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Mercury Mosaics: Client Story

Mercury Mosaics: Client Story

“It’s been an exceptional, integrity-filled engagement from beginning, middle to end. Authentic and our fractional CMO will be lifelong friends of our brand.”

Mercedes Austin, Founder & CEO, Mercury Mosaics

Mercury Mosaics at a glance

Company size: 34 employees
Business type: Handmade tile company
Category: B2B & B2C
Headquarters: Minneapolis, MN
Key initiatives: Marketing fundamentals, brand messaging, customer journey, metrics & reporting, marketing resourcing, agency management, martech

The challenge

Mercury Mosaics, a handmade tile company that adorns walls with colorful geometric patterns, had hit a growth plateau. After an exciting growth surge, the company’s sales stagnated for two consecutive years while its marketing spend increased. 

Mercury Mosaics didn’t know which marketing initiatives were working or what it needed to do to improve results. Its founder and CEO, Mercedes Austin, was still making all marketing decisions, a role she needed to step out of to focus on other initiatives. Lacking internal marketing expertise, the company knew it needed external support to create a solid growth plan that would help it achieve its goals.

“We were stuck in startup mode and had outgrown the digital agency that we were using. We had a goal to shift our business focus to working with the trades for two years, and with that not being a consistent accomplishment, I started to look for fractional CMO help,” said Austin.

The solution

When Austin discovered Authentic, our tagline, Overcome Random Acts of Marketing®, struck a chord. It conveyed clearly what Mercury Mosaics was struggling with: the company was piecing together marketing tactics without a guiding strategy and no way to measure the impact of the efforts.

“I knew the answer [to our marketing leadership gap] was Authentic because of how clear and concise your information was and how crisply you identified me as a small business [that needed your help]…just the tagline of overcoming random acts of marketing spoke to me,” shared Austin.

Mercury Mosaics’ Authentic Fractional CMO™ quickly got to work, first assessing the business and its marketing performance. During the engagement, the CMO:

  • Helped Mercury Mosaics align on key differentiators and how to communicate those differentiators to its various customer segments.
  • Established business goals based on past performance, identified the marketing KPIs to track in support of those goals, and reallocated the marketing budget to support the right mix of tactics.
  • Defined the customer journeys for Mercury Mosaics’ audience segments and created targeted campaigns for each, with a particular focus on growth with trade businesses, including designers, architects, and contractors.
  • Clearly articulated what the team should expect from its paid digital agency, exposing a gap in its current agency partner.
  • Hired and onboarded a new digital marketing partner via the Authentic Ally Network™ and coached the team on how to hold a digital partner accountable for results.
  • Developed an annual marketing strategy and plan to align with the company’s growth goals, which prompted the realization that Mercury Mosaics would be best served by hiring a full-time, senior-level marketing leader to implement and oversee the plan and budget long-term.
  • Vetted, hired, and onboarded a full-time CMO to lead the execution of the marketing strategy and plan.

“As a founder of an entrepreneurial company, it’s always really painful when you have to slow down before you can grow again. But it was an excellent process to work through all of the foundational steps of the Authentic process because it really allows you to truly assess and score yourselves.” —Mercedes Austin, CEO & Founder, Mercury Mosaics

The results

With the strategic guidance of an Authentic Fractional CMO, Mercury Mosaics has:

  • Achieved some of its highest-performing digital marketing months yet in the three months since onboarding its new digital marketing agency. 
  • Gained confidence in marketing fundamentals, including in its digital marketing efforts and spend.
  • Created accountability in its marketing team through the creation of weekly meetings to review metrics and identify any issues that need solving.
  • Established a stronger alliance between finance and marketing by more clearly articulating the impact of marketing’s spend.
  • Hired a full-time CMO to carry forward the marketing discipline created with Authentic and continue generating growth.
  • Implemented improvements in its marketing technology stack to ensure that it serves each prospect in its system efficiently and effectively.

“Working with our Authentic Fractional CMO has really helped me lay the foundation for the next layer of how I’m going to get my mind out of making all of the decisions for marketing. That was a big piece for me to create that confidence…that I was missing related to marketing.” — Mercedes Austin, Founder & CEO, Mercury Mosaics


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