David Taylor is the founder of Start-up friendly, no-nonsense Marketing firm, The Marketing Consultancy Group (MCG). MCG provides everything from Virtual Marketing Directors to oversee junior Marketing members through to full Marketing Strategies and everything in-between.
We’ve asked, David answered…
Why do you do what you do?
There isn’t a blueprint for Start-ups. Marketing Agencies can be expensive, cookie-cut solutions and are often ridiculously opaque. I’ve created a middle-ground with The Marketing Consultancy Group (MCG). We provide Marketing Strategy and Tactical Execution at a fraction of the cost.
Why do I do it?
Because Marketing isn’t about smoke-and-mirrors, it shouldn’t be complicated. It should be an integral turnkey department within your business. Great Marketing not only helps drive brand awareness but innovative product development, sales and customer retention.
How did you get into it?
When I came back from Australia in early 2017, I was approached by some exciting London-based Start-ups to help with various Marketing projects. I couldn’t do it alongside my day-job, so I took the plunge and started MCG and haven’t looked back since. I get a kick out of providing an affordable, Start-up friendly Marketing service that provides strategic direction, adds (flexible) structure and delivers tangible results.
What’s your secret super-power?
It may sound odd, but when I was younger, while my friends wanted to fly, have super-human strength and X-ray vision, I wanted to be able to hear what people said about me when I wasn’t around. An old manager used to refer to me as ‘The Knife’ because of my ability to cut through bullshit white noise and get things done, so I guess that is my secret super-power.
Define ‘growth hacking’ in your own words?
Growth Hacking is a term that has become en vogue and unfortunately, is often touted by those that are looking to sell snake oil.
For me, Growth Hacking is a mindset. It’s not something you do to cheat, or for a quick win. Rather, Growth Hacking is the 20-30% of the budget that sits on top of your tried-and-tested Marketing methods – it’s the experimental marketing that enables you to innovate and stay ahead of your competitors. Even if it means reverting to traditional tactics while they are focussed on the hottest new trend.
What has been the best experience of your business life?
I’ve enjoyed all of my business journey so far – I started off as an Apprentice Mechanic, sweeping floors. Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to present on stage for Microsoft and been responsible for Affiliate Marketing at Cisco.
I have to admit, working with Start-up Founders has been an incredible experience so far. Working with people who are incredibly passionate about their business, their people and their vision is why I jump out of bed in the morning.
What was your biggest growth/business challenge and how did you overcome it?
MCG is a new business, with a limited budget, going into a crowded space. There are many challenges, but we are confident in our approach and the quality of our work.
Many of our Prospects have existing retainers in place with their Marketing Agencies, often in excess of £5,000/mth (not including advertising spend). The first challenge is raising awareness, the second is changing the mindset that higher cost = better results.
Having fixed, Start-up friendly prices for our Marketing services attracts prospects initially, but our service, level of commitment and rolling monthly contracts are why they stay. We are an extension of their business and buy-in to their vision the same as an employee.
What’s one piece of advice you would give a fellow founder/marketer?
Keep the faith, give yourself space and surround yourself with positive people.
When you are starting out, it can be tough. Every founder has self-doubt. Every founder has moments where they think they’ve done the wrong thing. The difference between whether you succeed or fail will be dependent on your ability to keep the faith.
There is a lot to do and it feels like there isn’t much time to do it. But don’t rush into everything. A lot of Start-ups fail because the Founders have rushed into making decisions on hiring employees, selecting vendors and business models. We all make mistakes, but giving yourself space to think limits the pain and anguish further down the line.
Everyone has an opinion and they are going to give it to you (whether you have asked or not). Surrounding yourself with positive people will have a significant impact on your business. I don’t mean “Yes” men/women, I mean people who will listen to you on days when things haven’t quite gone right and will give you support when you need it.
How can you get in touch with David?
Although he has recently surrendered his Smartphone in favour of a rather more basic £10 Feature Phone, it’s still easy to talk to David.