We had the good fortune of connecting with Dallas McLaughlin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dallas, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The biggest thing process wide that I’ve been focused on with starting my new business, is trying to define and create the category of direct-to-expert marketing as an alternative to the full-service advertising agency model which we’ve all come to know.
I’ve spent a disproportionate amount of time trying to figure out how small businesses can gain access to exceptional marketing, while also working to remove all barriers to entry for these businesses, still offer the accountability and performance mid-sized businesses demand, and have this type of service remain cost effective to the client and profitable to the business I am operating.
I think in a post-pandemic marketing environment it is going to be vital that businesses can maintain their marketing investment, without sacrificing performance and without the long-term commitments of an agency. In addition to not getting overcommitted to a large agency, business owners should be able to form a direct connection with the person who is actually executing the work for their business every day, all for the cost of less than one full-time employee. Businesses who have been impacted by the pandemic should be excited about the opportunity to get back to work and they shouldn’t have to worry about their marketing investment and that’s the excitement I’m trying to bring back to businesses who were really hurt by the pandemic.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
As mentioned before, I had the advantage of working in a number of advertising agencies over my 12 years in the industry. The vantage point this has given me is one where I’ve been exposed to a lot of client challenges, needs and opportunities. I’ve also been able to watch how each agency tries to solve for these needs and fill these gaps. What I’ve been able to do with my business is essentially pick and choose the best of each experience and then iterate on top of that with my own touch.
What I’ve been able to do is build a matrix of all of the pain points I have witnessed over the years and design a business that tackles each point. I’m trying to create a category of marketing provider that offers direct-to-expert marketing where the client talks only to the person actually executing the work. I’ve eliminated any type of contracts which helps the client feel more secure in their decision to select my company, and also puts more accountability on my company to execute great work. If the work is great, we should never lose a client. I’ve also brought complete transparency to project pricing and proposals. I’ve developed a tool where the prospective client essentially uses an online calculator to create their own pricing structure where they can negotiate their own price before I even see it. As long as the inputs are accurate when we review as a group, that is the price the client pays for each item and that’s the exact price on their monthly invoice.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Most of my friends are also hard working professionals. More likely than not they’ll be hitting me up for a place to work during the day. I’m a big fan of Schmooze in Old Town. Though, they started limiting their WiFi access to one-hour which is a major bummer. For that reason, maybe Sip in Old Town. I’ve made a habit of walking around Old Town trying all the brunch and lunch spots. You can’t overlook the mimosa flights at Morning Squeeze. But if you really want to do brunch right, you have to get out of Old Town and head up to Butters at Mercado del Lago. Too good. I’m there about once a week. Buck & Rider has the best happy hour in town by a wide margin. Especially if they are able to get Kumamoto Oysters in. And don’t forget the LGO Rosé. If you’re looking for a dinner, Maple & Ash is a spectacle that can’t be missed. But you probably won’t be able to eat for a couple of days after so maybe save that until the end. For exciting people, I’m not calling anyone out. But if you’re looking for characters, I know a lot of people who are never not fun.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
During my time working in full-service advertising agencies, I had the opportunity to work with a lot of amazing people. One person in particular was a colleague for about three years at a crucial point in my career, Jennifer Adler. She acted as not only a friend and colleague, but a mentor of sorts. We worked very long, very stressful hours in an extremely demanding environment. There were a lot of candid conversations we had over the years where I doubted myself and my talent for no reason other than my own insecurities and she was able to help me focus on what mattered, focus on the task at hand, push forward and succeed. It may be the imposter syndrome coming out even today, but I do wonder if it was not for her if I would have continued my ascent through the ranks of advertising agencies and then ultimately to owning my own agency.
Captured Moments Arizona https://www.capturedmomentsaz.com/