Eyewear company eyebobs hires an Authentic Fractional CMO™ to maintain business momentum while its marketing leader unplugged during maternity leave.
“At the end of the day, our Authentic Fractional CMO™ helped us maintain our business without interruption. Our sales were on forecast, and our ad spend was at the level we expected it to be. There were a lot of moving parts, and many of them could have gone off the rails. But they didn’t.”Mike Hollenstein, CEO, eyebobs
eyebobs at a glance
Company size: 50 employees
Business type: Eyewear manufacturer & retailer
Headquarters: Minneapolis, MN
Key initiatives: Agency and marketing performance management, employee professional development, brand strategy, and customer engagement
eyebob’s marketing director was preparing for a 3-month maternity leave. The eyewear company, which helps people express their authentic selves through bold pairs of glasses, wanted their high-performing leader to unplug fully during her time away. But eyebobs knew the business would suffer unless they found someone who could step in to fill her shoes.
“We couldn’t tell our marketing director, ‘okay, go away for 90 days, don’t think about work, and we’ll pick up the pieces while you’re gone.’ We needed to find an interim leader willing to support the marketing plan’s execution and measurement and lead strategically while our director was out,” said Mike Hollenstein, CEO of eyebobs.
eyebobs began its search for an interim marketing leader, interviewing several firms that place executive-level marketing talent. But the eyewear company ran into a roadblock with the companies it interviewed.
The firms claimed they had the right talent for eyebobs. But when eyebobs dug deeper, it became clear that they had an “ivory tower” consulting mindset and their fractional talent would not be willing to act like a true member of the team. eyebobs needed a fractional CMO who would not only provide strategic leadership but also immerse themselves in day-to-day management and measurement that’s so important in retail environments.
Fortunately, eyebobs found what it needed when it found Authentic Brand.
eyebobs hired Authentic Brand because it was impressed by the team’s ability to quickly understand the company’s needs and make a fractional CMO match that felt “serendipitous.” The Authentic Fractional CMO™ selected for eyebobs had extensive retail experience and understood the 24/7 nature of retail.
“Authentic Brand did a lot of things really well, but what it did best was quickly understand what eyebobs needed and then matched somebody who could do the job. Competing firms just didn’t really care; they presented us with people who were not going to work out and didn’t have the right background,” said Hollenstein.
The main objective that eyebobs tasked its Authentic Fractional CMO™ with was keeping the wheels on the already well-run bus. It needed someone who could seamlessly step in to manage eyebob’s marketing and eCommerce functions, partner with eyebob’s digital marketing agency, and lead the marketing team. Without the right leader, things could go off the rails quickly.
Authentic Brand and eyebob’s partnership was a solid success. With strategic leadership and guidance from its Authentic Fractional CMO™, eyebobs:
- Met sales forecasts and maintained a healthy ad spend.
- Kept the marketing and eCommerce functions, digital agency, and marketing team operating effectively.
- Continued developing its marketing talent, even without its marketing leader.
- Exceeded the expectation to maintain momentum by delivering additional value-adds, made possible by matching eyebobs with a fractional CMO with deeply relevant expertise.
- Additional value-add #1: Identified opportunities to strengthen the brand and build stronger customer relationships via a brand audit.
- Additional value add #2: Launched a customer advisory panel that considers customer sentiment and feedback monthly.
“Our Authentic Fractional CMO did a phenomenal job managing the marketing and eCommerce functional areas…all the while developing a really good, strong relationship with the team,” said Hollenstein.
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