Entrepreneurs have to be clever when looking for ways to generate money for projects. And crowdfunding is a unique way for startups to gain necessary funding. It takes a lot of dedication and patience to deliver the right results when someone is trying to launch their project into the real world. But Mark Campbell, VP of Marketing at InventureX, is up for the challenge. He’s successfully helped launch more than 300 different products and continues to demonstrate excellence in the industry.
InventureX is a dynamic company who are dedicated to the funding needs of entrepreneurs far and wide through crowdfunding efforts. Campbell, an entrepreneur himself, enjoys the fast-paced world he’s in and is passionate about helping others achieve their success. He received his B.S. in Business Administration at the University of California. He also graduated from the Lloyd Greif School of Entrepreneurship.
His knowledge of the technology, consumer, and B2B sectors has lent others a much welcomed helping hand in providing the right guidance. Through his experiences, Mark has cultivated a unique approach to solving a common issue that business owners want to solve. He’s found solid footing through working hands-on with clients and is capable of directing his team to coordinate dynamic results.
When he has the time in his busy schedule, Mark enjoys traveling and track racing. Thanks to the great location InventureX is in (Santa Monica), he gets to spend his days near the beach with his wife. And it doesn’t hurt or come as a surprise that the views in the area tend to help with creativity as well. There’s still so much room for crowdfunding to grow and Mark is motivated by what’s ahead.
How did you get started in this industry? What inspired you to pick this one in particular?
I’ve always been interested in what business and being an entrepreneur was about. I think listening to a lot of stories from people I knew or that I had read about inspired me to travel down this path too. When I was younger I was always mesmerized to hear about how people created things just from little ideas they had.
And then the way they grew those ideas from scratch was so impressive! I’m still in awe when some of our clients come to us with these fantastic products. I can’t help but continue to do this work. It’s just great to see what comes out of the minds of others when they’re growing their business.
How do you overcome obstacles?
Early on, I don’t think I did my best to regulate how I approached things! What I mean by that is I learned a lot through trial and error. Sometimes I handled things well if say, I had to deal with criticism. Other times I let things stop me in my tracks and it hurt a lot of my own opportunities afterward.
What I’ve discovered was that even if I messed up or did something wrong, I had to give myself space to understand that’s just part of the process. Was that hard to take in? Absolutely. Was it something I pushed myself to be comfortable with anyway even when it made me sick with nervousness? You bet!
But now, when obstacles come my way I try to look at multiple outcomes. I even think of obstacles that aren’t there sometimes to see how I would get through those. And in doing so, I can gain a little perspective into real scenarios a lot of the time. I tell myself to not let it stop my progress. It just means I have to find a bridge to get over to the other side.
What Does Your Daily Routine Look Like?
It can really fluctuate every day. Some quarters are insane (in a good way) and we just have so many clients to work with! I like that it changes so much though because it mixes up the pace for us. On the days where we have a little more time, we take it upon ourselves to do “deep dives” into data.
Or, we’ll brainstorm new ideas to bring to the table regarding brand awareness. We want our clients to feel empowered, and to do so we mirror that empowerment through staying aware of the things around us.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted your work? If so, how did you handle that?
All the time! I think it’s normal and people shouldn’t get too caught up about it. That’s easy for me to say though, I’ve already been there! But as I mentioned before, I handled different situations depending on where I was at when I first started in the industry. I doubted my work at school, in jobs I had, everywhere.
But every time I did, I tried to remember that if I keep doubting myself or thinking about all the things I could have done, I wasn’t going to get anywhere!
What has been your proudest moment so far?
I’ve had a lot, but one of my proudest moments was successfully launching my first campaign for a client. I was so happy to see how they were flourishing and that the efforts we were taking to make their dream a reality paid off in the end.
And speaking of doubt, they were really in a place where they were happy for our help but didn’t think it was going to go anywhere! I was so happy to see how they got through it all and how proud they were when everything was said and done.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that InventureX uses that works really well to generate new business?
We run a lot of intricate “pre-campaigning” for clients through social media platforms and Kickstarter. So, we do a lot of really cool things for the company that helps to increase foot traffic. We’ve been perfecting the way we use content marketing to drive interested customers into later phases of the sales process.
But first, we just want to inform and educate, rather than just sell. It’s been helpful and so to keep the energy going we also use this same tactic in our email marketing campaigns.
There are a few other things we try to tap into so we can generate new leads, and if one tactic doesn’t work out, we go onto the next. We just think it’s better to keep trying until you hit the target by making small changes here and there!
What was one of the toughest decisions you’ve ever had to make?
There was one time in particular that I had to make the decision to let someone on my team go. It’s something that happens to a lot of people, but the first time I ever had to do it I was a little anxious. The trouble was this person was a strong employee, but some of their actions didn’t exactly align with what was needed.
So I had to call in a huddle with others above myself to deliver the information. It was really hard because as I mentioned they produced a lot of quality work. But in the end, it had to be done. I had a lot of direction given to me to manage the situation, and it certainly helped. Taking in those tips was what made a tough decision a little less tough, but I still felt that weight the whole time!
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I would say my dedication and passion. And that I’m not willing to back down even when things are more challenging than I’d like. I’ve always been told that you get back what you put in. And I take that to heart 100%. If I don’t push and deliver expectations and beyond, the work suffers, clients suffer and so does the team. And I’m not really a fan of that.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Just the feedback clients give us and when we meet the crowdfunding goals our clients are after. Their enthusiasm just pours over and before you know it you’re right there with their energy level. It will always be my favorite thing to hear how happy a client is to reach the end of a long hard road.
And that’s one way I find my motivation too. When clients come back to us and say what an experience it’s been for them, it makes me want to deliver those same results for others. Every time we come across a new project, I put myself in the shoes of the person who is our client. What do they want out of this? What are their goals? Once I’m “in their head” I feel even more positive about forging forward.
What does the future hold for InventureX? What are you most excited about?
There’s a lot going on in our world. I’m really just excited about who else we get to work with, and how crowdfunding is going to continue evolving. Our CEO, Kyle Thomas, is also exploring the idea of how cryptocurrency is going to change the game for crowdfunding. The research out there is starting to show the great things that are possible and some industry leaders are taking the helm of this movement.
Some people haven’t quite caught on just yet, but it’s definitely where things are going. I’m interested to see how future platforms are going to help shape companies like ours too, and what that will mean for us when we work with our clients.
What business books have inspired you?
I, unfortunately, don’t have a lot of time to read, so I try to listen to audio books whenever I can. One that was a recent discovery of mind was Building a Brand by Donald Miller and Marketing: A Love Story, How to Matter to Your Customers by Bernadette Jiwa. Both offer some amazing insight into marketing and though they’re not necessarily considered “business” books they carry a lot of helpful information within them.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped you stay organized?
I usually throw out new platforms I’ve seen to see if they make sense to the team and our CEO. Depending on what it’s for, and if it makes sense there’s no problem integrating something into the rest of our systems. Recently, however, I thought it would be in my best interest to have Evernote by my side. I’m not sure why I wasn’t using it before but it’s been tremendously helpful to me.
I’ve used other options in the past, but this one just made a lot of sense and it’s been great! Even some of my team have followed suit and gotten the paid version as well.
What is your motto in life?
I have two that I always think about, but this one is my favorite. It really makes so much sense to me and no matter who you are, the truths behind it can’t be denied. I am satisfied by creating great work, and any other way wouldn’t suffice.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”– Steve Jobs.