that the new business confirms to their way of doing things.
When I share with others my time at Access Intelligence, most people who have experienced or been close to other transactions tell me that my experience (from before we did the deal through the earn-out) is far from the norm. If anything, the leadership of Access Intelligence did more than they said they would and were overly sensitive to my desires for the business. They are a remarkable group of human beings, and while they might offer catered lunches, bus services, massages or other perks associated with great places to work, they offer values, integrity, and sincerity that corporate profits can't buy.
Why Not Stay?
Were I better employee, I would stay put as the head of LeadsCon within Access Intelligence. Those who know me, especially those who I reported to in the past:), will hopefully tell a story of value creation, but I suspect, even sans alcohol, will tell that there are easier direct reports. They probably equate me to the puppy that doesn't know not to pee in the house. You want to get mad at the puppy, you hope he will learn, but in the mean time, you just have to clean up after it. That's not the legacy I wanted to leave within Access Intelligence.
LeadsCon was by far the largest event I created, but it was not the only. Others consisted of the first summit series for the daily deal industry, the first fashion tech / fashion commerce event, SMASH Summit in partnership with 500 Startups, and a mobile gaming summit. Some of the other events were financially successful, others not so much to holy heck no. That's not the type of risk another company wants to take on. (If I had someone working for me, I certainly wouldn't want their attention divided and investing the company's money into projects which at times resemble expensive experiments versus fully-flushed out avenues of growth.)
All of this leads to Grow.co, my next adventure which includes my better half in the LeadsCon Day process, Michelle Troop and everyone who has spoken at LeadsCon in the past two years couldn't live without, Tigh Buckles. I'm excited to share our newest partner, Adam Lovallo, the first non-founder at Living Social, and until recently their head of user acquisition. He's an absolute rockstar and in many ways one of the inspirations for Grow.co.
What is Grow.co?
Some people in Colorado will be disappointed to learn what we are, but those within the marketing community will hopefully appreciate our focus. We are the community for customer acquisition marketers. We are dealing with big budgets (along with those who aspire to have them), the need for real scale, where small changes can make a big difference, and tests are often expensive.
The customer acquisition community is a nascent community. It does not have a hub. It's also early and needs time to congeal. Aspiring to fill that void and help it coalesce is Grow.co's focus.
Customer Acquisition Marketing Customer acquisition is what most companies focus on, but as marketing discipline it is new. You could call customer acquisition an evolution of traditional direct response marketing discipline, or a more structured way to describe performance-based marketing initiatives.
I tend to see the customer acquisition professional as what every marketing professional will become. It is a traffic channel agnostic approach, highly metrics driven, and focuses heavily on lifetime value, enabled by better tracking and attribution. Is it performance-based? Yes. Does it often involve the purchase of media? Yes. But, it is the whole picture - all touch points and being in command of multi-levers with a laser focus on a long-term outcome. It is the lifecycle from impression to life time value. We are talking about marketing, but only a handful of companies today have oriented themselves in this manner.
Social, mobile, and the cloud have accelerated the shift towards this new way of not just thinking but operating. Social, mobile, the cloud, and the size of the internet, in combination with capital, have enabled a proliferation of direct to consumer businesses (from mobile apps to fast fashion) not encumbered by legacy systems - be them online or offline. These companies can't imagine treating their marketing in any other way. For others, it will be an evolution. And Grow.co wants to be there for the new breed of companies and those who aspire to operate like them.
What Is Unlocked? If there is one thing I learned from LeadsCon, there is no substitute for people spending time together, especially in emerging communities and those without their own hub. Enter Customer Acquisition Unlocked.
Unlocked is the first gathering of customer acquisition professionals with content driven by marketers for marketers. No vendors or technology companies can purchase tickets. And, as part of the gathering, we are also embarking on a benchmarking report to get at which channels matter, not in terms of mindshare but wallet share and true return on dollars spent.
- Facebook Rapid Fire: Marketers Share Practical Tactics & Tips on Sponsored Posts, FBX, and More
- DSPs vs Ad Networks vs Direct Publishers - Does Anyone not a Vendor Make This Display Stuff Work?
- Attribution - The Who, How, and WHY, of Implementing a Multi-touch Attribution Methodology
- Paid Search. Three Tactics Every Customer Acquisition Company Must Do But Probably Doesn't.
- Building an Acquisition Competency in Your Organization
- And More
- Who Is Attending
- Blue Apron, Seamless, ZocDoc, Oyster, StumbleUpon, RentTheRunway, SeatGeek, Living Social, Bonobos, Zozi, Warby Parker, Hinge, Baublebar, and Many More.
Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
Pier 60 NYC
9am - 6pm
Breakfast, lunch, and reception included
Retail price is $395
Save $100 by going to - http://grow.co/295special
Or, if you are at a first-party entity (non-vendor) complete our benchmarking survey to receive complimentary admission and aggregated, anonymized results.