What’s it like being involved in the set-up of an iconic brand such as Notonthehighstreet.com?
What are many brands doing wrong in their early stages?
We talked to Advisor and Growth Consultant extraordinaire, Maya Moufarek, about her experience with D2C (Direct to Consumer) tech brands.
A bit about Maya
Maya is a multicultural & multilingual Chief Marketing Officer with over 15 years’ experience in the tech and D2C industries. She’s worked in businesses ranging from startups to corporates in the UK, France, Russia and the USA.
She now helps Founders and Executive teams define and implement their business growth paths through her growth consultancy, Marketing Cube. Operating as a ‘full stack’ CMO and supporting startups and scaleups, her clients include ventures backed by Balderton, Notion, Creandum and LocalGlobe amongst others.
Q. So Maya, you’ve worked with some big name brands such as Google and Amex, as well as tech startups such as Pharmacy2U. What have you taken away from this?
It’s a great opportunity to have worked across such diverse brands, and at every stage of a business too. My experience across startups, PE-backed companies and even corporates has meant that I understand really well the challenges and opportunities that companies have at each stage of their growth and business maturity.
In my role now as a Growth Consultant and Advisor, I’m able to draw on my previous experience, having been ‘in the shoes’ of my clients, particularly with driving growth in-house. For example, under my CMO leadership, Pharmacy2U grew 5 fold in revenue and secured a brand awareness index of 1 in 4.
Q. What areas do you help ambitious businesses with then?
I help startups and tech-enabled businesses identify and understand their customers. From there, I help them create a stand-out brand, define clear, differentiated brand positioning and messaging, and drive sustainable growth through customer loyalty.
One of the projects I’ve worked on recently was with a SaaS business. I provided direction on the communications, content and product and marketing strategy, which has enabled their vertical and international expansion.
Q. What are the things you look for in a business that makes you decide to work with them or not?
That’s easy! An ambition to make a positive impact in their customers’ lives or, even better, society at large. An appreciation for the value of brands and communications. And if they’ve not already got some foundations for that in place, then at least being coachable on it. From there, it’s important that they also have clear business goals to inform their marketing strategy.
Q. What are the three key things an ambitious business needs to think about when tackling their brand in relation to growth? And who’s doing this well at the moment?
Firstly, what are my business ambitions? Then, is my brand, messaging and go-to-market working the hardest to get there? In other words, will my overall marketing strategy actually fulfil those ambitions and goals?
And finally, do I have the right talent and tools in place to reach these business goals effectively and in good time.
In terms of who’s doing this well right now, I’d definitely call out Airbnb, Lemonade and Zendesk.
Q. Where are businesses falling down then? What are they getting wrong in your opinion?
So many companies are lacking the C-level marketing guidance they need, and are making all the growth mistakes in the book.
They very often make these mistakes before finding their way, which can be really costly and wastes a lot of precious time.
When I work with businesses, it’s really critical to deliver the most impact, at the right level of investment – and that means creating and executing a master plan of the right deliverables, tools and people to move the business forward faster.
Q. You’ve worked with some amazing brands and people already - but if you could have lunch with someone from any ambitious business (UK or abroad), who would it be and why?
I was very impressed by Brian Chesky's response to Covid-19 and his ability to immediately articulate what the future of travel holds. I’d love to have a spot of lunch with him right now to pick his brains!
I also love the late Bill Campbell’s story. He was an ex-football coach who worked for Apple and also coached the likes of Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Steve Jobs, Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg.
Q. What gets you up and motivates you in the morning? And what’s your favourite pastime?
What I really enjoy is engaging with founders on their latest challenges and making an impact on their ability to untangle them. My time with Notonthehighstreet.com was particularly motivating as that was all about empowering female entrepreneurs at its best, with the creativity on top too! Outside of work, I love a good spin class!
Q. And what’s something that people may not know about you?
I helped design and launch the mentoring programme of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women in Business. The mission of the Foundation is to boost women-led businesses in developing and transitional countries, and do this by building a virtual mentoring community where they can support each other and receive online mentoring and business advice.
My role was to facilitate and oversee the development, implementation and evaluation of the ‘Mentoring Women in Business’ programme.
Thanks Maya! It was wonderful talking with you and we look forward to speaking some more at our upcoming Masterclass.