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The Beginning of Right Side Up


October 2, 2019


July 6, 2021

My hardest career experience was 10 years ago as a startup founder. I had raised venture capital, recruited a team, built an MVP, and had paying customers—but I couldn’t get the dang thing to grow. Many tactics worked, but were simply too expensive. I felt like I was throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what would stick. I was equally frustrated by the lack of “experts” who could help me. In retrospect I realize the problem was the product and unit economics, not marketing effort.

Over the next six years, I was a marketing director or VP, always focused on customer acquisition, and with the right product, I did make things grow. In these roles, I had tremendous success acquiring customers and learning exactly when and how customer acquisition works best. The answer for each company is nuanced, but some themes emerged:

  • Marketing only works if the product works. Advertising is leverage.
  • Digital marketing has become highly specialized, requiring specialists to maximize impact.
  • In-house talent is usually best. Most—not all—agencies use junior talent to apply rigid playbooks.
  • A+ talent is worth paying for. Talking about individuals, whether in-house, freelancer, or agency account manager.
  • Growth marketing can unlock massive scale and value, when done well and in the right context.

While these may seem obvious, I was surprised by how many companies and agencies approached performance marketing as a commoditized tool to be applied generically by the lowest cost resource available. The more I spoke with other in-house marketers, the more I realized I wasn’t alone. We imagined—what if there was growth marketing consultancy that was different? That deployed A+ talent to offer tailored strategies and best-in-class execution. That could help companies understand when and how to pull the right levers at the right time. Ultimately, what if there was a growth consultancy that could have helped me when I was a startup founder?

That’s why I started Right Side Up.

Right Side Up is the not-agency, offering you expert strategic guidance and the very best talent. Clients typically get 1–4 Right Side Up marketers, for 10–30 hrs/week each. There’s no playbook or generic templates. Just talented marketers using their expertise to help you grow your business. If it’s a great mutual fit, you can poach our talent. No long term commitments.

Whatever preconceived notions you have about marketing services companies, leave them at the door when considering Right Side Up. We aren’t quite an agency. We aren’t quite a staffing firm. We are a third way—a collection of A+ marketers with vast accumulated experience, passionate about our craft and excited to help you navigate any challenge.

The more talent we work with, the better we can find the right person for your needs. The more clients we work with, the better we understand what will actually move the needle for their business. And in the past three years, we’ve worked with a lot of people (over 150) and a lot of disruptive companies (over 100), like, Stitch Fix, DoorDash, Wealthfront and Fitbit.

We’re here to help. If you’ve got a marketing problem to crack or you want to put your skills to use for our clients, email us at hello@rightsideup.co.

Tyler is an investor and advisor to startups and founder of Right Side Up, a consultancy that helps high-growth companies develop and execute best-in-class marketing and eCommerce strategies. Right Side Up sources the best growth leaders from around the country - many working at the most successful brands - and makes them available to clients for 5 to 30 hours/week through both advisory and staffing services. Recent clients include Procter & Gamble, Stitch Fix, Fitbit, Roman, Rothy's, Sun Bum, Sephora, DoorDash, Perfect Snacks, and over 100 more. He has an MBA from Berkeley.

Let's talk growth

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Let's talk growth

Get in touch

Let's talk growth

Get in touch