The Best of Charlotte Podcast Featuring Stratagon Co-Founders Ryan Burkett and Alex Moore

August 17, 2023
The Best of Charlotte Podcast Featuring Stratagon Co-Founders Ryan Burkett and Alex Moore


Ryan Burkett and Alex Moore were recently guests on The Best of Charlotte Podcast hosted by Jeff Hamm.

Ryan and Alex share the story of their entrepreneurial journey and the inspiration behind their marketing firm, Stratagon. They discuss trends in emerging technologies and share their thoughts on how these marketing technologies will impact sales and marketing for small to mid-sized companies in the coming years.

Listen to the podcast here


The Best of Charlotte Podcast Featuring Alex Moore and Ryan Burkett





The Best of Charlotte 060: Stratagon- Meet Ryan Burkett and Alex Moore 


Announcer: We are featuring the best small businesses and the most influential professionals in Charlotte, North Carolina. Each week, we'll bring you a new interview with those small business owners and professionals that are making a big impact here in the Charlotte area. Thanks for joining us enjoy the show.


Jeff Hamm: Welcome back, my friends. I'm your host Jeff Hamm, and this is Episode 60 of the Best of Charlotte Podcast. In this episode, I sit down with the founders of Stratagon, Ryan Burkett and Alex Moore. Stratagon is a strategic marketing and sales agency that builds customer-centric campaigns to power revenue growth.


Founded in 2005, Stratagon is passionate about helping companies find resourceful solutions for tough business problems. Ryan and Alex share the story of their entrepreneurial journey and the inspiration behind their marketing firm. We also spend some time discussing trends in emerging technologies and the team shares their thoughts on how these technologies will be impacting sales and marketing for small to mid-sized companies in the coming years.


Thanks as always for following along with the Best of Charlotte Podcast and connecting a little more closely with the Charlotte Small Business Community. Enjoy getting to know Ryan Burkett and Alex Moore, the founders of Stratagon. Today I'm joining the team at Stratagon in Charlotte, Alex Moore and Ryan Burkett are joining the podcast. Alex, welcome to the podcast.


Alex Moore: Thanks, Jeff. Glad to be here.


Jeff Hamm: And Ryan. Thanks for joining me.


Ryan Burkett: Good afternoon. Thanks, Jeff.


Jeff Hamm: I appreciate you guys taking the time to join the podcast and looking forward to diving into the work that you and the team at Stratagon are doing, but before we get into those details I always love to share a little bit of information about my guests a little bit of sort of a bio on the founders, who I didn't ask this before we hit record who wants to go first?


Ryan Burkett: So good afternoon, again my name is Ryan Burkett. I am a native North Carolinian. There are very few remaining it seems these days in the Charlotte area but I have been in Charlotte since 2005. I come not from a marketing background. My background is actually in technology and ultimately in international governance, but have been in the area of marketing now for the last 10, 11, and 12 years. Times creeping away on me Jeff.


Alex and I co-founded the company many years ago actually as an effort to try and contribute access to the education and the experiences that we had with small businesses. And at that point in time, it was really just helping some small businesses that we came across over the course of just our own commercial engagement. Helping them to begin to kickstart in the direction that they wanted to go from a small business standpoint. We found ourselves lingering around the small business consulting area for a while, but we have been diehard B2B primarily, driving some B2B support as well from a marketing standpoint within our scope at Stratagon now for a better part of the last 10 years or so. And it's been a great run. We've got a great team supporting us both in High Point and in our Charlotte offices and both respective locations and it's a joy to come here every day. So, Alex?


Alex Moore: I mean, I think Ryan kind of covered the bases there. I will say that it's been enjoyable as we have expanded, you know, our business over the years whereas he said we were needed in focusing on a small business market, and in today's world while we still have some in our passion, still very much aligned there. It's been great to be able to continue to have a bit of a foot in the water, if you will, with the small business community just because we feed impact so much more so much faster in those organizations simply because change can happen quicker. The analogy of you know, the Titanic, it's like when you try to move up, or big battleship and get a better reference to a big battleship that you're moving versus the speedboat in the water.


So we're really passionate about all things business and certainly enjoy working with our community of small businesses.


Jeff Hamm: I love it. Yeah. Ryan is a native, born and raised. North Carolinians are few and far between. No question about it. You know, full disclosure, I am not a native North Carolinian so you know, one of the guilty parties I guess, but that you know, North Carolina just as you know, for obvious reasons, it's such an appealing place and love to see the growth and the expansion going on. Most of it anyway, is around Charlotte and other areas in North Carolina.


The SBA designates a small business I believe, as any company with under 500 employees. What size when you guys talk about small businesses and when I talk about small business, really what I'm talking about as a micro business. You know, to me a small business or you know, teams maybe under 40 or 50. What size businesses do you guys generally specialize in working with?


Ryan Burkett: So it's interesting when we focused on small business very early on, it was it was literally micro-businesses we thought and Alex can share a story about one of our first clients that we were just providing some general consulting to. Turns out they weren't as micro as we thought they were. Nonetheless, in our early days, it was literally helping people who we knew that were starting small retail outlets and such get, their brand underneath them, and frankly, just making sure that they've got their foundations in place.


Today, however, our ICP (ideal client profile) is a little bit different than that. Now, we primarily are focused on mid-cap companies and enterprise companies. And oftentimes, we're using a little bit of a peg based on top-line revenue for those companies. We're typically seeing most of our clients fall somewhere in between $20 million in revenue and up and again, most of those are B2B focused. We also are spending quite a bit of time now in higher education, higher education segments, and of course, the university sizes that we're dealing with there can vary but typically, again, falling somewhere between the 4000 and 10000 student enrollment mark.


But it just depends on who comes in the door from the standpoint of the service alignment, making sure that we believe that we can service them in a meaningful way. So we're more mid-cap and again, up to enterprise we certainly have Fortune 1000 custom companies on our roster. The nature of those engagements, of course, varies. But very rarely are we engaging with small or even micro-business in this in this span of what Stratagon is offering unless we're talking about a startup that's very heavily funded and has some very aggressive goals that we know that we can satisfy.


Jeff Hamm: Yep, yep. Understandable. B2B versus B2C, you're working with companies that are really scaling. So you've got me curious, and I wonder if Alex can share the story about this founder you worked with a while back that was micro but maybe not so micro?


Alex Moore: Well, yes. And I mean, as Ryan had told the story, I didn't get too deep into the educational background and like, but we met in graduate school and had an opportunity to do some consulting work, which was really the start of Stratagon. There was a firm that we were working with that was in the cleaning business and it just turned out that particular form look really small. And by SBA definition still small businesses, you could say micro but they weren't just a mom-and-pop shop with five employees and they were closer to like 60 employees and were doing some really significant revenues. But, just did not have anything from an operational standpoint that would look like a business to you outside of the fact that they were collecting money and depositing money. So it was our first foray into helping small businesses.


You know, Ryan and I both come from small business backgrounds and then this is totally foreign to us. You will notice what we were doing professionally, but it was really kind of cool to get in and help a business that had really a good product and service and despite all odds, from their background, their education, beat those odds and put significant revenues north of seven figures, you know, in the bank on an annual basis, but they didn't truly understand the other elements of the business. So we actually came in and provided real marketing services to them not to be confused with advertising, helping them think about operations and call centers and brand at some point and yes, we did eventually get to advertising and actually even helped them to acquire another company. So that's to do a vertically integrated so it was a really good, almost like post-MBA case study that started this thing that we did, so it was really, really, really cool. And that was the sort of Stratagon and certainly, there were referrals that happen outside of that was a big catalyst to how we got here today.


Jeff Hamm: Yeah, that sounds like it was really interesting. That's really cool. And you guys have spoken of other locations, other markets Stratagon has offices in Charlotte? And is it High Point?


Alex Moore: Yes, physical locations in the area and we have staff outside of those two offices, but more than 90% of our staff is between those two offices.


Jeff Hamm: You also alluded to coming from a small business background, and I understand entrepreneurship kind of runs in the family. Is that it does that go for both of you?


Alex Moore: Yeah, it does. I am from Delaware originally and my parents were in the restaurant business. So I grew up from a very early age I started in the cake baking business, so-called Cathy's cakes specifically. Then they got into catering. It was Seymour's Catering and then it became Seymour's Restaurant and Catering and ultimately, we ran a full-service restaurant for many years. I was able to, you know, witness that not through the lens that I would understand today, obviously, but you just living it at that time. And my grandmother actually ran a restaurant as well in Fayetteville which is where my family's originally from. So, inherently it's sort of the in the veins.


I can't tell you that I woke up somebody and said, "Hey, I want to go and start a business." and Ryan and I got together and did it. It was done outside of, you know, come toward the need to help someone. And in doing so it was very comfortable and we realized why we're comfortable given our backgrounds in sort of being round the table.


But it turns out both Ryan and I are Third-Generation Entrepreneurs. Ryan can certainly share his background there too. Yeah. Ryan jump in.


Ryan Burkett: So as I said, native North Carolinian. And coincidentally, my maternal family is from High Point which is where one of our offices is now located completely out of coincidence. My grandfather was a United Methodist minister, but all throughout his tenure as a minister as well, he was running a commercial janitorial cleaning services company. So my uncles worked in the business with them. And with that, when I would spend some weeks in the summers with them, of course, I was 10, 11, 12 years old and I was on trash can duty going around some of the office complexes and municipal buildings that they were in. So much to Alex's point there and as well in my parent's retail business, they owned a sizable retail operation in Mount Airy, North Carolina for a number of years as well.


Much of what we do today, of course, wouldn't seem to directly align with what I learned and what I experienced there, but I'll tell you what was most important was the criticality and being able to do the small things and the importance and being able to uncover and understand what all of the small pieces and parts are that are happening on a day to day basis to make an organization successful.


So I'll count that experience that some of the best experiences I've had even though may have been on the owner's side I will still work at the front counter, cleaning the restrooms when they needed to be cleaned, unloading trucks putting together lawn mowers and riding lawn mowers as you know, it was very critical that everyone rolled up their sleeves and was willing to do whatever was necessary to make the business successful. And I think that's part of what drives Alex and me today.


Jeff Hamm: Not really unfamiliar territory for either one of you.


Ryan Burkett: Not at all.


Alex Moore: Totally not a lot.


Jeff Hamm: It's a lot of times the owner's son is the first one that's called on to pick up the slack.


Ryan Burkett: Absolutely. And the lowest-paid employee.


Jeff Hamm: And the lowest paid. Yeah and often not on the clock. All right, cool. Well, let's dive into Stratagon, and share a little bit. And I'll let you know who ever wants to jump in here. First, share a little bit about the work that you and the team do and who you serve, and the types of products and services that you offer.


Ryan Burkett: Yeah, so I'll start out, I'll say that I'm here recently, Alex, and I've been playing with the moniker that We're Revenue Generators and Impact Creators. We believe that it is important that our company operates around some core vision that proves to be a bit of a glue for us. So although we are a marketing agency, if you had to nail us to two terms that would align with what our organization does, it would be a marketing agency clearly but when you begin to think about marketing in its truest form, as Alex said earlier, expanding outside of the notion of advertising promotion, it becomes as critical that you're focused on customer engagement, customer engagement, strategy, sales, business development, business development strategy, the brand representing what the organization is that you're delivering the core values upon, and then ultimately, naturally being able to promote that and create ideally connection, which drives transactions.


So we are a strategic marketing agency and we consider ourselves to be an integrated marketing agency delivering tech, delivering brand strategy, delivering execution against marketing tactics, including advertising and promotions, and also increasingly spending a lot of time in what we call revenue operations from the standpoint of thinking how sales and marketing interact and engage for premium performance and execution. So that's who we are. That's what we do on a day-to-day basis. Again, if you call it down, we're marketing. We're focused on sales, sales strategy, we're focused on creativity and we're ultimately making sure that we're top-notch from a technology standpoint because you can't operate in 2023 and any of those dynamics without taking strong consideration and taking advantage of the technology platforms that are available to us today. So that's who we are day to day and Alex can fill in any gaps, especially with regards to industry and focus.


Alex Moore: Yeah, those are the services we tend to find ourselves in. I think Ryan mentioned higher education, B2B manufacturing, professional services, and increasingly in municipalities, both local and state, and we're working really hard to penetrate the federal space. We've done some work there. But we see that as a really big growth opportunity for us.


Jeff Hamm: Ryan, what was that moniker that you mentioned at the beginning of that?


Ryan Burkett: Revenue Generators and Impact Creators?


Jeff Hamm: And I like that.


Ryan Burkett: Like it's we haven't run it by the team just yet. Jeff. So it hasn't been completely cleared yet, but we'll go with it!


Jeff Hamm: Okay. So I'm not breaking this. It's out there and maybe in a small way. Yeah. I gotcha. Well, I love it. I love it. You brought up technology and emerging technologies and stayed on top of trends. And, you know, one trend that's a real hot topic, especially over the last 12 months and it seems to be unavoidable. It's everywhere, in every industry publication and you know, it seems to be touching every aspect of digital media and digital marketing. And that is AI.


And I wondered if, you know, I realized we're, we're early in the journey here when it comes to AI, as we see it as we're seeing it now, but wondered if you could speak on you know, what you see so far and what you might see coming down the line for AI. Alex, I'm gonna start with you this time.


Alex Moore: Wow. Really big topic. I think we are at least starting the real tip of the iceberg for where generative AI is going. To be clear, I mean, AI has been around for many, many, many years. It's just the accessibility to the common user, which makes it so much more powerful today. So, I think that where it is going to go is we're going to find that very common tasks that we used to depend on human capital to do. I think we will find that AI will empower those same humans to do it faster, or really, overall more efficiently and particularly better. Better results, more consistency.


Do I think that AI will single-handedly, you know, replace someone's job? You know, kind of one of the things, when automation came to manufacturing, was like, "We don't need people anymore." The thing is, you know, I believe that those things generate other jobs because someone has to make the machines that do that work, right? I think we're going to see similar types of things with AI, there's going to be certain functions within jobs that just don't need to take the brainpower that it once required. It just means that brainpower can be used for something slightly different.


We're not at this stage today though, where for example, I think the most common use case that we're seeing for AI, particularly using tools like chat GPT has been around. Right? And very few things that we've seen come out that we feel like we would just copy and paste into something. Could some people do that? For sure. But being a professional in the business that we do, it doesn't quite fit that today does mean that it won't someday it just doesn't today. And I think we're in for a pretty interesting ride. I don't know that anyone has a true crystal ball, but I can tell you that the leading indicators suggest that there's a whole lot more coming and we certainly are not just on the sidelines with this and we're deeply invested in this space, and have made some pretty significant human capital and financial investments into platforms that put us right in the middle of this. So it's gonna be interesting.


Jeff Hamm: What you just said there sort of aligns with the opinions and the industry experts that I kind of follow on a regular basis. And I like the analogy you used that the automobile manufacturers, you know, the assembly lines, machines, to a certain extent did replace certain jobs, but it also created a lot of other jobs as well. And there's still always going to be a need for that.


For the human or at least, as far as we can tell, for the foreseeable future that there's always going to be a need for humans to create to design, to you know, program, and so forth. So, yeah, that's interesting, and how much is it? How many how often do you get this question from your clients?


Alex Moore: I mean, it's a pretty normal question today. I mean, it varies from how are we using it to, how should they be using it or, how should it be impacting our efficiencies or maybe even their price point, right, all the above? And at the end of the day, it's a tool and if used, well can be a tool that adds value. It could also be abused, of course. So, you know, I think the jury's still out as to what it means. I don't know if it ever truly settled.


I think the innovation curve probably just continues to happen. So don't ignore it is the thing we're telling not only our customers but our staff, our friends and our families. You know, don't think that this is something that is only for the techies. It is going to continue to hit most likely every area of our life.


Jeff Hamm: For sure, Alex or I'm sorry, Ryan, did you have anything you want to add there?


Ryan Burkett: You know, I think if we think about our engagement with the internet, for instance, and we think about when we first started having access to thorough search engines and what it opened up to us from the standpoint of having access to information that was far-reaching and now was very specific and targeted with a search term. It took us I would suggest many many years and several iterations to begin to envelop that and to align that to the way that we were naturally processing as humans. I think the same thing exists with AI today.


First of all, AI did not come about in 2023. We all know this right? But I think because of the fact that availability and access, at least for layman to engage with the tool really has come about in the last six to 12 months that now it is seen as potentially what some may see is a bit of a panacea to skills that others may not have had before. And I don't believe that's the case. AI is only going to be as good as the people who are using it when you start to think about even Chat GPT and content that is generated out of machine learning and out of generative AI.


The reality is the people who are best able to use that tool have studied and progressed in how to use that tool best and you start to hear about things like prompt engineering. That's going to be critical. But it's also going to become normalized over the course of time. It's not going to change this year. I think the best opportunity that exits still will be twofold, or multitier, I should say. It will be for those who are engaging to be able to know how to use it to deliver the quality of output that they need which may not be steeped in specifications or detailed analytics. It may be as simple as what we're doing right now querying into Google, for instance, into a Google search. And that's going to be great. When we have the separation that allows us to see how the AI in our industry from a marketing strategy standpoint, can be dependent upon to help us create a fast path to data analytics and then create a fast path towards more specification and personalization and and overall audience identification and targeting. But it's going to take pros and cons to use it in that way. But that just means that we're going to have segments of AI much the same way as we have segments of internet usage over time. It's not going anywhere it's going to continue to supply.


I think it's important that people both commercially and individually and personally start to think about how they use it for what they need. And not try to jump to the leaps of "Now I can be a marketer," or, "I can be a content developer because I have ChatGPT." It's not realistic and I think we'll be able to see the separation between those who don't know how to use it and those who don't. It's still going to allow experts to exist which is I think back to the same thought analogy. It's going to create separation, but it's not going to create elimination. Yeah, yeah, that's a full-time content producer. I can tell you up and I've had my eye on AI since, as you said you know and to be clear, it's been around AI has been around the technology has been around for a long time.


But the accessibility to the layman through ChatGPT and other products that have launched since then has kind of changed the game. And it's funny speaking of content production, I have a friend who, right after about the time ChatGPT was launched and became available to the public, became a blogger on LinkedIn. And out of the blue, he had long blog posts on LinkedIn and I called him, I knew it right away on his first post that I saw, I said, "That's ChatGPT. What did you type in to come up with that buzz?" It didn't last long, but yeah, it's not going to replace creators anytime soon, but it's, as you said, it can be a tool that could as we see right now, it could possibly help with efficiency and speed. I've tried to use it without real success to develop long-form written blog articles on certain topics, a lot of my websites are for other platforms, not this platform. Traffic is dependent on organic Google search rankings and I've gone back and I tried a couple of articles, and by the time I edit and fact-check these articles, I may as well just write the article. So anyway, that's a big topic.


Jeff Hamm: As you said, it's a big, big subject. We could spend a lot of time kind of getting into the weeds on that one, but I just wanted to kind of get your thoughts on it as an overview, what about other specific technologies that you guys are working on within your shop? Can you share some of this?


Ryan Burkett: Yeah, absolutely. So I know that I certainly suggested that we were strategy first, but I'll tell you, we're passionate about technology. And we have been a partner with HubSpot for the last, going on 10 years now. Have been very active within the HubSpot community, including co-sponsoring local meetups here within the Charlotte area as well as within the Piedmont Triad around High Point. So again, very active in the community but also very technically savvy from the standpoint of HubSpot as a marketing automation platform as well as a sales/CRM platform. Everyone in our shop talks HubSpot. We are a HubSpot client as well. But everything from marketing again to CRM/ sales, even web, and service, the platform is fully enabled for. And we do, I'd say just said almost 80% of our clients, we're doing some enhanced deployments of the HubSpot platform. The other platform I'll ask Alex to speak to which is an opportunity we've had to not only invest but help to spearhead the development of that we're really excited about as well.


Alex Moore: Yeah, the other one is the tool called BrandGen, like brand generation, and you can find out more information on is a programmatically centric ad delivery platform. And we built it initially focused on Account Based Marketing which practitioners in the space just call ABM. And it was built in the sense that we are under the time of data privacy and how you do targeting and things have to be done here. Google is changing the game a lot with respect to cookies, and how that works. And businesses that are trying to target other businesses don't have a lot of options.


So if you are a business and you want to put an ad in front of another business, how do you do that today? Google is not the way to do that. Or you could do a search, but from a display standpoint, how do you target a C-level exec, vice president, or director at pick your logo of choice? helps make that connection so if you are an advertiser, and want to get in front of folks that you maybe don't know personally but you know, these are the companies that fit your ideal customer profile? And you know that these are the titles and the roles of the types of people who typically buy from you.


Using an Account Based Marketing approach is something that is highly advisable. And within the broader world of Account Based Marketing, there is this notion of activating accounts, "How do I actually get my logo in front of the right people who are going to make the decision?" And in the business, the business world, oftentimes it is decided by a committee. Oftentimes, you need to make sure that your brand is known by multiple people. And Brandgen affords that opportunity. So, Ryan and I made an investment into BrandGen some years ago and have taken an active role in helping to build out that platform from a technology standpoint as well as operationally many of our clients are using it and many people who are not Stratagon clients use it as well. So a great platform, one that I highly advise take a look at particularly if you're a B2B marketer, and you're engaged in digital advertising.


Jeff Hamm: Let's talk back into Stratagon and you know, dial in a little bit on sharing maybe a little bit more precisely the kind of work you guys do in terms of how do you what are some unique problems that your team solves. And how do you do that?


Alex Moore: When we think about why people come to us, I think that's a really good place to start. I think low-hanging fruit, easy-button things tend to be things like oh, "I need a website right now," or more and more recently, companies are realizing that the specialization of their sales and marketing activities in a CRM plus a marketing automation platform adds incremental value, perhaps even during service, the people who were on the frontlines taking calls customer service, those kinds of folks as well, having a centralized element of that. And if you take that basic premise, They say, "Okay, l get it I get that. I work for a company," they market things, they sell them, and then they service them. There are a couple of things that have to coexist and make all that work. There is data around that needs to be managed. There's typically a system that needs to help manage that data. And then from a sales and marketing standpoint, there are processes, there's content, and then there's creative.


And fundamentally, in the most comprehensive engagement, we are helping companies think through that, like what's your strategy? How are you executing? What's your internal staff doing and what's your customer experience? That is like best case scenario. More often than not, though, people are coming to us with more of a technical need, such as, "Hey, can you help configure my system," or "Hey, can you help me kick off this advertising campaign or build this website?" Our inquiry will probably lead to what are you really trying to accomplish. Because once you have this website, we would assume there's an expectation that you're driving traffic to it. There's also an expectation that you expect to learn something about those people who visited your website. At a minimum, where did they come from, what did they look at? How long did they spend there? Are you seeing some type of trend that would be interesting to your sales team to help them do what they do better? In the best-case scenario. They come in, we understand all those things, but we also get them to tell us who they are in then that leads into some kind of sales cycle or some extended marketing cycle. Until we believe that they are actually ready to have a sales-based conversation.


So it's so easy to talk about that, you know, and whatever, 30 seconds or a minute. However, the complexities to doing that in today's world are really really hard given that consumers both on the B2B as well as the B2C side of the house have nonlinear buying journeys. In other words, they don't just go, call, buy, done. You know, they have so much information at their fingertips. You know, it's the car dealer of the day where, I literally have been at a conference where there was a sub-segment of participants that were from the car dealership arena, and I literally watched a grown person shed tears in full of a room because they were in that industry. And they hearken for the day when they could see a customer come onto the lot, look at a car, and ask them for insight and information. And it just wasn't happening and that this was over 15 years ago, that they were like "Yeah, when everyone comes to a lot they know everything about the car. Heck, they know more than I know about and they only want to talk to me anymore." And it was an experience that you know well-tenured sales professional in the automotive industry to say, "Well, I just don't don't have that anymore." So it was really interesting, I'll never forget that day.


But, I think that that is a good reflection of what we see around how buyers buy today and the information and the research that they do. And you know, if you're a company trying to sell to someone you should be asking yourself, "How do I organize all that? You know, how do I make sure that for every hour and every dollar that I spend that I'm getting the biggest return on it?" Which may not be in dollars initially, that return may be one insight and information return that will be leading indicators into "Okay, now I can actually go sell more."


Jeff Hamm: They really dial in and hone in on all those different areas. How many of your clients would you say, what percentage, or let me ask less specifically, is it common for new clients to connect with you initially in search of a tactical solution or a solution to a tactical issue?


Alex Moore: It's all over the board. I'd say. Go ahead, Ryan.


Ryan Burkett: Now, I was just going to offer that I think that oftentimes clients, especially prospects that come in the door, they think they have their grasp around what their challenge is, and ultimately gets articulated in something that's very, very tactical, "We want enhanced lead generation," or "We want greater brand awareness within our geography or within our city," or whatever it may be. I think that ultimately, let me back up for a second. As we mentioned earlier Stratagon didn't come from a traditional marketing genesis. ie., come out of a web design firm that began to upskill into greater marketing enhancement, or come from an ad and promotion shop standpoint where they were all about Creative and now they want to begin to think more around marketing strategy.


We come from a strategic focus, we come and start from the place of asking questions. So when we do have prospects that come in the door and they think they know what they're looking for, from a tactical standpoint, that's when the conversation begins for us. Very, very rarely is it succinct enough, Jeff, where we are saying "Great, we hear what you want, and here's what it looks like to deliver that." Sometimes we're having a series of conversations to really get to what the core need is that is driving what they would articulate to us as being the goal. Goals are great to have, having a succinct tactical goal in mind is outstanding because that keeps things as much as possible in black and white where we all know where we're headed. However, oftentimes there are many different drivers that are either preventing them from being successful against that goal today or creating a new goal that may exist in front of them.


So we're always coming in the door asking the questions, engaging. And I'll be honest, there are a significant number of times that we have people who will come to us out of inquiry looking for a solution to something they would consider to be a tactical goal or tactical challenge, as you suggested. They will choose to go to a different agency. Maybe it's because it's more succinct. Maybe it's about price point whatever it may be, a significant number of our clients come back to us after we've had a conversation and they've moved in a different direction because they realized through that engagement that the tactical delivery against the tactical goal wasn't really solving the problem that they had. And what we were uncovering in our conversation and what they became comfortable with after receiving other delivery is that we were going to work with them, partner with them to help them uncover what they really need in order to be successful, against what was surfacing out to be something tactical.


So that's just the way that we operate. And again, that's out of that's the way that we have grown through time, and from where we seed was planted was really thinking marketing strategy, not thinking web technology, not thinking creative ad promotion, but thinking what are we trying to do? What are the stakeholders and the actions that we're trying to create? And then ultimately, let's get to the results. What are the results we're trying to draw?


Jeff Hamm: A lot of questions have to be asked, right? There are a lot of layers. There's no quick fix to any big problem, or you know, or a big challenge. Yeah, makes a lot of sense. I was just curious. I know that I'm not running a seven-figure enterprise but I know and businesses that I've run I've I've been approached a lot with by new clients or prospects who are looking for that quick fix, right? That solution to this one thing and it's really, it requires some patience and some you know, a lot of questions that need to be asked to kind of wrap their heads around, you know, "let's look at the overall strategy and really get to the core of what we're trying to accomplish here".


Guys, I know that you are extremely busy. I really want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to join the podcast. This has been super cool. We could go on for probably two or three hours. I have a million questions that I would love to ask you. But out of respect for your time, I just want to I'm gonna close this. I want to say thank you so much. For taking the time to join the podcast. I really appreciate it. How can listeners learn more about Stratagon and connect with you and the team?


Alex Moore: The easiest way probably is to catch us online at We're all very active on LinkedIn as well. So you can definitely find the company there. You certainly can find Ryan as well, Ryan Burkett, and Alex Moore on LinkedIn. So even those are very easy ways to connect with us. And certainly, if there's anything we can do to help you. We would definitely welcome that opportunity.


Jeff Hamm: And no AI-generated blog posts on your accounts?


Alex Moore: No AI-generated blog posts. Let me ask the AI how would they think about it.


Jeff Hamm: Yeah, awesome. I love it. Guys. Just want to say thanks again. Alex Moore is the co-founder of Stratagon. Alex, thanks for joining the podcast. Thanks for having me. It was a pleasure. And Ryan Burkett is the co-founder of Stratagon Ryan, thanks again for joining the podcast.


Ryan Burkett: Yeah, thank you, Jeff. Enjoy the conversation. Look forward to the next opportunity.


Jeff Hamm: Thanks again to Ryan and Alex for joining the podcast and sharing the story behind Stratagon.


You can learn more about Stratagon at Ryan and Alex also invite you to connect with them on LinkedIn. I'll have the link to Stratagon as well as links to each of their LinkedIn profiles in the show notes for this episode.


As always, you can find the complete show notes for all of our episodes at the home of Charlotte's number-one small business podcast Friends thanks as always for following along with the Best of Charlotte Podcast another episode drops next week and I sincerely hope you'll join me again for a listen. Until then, cheers Charlotte. Bye for now.


Announcer: We hope you've enjoyed this episode of The Best of Charlotte. Please consider subscribing to the podcast to stay up to date on our weekly episodes and leave us a review. Until next time. Cheers, Charlotte.


Author Bio

Mollie is a digital marketing enthusiast who thrives on creativity and innovation. Her insights into digital marketing help businesses navigate the complexities of the digital world. Beyond marketing, Mollie finds her greatest joy in spending time and making memories with her family.