Kirk Tanner – Founder and Principle CMO at TMG
Tanner Marketing Group is the culmination of over 30 years of experience. I’ve worked for two of the largest advertising agencies in the world. I worked for a regional advertising agency and launched my own marketing agency. I’ve started multiple businesses including a software company. I’ve worked at large tech enterprises and small startup tech companies. For the last 25 years I’ve been a C-level executive as a CEO, President, COO and 15 years as a CMO.
I’m a Northwestern University MSA graduate with global advertising agency experience and a proven track-record in executive leadership with an emphasis in marketing growth strategies. I have strong results in identifying and delivering winning market messaging, executing successful market strategies and driving revenue and market share growth in multiple industries including software, telecommunications, education, healthcare, fast casual dining, sports products, network products/services, consulting and advertising.
Marketing Plans / Strategy & Tactical Development / Corporate & Product Positioning / Branding & Advertising / Growth Strategies / Project Management / Budgeting / Qualitative & Quantitative Research / Digital Marketing / Press & Analyst Relations / Employee Development, Training and Mentoring / Problem Solving / Negotiating
An innovator with strong problem-solving skills and a demonstrated ability to identify and exploit emerging market opportunities. Record of maximizing sales and profits in expanding and contracting markets. Proven results in creating and implementing strategic and tactical plans, understanding and neutralizing competitive threats and capitalizing on market trends.
Key Skills: Creative. Flexible. Practical. Reliable. Action Oriented. Ambitious. Decisive. Charismatic. Adept at building and maintaining employee, customer, partner relationships. Recognized for innovation, passion, enthusiasm, and perseverance.
CAREER HISTORY AND HIGHLIGHTS
Founder and Principle CMO, Tanner Marketing Group - January 2021 to Present. Even though 2021 makes 30 years since I started consulting, TMG is a new concept. We offer a fractional CMO that’s an ideal solution for growing startups, those needing to boost revenue in preparation to cash out, or companies experiencing less than desirable revenue growth. A fractional CMO with a ready team of marketing experts could be the game changer you’re looking for. Most marketing groups are just order takers. They assume your strategy is sound. With a fractional CMO you’re getting someone that is responsible to set strategy and tactics in a way that is relevant to your business. Our focus is to identify where you’re falling short and then deliver the strategy, messaging and tactical elements to drive revenue growth while building a brand that can sustain that growth.
Chief Marketing Officer, Fishbowl, Orem UT - November 2008 to January 2021. Recruited by founder and major shareholder to help 10-year-old software company gain traction in a competitive segment, boost flat revenue, and secure long-term value for shareholders. Started position one year into the Great Recession and faced challenges of the Covid pandemic. Every single year saw substantial year over year revenue growth. 2020 revenue finished 24% over 2019 in the face of the pandemic.
Solid revenue growth every single year. From 2008 to 2021 I played a critical role in growing revenue in excess of 1,100%. This was done without accepting any outside investment capital and during a major recession and global pandemic.
Secured critical endorsement from Intuit in year one. Quickly identified potential competitive advantage, approached Intuit CEO, obtained his personal endorsement and support that set the foundation for long term growth. Intuit granted the right to say we were the #1 inventory solution for QuickBooks users. Defended the position twice against Google AdWords legal department attacks with full support of Intuit CEO.
Leveraged radical shift in marketing industry. Recognized the power of digital marketing early and blended digital marketing strategy and tactics with traditional strategy and tactics, long before this was popular or the norm. The results were our sales team received 99% of all leads fully sales qualified virtually eliminating cold calling.
Received a SAMY (Sales and Marketer of the Year) award in January 2012. Utah Business Magazine recognized my team’s efforts by naming me one of Utah’s top sales and marketing executives in Utah. Was featured on the cover of the magazine.
Saved thousands in print media buys. Personally negotiated annual contracts with national publications reducing payments by an average of 65% off rate cards.
Chief Marketing Officer & COO, Mstar Corporation, Orem, UT - March 2007 to Sept. 2008. Recruited to manage day-to-day marketing and operations efforts of growing FTTH telecommunications company. Doubled customer base and revenue in one year. Refined processes and procedures reducing customer acquisition expenses by nearly 50%. Managed up to 110 employees.
Doubled revenue and customer base while reducing expenses by more than 50%. Identified proper value proposition for fiber-optic services to both business and residential customers. Drove creative execution of strategy, doubling customer base and revenue resulting in over 70% market share. Renegotiated vendor contracts based on strategic relationships establishing deep discounts. Built internal marketing team resulting in fixed expense that was leveraged to produce more than three times the marketing materials previously produced.
Revised communications strategy for customer support reducing customer service tickets by 85%. Company had over 3,000 open support tickets. Revised processes and core communications strategy reducing customer issues by 85% to a monthly running average of 450.
Increased overall customer satisfaction for services to nearly 90%. Company was adding new customers quickly, but overall satisfaction was very low resulting in high cancellations. Launched stronger corporate and product branding effort along with complex customer communications plan integrating operations issues and marketing initiatives that reversed the trend. Resulted in monthly satisfaction ratings at nearly 90%.
Enabled investors to successfully cash out. The success from rapid growth created interest from multiple buyers allowing the VC firm to achieve their exit strategy. Today the customer base is owned by Google Fiber.
President / Director, Aradyme Corporation, Orem, UT - 2001 to 2006. Following merger with Tanner Spencer Group, led day-to-day marketing and operations of this emerging next generation software company. Shared P&L responsibility with CEO and managed 38 employees. Directed all facets of product marketing and sales, operations, investor and public relations, and fundraising, Directed board of director events and activities.
Devised creative services model for data migration, resulting in multiple client wins with key partners. Aggressively countered industry leader Oracle threat by creating an innovative services model using company technology to facilitate rapid data migration for our clients. Expanded ecosystem for scale via successful partnerships with Accenture, Covansys, and IBM.
Saved $500K in outsourcing fees by creating and implementing strategic messaging and content for Aradyme. The company’s primary problem was establishing legitimacy for the service model in the face of industry doubt over unique value proposition. Developed high-end interactive website. Oversaw design, messaging and content. Provided instant customer, partner and investor confidence for company.
CEO, Senior Partner and Founder, Tanner Spencer Group, Orem, UT - 1997 to 2003. Founded successful marketing consulting firm generating $3M in annual revenue. Generated 70%+ of all consulting revenue by aggressively pursuing and closing long-term client relationships with technology companies such as Ancestry.com, Netware Users International, iLumin, MyJobSearch.com and non-tech companies such as Center for Change, Franklin Covey, Bookcraft and others. Led successful merger with Systems Research, Inc. (client) to create Aradyme Corporation.
Developed and oversaw communication strategy and tactics that increased demand six-fold for the Center for Change, an eating disorder treatment facility. Company hired Tanner Spencer Group to create and implement growth strategies. Reviewed and revamped operations processes and communications strategies and tactics. Determined company had segmented their target market incorrectly. Identified appropriate target and provided all marketing strategies, tactics and execution expanding facility from 12 beds to 72 beds filling it to capacity with a waiting list to be treated.
Devised successful funding and marketing plan to support startup of Myfamily.com. Company was hired by a popular services technology company to expand their business. Researched market opportunities and developed commensurate strategy including product pricing, collateral, and go to market plans. Built funding model and business plan, including roll-out strategy, resulting in investor-secured funding of $70MM to successfully introduce service to marketplace.
Director of Product Marketing, Novell, Inc., Provo, UT – Business planning for $1.5B Netware Division and SMB business planning
VP Account Services, Hales Allen Advertising, Provo, UT – Managed Jostens Learning and Pioner Electronics
Corporate Director of Marketing Communications, Wicat Systems, Orem, UT – Rapidly grew revenue and market share. Sold to Jostens Learning
Corporate Director of Marketing Communications, SoftSolutions, Orem, UT – Launched new technology category that led to sale to Wordperfect
Sr. Account Executive, Tracey-Locke BBDO, Dallas, TX – Mangaed the Ben Hogan Golf acount. The #2 golf club company globally
Sr. Account Executive, Cambell-Mithun Saatchi & Saatchi, Chicago, IL. – Managed $75M budget for Kroger Food stores. Primarily TV & radio
EDUCATION / TRAINING / PERSONAL
Earned MSA with emphasis in Advertising from Northwestern University.
Received a BA in Communications from Brigham Young University.
Winner of Utah Business Magazine 2012 SAMY (Sales and Marketer of the Year) award.
Former member of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).
Served on the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors for over three years.