Today’s edition of Pro Interviews features David O’Weger, who specializes in taking businesses to the next level with unique growth strategies. With over a decade of experience, David understand the fine details of business development in both Europe and North America.
Pagezii — Tell us a bit about yourself?
David — I began my first start-up experience when moving to Nantucket. That’s an expensive place to live so we had to come up with something. My now wife and I started our own boat cleaning business giving us enough savings to travel down south, get engaged in Florida, and move to my wife’s homeland of Finland – where Severa was born.
Severa was bold; a small Finnish company trying to tackle the BIG USA. Afterwards they narrowed the focus on Scandinavia. That was a good move which led to Severa’s acquisition. I then worked with DealDash. A small company, but with fast growth! Drawing inspiration from Facebook: “Move fast and break things! Pedal to the metal all the way!”
Pagezii — How did you apply this growth strategy into the business?
Pedal to the Metal all the way!
David — Sales is marketing and successful marketing is sales. Our success was based on measuring the company’s most useful KPI’s. Figure out what KPI’s are most important for your company. Customer experience and service was key for us. “Customer First” was painted on our walls in BIG RED letters. By putting the customer first and including social media marketing into our strategy, we are able to successfully market and increase our likes on Facebook from 50k to over a million in 6 weeks. Our customers were stoked about how we treated them.
Pagezii —What has been of the most memorable campaign you’ve worked on?
David — Desperate to provide the best customer service we would pull all nighters. We called them Customer Support Marathons. Yes this was the ultimate start-up experience! Red Bull cans stacked stories high and a buzz of adrenaline. We were involved in a company known all across the United States. Everyone had a friend that played DealDash.
Pagezii — In your work experience, what type of changes have you seen?
David — I’ve seen a number of fundamental changes in the online business. For starters, cold calling is dead. It’s better to use your data and schedule calls with your loyal customers – give them an incentive to keep doing business with you. Another is with social media. Every action you take, whether you pin something or like another; results in advertising opportunities for the company. And finally having a good online brand is even more important than ever. Companies that can produce a good image of themselves, while producing a good product, will find a following.
Pagezii — What are the challenges startups face in growing their business?
Nothing is constant; things change
David — Working with startups, I’ve picked up a few business concepts that I apply. Nothing is constant; things change. Being prepared for change can be challenging. Expect it to happen. Then hire the right people. You may want to hire someone to help you hire as it can be very time consuming. Lastly, make data driven decisions vs. going with your gut. This should not be a challenge but finding the right balance is something you have to do everyday.
Pagezii —Your knowledge and experience provide great insight for any marketers working within a startup. Thank you David for sharing your expertise.