Jake Finkelstein is the CEO and Founder of 10cubed, a company that creates advanced technology for modern marketers. With a focus on growth and scale, 10cubed offers an all-in-one digital marketing platform that blends hands-on services and advanced tools to help brands grow faster at reduced costs with increased speed-to-market.
Jake is a serial entrepreneur and revenue marketing expert with over 25 years of brand and performance marketing experience. Before 10cubed he founded and led Method Savvy, an integrated marketing consultancy servicing ambitious middle-market and enterprise companies.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [03:28] Jake Finkelstein talks about the tools they create at 10cubed
- [06:05] Why is it important to talk to your customers and know their thoughts?
- [08:47] The lessons Jake learned from his previous agency that he uses at 10cubed
- [15:03] How Jake is pressure-testing in the B2B SaaS market
- [18:38] The eight practice areas at 10cubed
- [19:48] How Jake decides what not to do
- [22:05] What are the usual challenges and issues faced by 10cubed clients?
- [25:40] How 10cubed onboards new team members
- [29:25] Hiring local versus virtual staff
- [31:01] How Jake became an agency owner
- [37:12] Jake’s experience working with multiple industries, including music and manufacturing
- [41:21] Jake’s favorite work and productivity tools
In this episode…
In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, leveraging advanced technology and data is no longer a luxury — it’s a necessity. The ability to harness these tools can be the difference between a thriving business and one that falls behind. This episode is a treasure trove of insights for anyone looking to understand how data and technology can drive business growth.
Jake Finkelstein, a revenue marketing expert, is a pioneer in this space. With a unique blend of hands-on services, advanced technology, and exclusive data, Jake has taken the guessing game out of digital marketing. His journey from starting his first company as a teenager to becoming a successful digital marketing agency owner is a testament to his innovative approach and relentless drive.
In this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast, host Dr. Jeremy Weisz is joined by Jake Finkelstein, Founder and CEO of 10cubed. They delve into Jake’s journey of becoming a successful digital marketing agency owner, the importance of leveraging advanced technology and data in marketing, and the potential of digital marketing transforming industries that are lagging behind.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t by Verne Harnish
- Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman
- Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss
- The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win by Steve Blank
- Method Savvy
- Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business by Gino Wickman and Mark Winters
- “How to Craft a Compensation Plan that Attracts and Motivates the Right People For Your Company With Verne Harnish, Owner Scaling Up” on the Inspired Insider Podcast
- “Leading with Passion with Gino Wickman Founder of EOS Worldwide” on the Inspired Insider Podcast
- “Negotiation Tactics From FBI Agent Christopher Voss, Founder of Black Swan Ltd” on the Inspired Insider Podcast
- “[One Question] Closing A Promising Startup with Mark C. Winters of RocketFuelNow.com” on the Inspired Insider Podcast
- “Go out and ask all the dumb questions and get all the right answers.”
- “Nothing beats sitting across from somebody and asking the question and watching their body language.”
- “It’s very different running a business that has scale versus a business that is getting to scale.”
- “It’s really important to be self-aware enough to understand what you’re good at versus what you need people around you from a business operations standpoint to be really good at.”
- “You need to be really attuned to how the market is shifting so you can stay ahead of the curve instead of behind it.”
Sponsor for this episode
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Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90x, Atari, Einstein Bagels, Mattel, Rx Bars, YPO, EO, Lending Tree, Freshdesk, and many more.
The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.
Podcast production has a lot of moving parts and is a big commitment on our end; we only want to work with people who are committed to their business and to cultivating amazing relationships.
Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.
Insider Stories from Top Leaders & Entrepreneurs…
You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.
Jeremy Weisz 0:22
Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of inspiredinsider.com where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different I Jake Finkelstein of 10cubed.co. Jake, before I formally introduce you, I always like to point out other episodes people should check out of the podcast. Since we are in EO I had Vern Harnish on the podcast. He’s the founder of EO he wrote Scaling Up. That was a great interview. Also, another favorite guest in book was Gino Wickman, who wrote Traction who started EOS. And another fan favorite. One of my personal favorites is Chris Voss, who wrote Never Split the Difference. He’s a ex-FBI hostage negotiator. So I actually got the book, Jak, not for business, but because of kids, and I was like, I need to be able to better negotiate with my kids and get them out the door when they’re not listening to me. So that’s why I got the book, but that many more inspiredinsider.com. This episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships. And how do we do that? We actually help you run your podcast, we’re an easy button for a company to launch and run a podcast. We do the accountability, the strategy and the full execution. And Jake as an agency owner has started multiple agencies and just like agencies work, we’re the magic elves that work in the background and make sure the host makes it look easy for the hosts in the company. For me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way over the past decade to profile the people in companies I most admire and share with the world what they’re working on. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should, if you have questions go to rise25.com. Actually have many episodes I’ve done on Inspired Insider that walk through a lot of things like The Five Different Types of Episodes Every Podcast Should Create, How Do You Name Your Podcast and every other question that we’ve gotten, so you can check those out. And without further ado, I’m excited to introduce Jake Finkelstein. He’s the founder and CEO of 10cubed, you can find them at 10cubed.co. And 10cubed creates advanced technology for modern marketers, and he’ll go into what they’re doing and how kind of his agency journey has evolved to what he’s creating. Now. He’s a really accomplished serial entrepreneur and revenue marketing expert, he cut his teeth in the entertainment business before founding two successful marketing agencies and his past client experiences include, but it’s not limited to Lenovo, Citrix, Dollar Tree, to Duke University, and many, many more. Jake, thanks for joining me.
Jake Finkelstein 3:09
Jeremy, thanks so much for having me. It’s an honor and pleasure.
Jeremy Weisz 3:12
I’m really, really interested to hearing your evolution as an agency owner, and what lessons you brought from each of the past one to this one. But let’s just start with tell people a little about 10cubed, and what you do.
Jake Finkelstein 3:28
Great. So 10cubed is a marketing technology firm. As you mentioned, we create advanced technology for modern marketers. The first product that we brought to market is an all-in-one digital marketing platform that helps our clients accelerate revenue growth, decrease costs, and increase speed to market. So we’ve done a lot of work around creating a library of tools, resources and prepackaged services that allow us to live up to that promise. And we work with clients across industries have good stories to tell in b2b software as a service and manufacturing as well as a couple of others.
Jeremy Weisz 4:08
I know when we talked previously, you have, I think of I guess in sports. And when you look at sports, they have a playbook. And you were saying you have over 100 plays that you run talk about what that means that you have these plays for businesses to run?
Jake Finkelstein 4:28
Yeah, so no, it’s a great question. And they really fall into three buckets. So on one side, we’ve invented a number of tools that allow us to more efficiently and effectively again, scale revenue. And these have a very wide range of applicability. So it’s things like content creation, campaign planning, even simple tactical things like search engine optimization, and ad split testing on advertising. So right now, these are all kind of behind the curtain. As we’ve gone to market we’ve actually gotten a lot of feedback that our clients don’t want another screen to log into. So we do operate as a managed services business, but the kind of tools and technology we build, I personally find really fun and exciting. Second bucket is, we have prepackaged campaigns. So this is where the verticalization strategy that we have is really important every time that we run a play. So whether it’s an email program or digital advertising program, we learn and we get better because we’re constantly testing our hypotheses, and leveraging that data in a recursive learning standpoint. The third way is actually the data that we’re creating. So, this is primary data that’s built off all the different campaigns that we’re running across all of the industries and just makes what we’re doing that much more effective and efficient.
Jeremy Weisz 5:48
Talk about feedback. I mean, we’ll talk about the feedback that you’ve gotten that got you to this particular agency and what you learned from the last but what are some of the as 10cubed evolves, what are some of the feedback you’ve gotten that help you shape what you’re doing now?
Jake Finkelstein 6:05
Yeah, no, it’s a great question. So I am a huge believer in the customer development process as Steve Blank. If you’re familiar with Four Steps to the Epiphany, I think if you just got to go out and ask all the dumb questions and get all the right answers. And that’s really how I started every business, including 10cubed. So had this idea around building technology that was going to be more meaningful for marketers went out and just said, tell me all the reasons why this isn’t going to work. And what I kept hearing again, and again and again, is that they prospects were frustrated with the tool said that they oftentimes felt underwater, that, you know, they were under-resourced, and they really needed ways to more efficiently and effectively kind of do what they’re challenged to do, particularly when you’re dealing on the smaller side of the market. So think like $1 million to $10 million a year in revenue. They’re big goals. They’re ambitious, but the toolset doesn’t always scale to where they’re going. But if you look at kind of the fastest growing businesses in the world, they have these tools, they have these datasets. And we’re really trying to bring that down market. So the problem set really is around accessibility a lot of times, and the feedback that we’ve gotten from the tools over creating is, is that we actually move really fast in our clients really like that. Even if they don’t always understand how some of the magic is actually happening.
Jeremy Weisz 7:25
I was watching a video of you from, or 10 years ago, this is pre-beard. And you were actually talking about some of these exact same things, which is how important it is to talk to your customer and go and ask them their thoughts. Even going back then.
Jake Finkelstein 7:47
Yeah, I mean, I think that they’re particularly when you’re looking at creating personas or ideal customer profiles, the textbook is going to say, go out and do survey and go out and do, you know, third party research and look at the journals, I think all of that’s fine and good. But you know, maybe it’s the sales guy in me, nothing beats sitting across from somebody and asking the question and watching their body language watch where they pause, watch where they hesitate. I think all of that is enormously useful and tells you a lot about where their real pain points are, especially when you’re dealing with folks that may not be as sophisticated as you are in the subject matter, because they don’t know what they don’t know. And you can just learn so much by exploring questions in a real hands-on way, even if it’s not quite as scalable as something like a survey.
Jeremy Weisz 8:36
Talk about what you learned from your previous agency, Methods Savvy, I know you had a couple, what did you learn from Method Savvy that you now bring into 10cubed?
Jake Finkelstein 8:47
Oh, geez, how much time do you have? There’s tons of lessons there. So for context, I started Method Savvy 14 years ago, and change. So as a long, long journey, they’re very proud of what we’re able to accomplish, and in particular, the team’s efforts and in doing so. I think there’s a couple of key takeaways that I have. One is that it’s very different running a business that has scale versus a business that is getting to scale, they’re very often not the same skill sets. And that it’s really important to be self-aware enough to understand what you’re good at versus what you need people around you from a business operations standpoint to be really good at. So the way I’m taking that forward into 10cubed is, is that I’m making sure that I bring on operator for the business much, much sooner than I did at Methods Savvy. I think the second thing is, is that early on, we were positioned as a data-driven marketing company, which at the time was still innovative and kind of interesting now it’s just kind of par for the course. But after the first three or four years of the business, it started to not be as well differentiated and we didn’t move quickly enough to clarify are positioned. So ultimately, we ended up as a marketing partner for ambitious leaders. And we found that that worked very well, particularly the way that we articulated. And I’ll kind of spare the spiel here. But it really resonated well, because it blended all of our strategic and data-driven capabilities. And in a really focused way, I think the lesson that I’m taking for there with 10cubed is to constantly pressure test the position of market, because that evolves over time, it evolves over time for every business, and there’s no problem with that, but you need to be really attuned to how the market shifting so you can stay ahead of the curve instead of behind it. I was just gonna say the last thing that I’ll say is the importance of reinforcing culture consistently. And all the leadership books will tell you that, so like, I’m not breaking any new ground there. But really making sure that culture is the lens that we’re hiring through and firing through. And doing that in a, again, a scalable way. So it really permeates the culture is another important value that I’m going to bring forward here. As we move ahead.
Jeremy Weisz 11:06
What I was gonna ask was, you mentioned you would bring in an operator sooner. And you do focus on things you’re good at? What do you feel you’re good at? And then I’m interested in what do you look for in an operator?
Jake Finkelstein 11:21
Yeah, so what I’m most passionate about is product development and the big relationships. So I have that typical, visionary problem is, is that I have way more ideas than I can actually execute. So I like to play in the dirt, a lot experiment, have these customer development conversations, see what’s going to stick and then inspire people to go build it. That’s a lot of fun for me, and really, where I want to spend the bulk of my time. Also enjoy the big relationships, I’m a natural salesperson. So it kind of comes with the territory, I get a lot of energy from that. So desire to spend my time primarily in those two areas. Now, to your question about what I look for in an operator, not to be pedantic, but certainly experience in the role, and when I say operator, I’m really referring to, you mentioned EOS earlier, the kind of prototypical integrator. So somebody that’s done it before, that has the experience that understands how to, particularly for this business, operate in a technology company, because it’s very different than a services business, in my experience. And somebody that has loads of patients, and I would argue, probably, if not, most importantly, pretty close to the top is understanding how to say no to me, in a way that I’ll actually listen to, because I think like a lot of founders, I can be pretty passionate sometimes. And there’s an art to saying no to somebody like me.
Jeremy Weisz 12:47
Yeah, there’s an interview I did with Mark Winters, who co-authored Rocketfuel, Gino Wickman, I think they have a quiz somewhere that you can see, where are you on that spectrum of visionary or integrator? So probably I think they were saying it’s definitely more common for the founders to be more visionary than integrators.
Jake Finkelstein 13:12
Yeah. Yeah, I think it’s what sub-5% of leaders are integrators. So not an easy role to fill, but a very, very important one.
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