Get to know Lindsey Carnett, our "Maven of the Month" brought to you by the WVCBA Women in Business committee. Lindsey is CEO & President of Marketing Maven, an integrated marketing agency based in Camarillo. She was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" at the 2022 Camarillo Top Ten Awards.
Tell us about you and/or the company you represent.
I went to California Lutheran University thinking I’d become a biochemist, graduate, go work at Amgen and find the cure for cancer. Instead, I double majored in Spanish and Communications with an emphasis in Advertising and Public Relations. I had a PR internship during college and loved it because I could secure press interviews for clients via my Blackberry phone as I traveled to and from soccer games as a NCAA collegiate athlete. My most notable piece of press coverage secured for a client while still in college was a Wall Street Journal feature article that landed on the front page, above the fold on a Monday morning.
After working at this PR agency, the day after I graduated, I later was recruited to be the Marketing Director for a Scandinavian biosciences company. They say everything comes full circle, right? During the Recession, I started a PR division for a large advertising agency and had the opportunity to work with the Kardashians on a product they represented, Billy Mays from OxiClean, and many other consumer brands.
In 2009, I left that agency to start Marketing Maven. I started the company from my guest bedroom at age 26 and pitched my network of contacts that I had developed as the Marketing Director of the biosciences company and grew the company organically. We started with PR services then added social media content, digital advertising, influencer marketing and market research. After opening our Camarillo office in 2010, we later opened our New York office and serviced clients locally, nationally and internationally. During the pandemic, our market research department grew tremendously, and we developed The Marketing Maven Method: Insights360, Strategy360 and Implementation360. This results-focused process has been fine-tuned through over a decade of successful campaigns and over $1 billion of earned revenue for clients from various industries.
As someone involved in business in the region, how does the WVCBA help you?
I have so much gratitude toward the WVCBA for recognizing me as 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year at the Camarillo Top Ten Awards. As a WVCBA member, I appreciate the WVCBA for many reasons: advocacy, networking, events. As a small business owner, we are tasked with staying up-to-date with the latest in employment laws, and other economic factors impacting our businesses. The WVCBA not only identifies and communicates information surrounding the latest news but positively impacts our businesses through business advocacy. We as members are so fortunate to have a chamber that has been selected as one of the 10 California chambers of commerce to receive the prestigious 2023 President’s Circle Award from the California Chamber of Commerce.
What’s an interesting fact about your business most people don’t know?
Marketing Maven is an integrated marketing agency, meaning that all marketing channels are supporting each other. Our clients who utilize The Marketing Maven Method are most successful because they start with Insights360, giving them data on their industry and competitors, keyword analysis, sentiment analysis, messaging recommendations and persona development. Next, the data gathered from our deep-dive market research informs Strategy360, where we develop a marketing roadmap for the company. This includes a joint marketing calendar, social media posting cadence, lead acquisition strategy, a detailed blog calendar with titles of weekly blog posts informed by our keyword analysis, a media pitch calendar with monthly pitch concepts and media targets based on the persona development executed during Insights360. Finally, Implementation360 is where the rubber hits the road. We are able to put the marketing roadmap to the test. Our team refines the branding, website, social media, PR, influencer marketing, event marketing, Google search, digital advertising and evaluates performance based on ongoing benchmarking, cost per acquisition and lifetime value of the customer.
Our team truly cares about the success of our clients. We work relentlessly to get win after win. I am most proud of helping my fellow entrepreneurs live out their dreams. It’s incredible to see an idea become a reality then grow into a successful, scalable business that provides a livelihood for so many people and impacts the world in a positive way- through innovation and determination and a smart marketing plan and execution.
Do you have any advice for new business owners?
Seek out a mentor! As someone who has been both a mentor and a mentee, I think it is important to identify that there are very structured mentor/mentee relationships and some that are more informal in nature. I sat on the Board of Directors for Women In Sports and Events (WISE) Los Angeles and I believe they have one of the best-structured mentorship programs. I am currently a mentor in my Women Presidents’ Organization chapter, and I meet with my mentee once per month. As a mentor, I appreciate hearing updates from my mentee about the topics we discussed prior. It is rewarding to see your advice or encouragement having a positive impact in the life of your mentee and celebrating their success with them!
Any additional insight you wish to share?
As I grew Marketing Maven from a startup to a more mature business, I looked for outside resources to provide additional training. I greatly benefitted from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. The modules were exactly what I needed at that stage of my business to help grow and scale Marketing Maven. In fact, my five-year projections were so accurate that I was only off by a few thousand dollars each year.
I also learned that certifications were critical in winning large federal, state, and local contracts. I was able to secure my SBA 8(a) certification and WOSB, DGS, DBE, CUPC, WBE certifications, among others. This has benefited Marketing Maven in the government contracting sector, as well as the private sector with supplier diversity professionals.