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This article was published on July 18, 2017

How this CEO created a thriving business by being your ‘outsourced CMO’

How this CEO created a thriving business by being your ‘outsourced CMO’
George Beall

Companies outsource various aspects of their business, from payroll to marketing. But why aren’t there more outlets to outsource marketing not just as a service from an agency, but at the highest, most strategic level?

Enter Hawke Media. Launched by Erik Huberman three years ago, today Hawke Media is turning heads as Santa Monica’s first fully outsourced CMO. Its aim is to manage marketing for companies in real time without the overhead, contracts, and run around.

From the beginning, Huberman operated Hawke on a month-to-month model with every service offered a la carte. This allowed clients to build a custom menu around which strategies to incorporate, all while at a less expensive rate than hiring in-house and with no long-term commitments or contracts.

Huberman admits that Hawke is “different.” Certainly, their MO might sound odd to agencies who focus on scoring long-term contracts from big clients. But the results speak for themselves. Just three years after starting, Huberman’s company already employs over 80 people and has worked with over 400 clients, from apartment-run startups all the way to Fortune 500 companies with billions of dollars in annual sales.

“We are dedicated to driving results and comfortable living by that, which is why we stick with this monthly model,” says Huberman.

“We take a look at what a business is currently doing, and then build a team of experts to complement their existing capabilities. We offer extensive services like email marketing, Facebook advertising, SEM, media buying, and influencer marketing. It works because our teams are constantly held accountable for gauging metrics and changing the plan as needed. We are able to deliver on what we commit to doing.”

So why not just hire a CMO? “The reality,” says Huberman, “is that a CMO has a wide range of tasks to get through on a daily basis, but when you outsource the teams are very specialized. You have people running your email campaign and all they do is analyze email campaigns. They will have access to the best metrics to track the success of your campaign, and have the background to be able to compare it to what has worked in the past.”

Huberman’s approach is pragmatic and functional over all else. “We never do something just because it looks cool,” says Huberman. “Everything is backed by analytics. We’ll test 50 different types of an ad, see which one resonates the best, and then build it off on more ROI.” Hawke is constantly testing and retesting to see what works, and it is this malleable approach that has differentiated Hawke Media.

Huberman is firm in his assertion that the biggest hurdle in marketing is the “forest through the trees” problem. Most marketing agencies lack the visibility to discern any overall pattern from a mass of detail because they are unable to keep track of their marketing performance and identify errors that they make. Hawke Media uses a software platform that solves this issue by pulling in thousands of companies’ marketing data in real time.

And as an outsourced CMO, there are high-level strategists on every account. “Our strategists ensure that we not only do what our clients ask us to do, but also do what we think is best for them because we are experts in what we do and that is what has driven our results,” notes Huberman.

Constantly learning, evolving, and expanding, Hawke Media continues to embody the lean start-up mentality over three years after its genesis. At the end of the day, what they offer their clients is continuous transformation and growth, all through the power of outsourcing.

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