Career Journey with Marketing Leaders – Nicholas Nomann, Chief Marketing Officer at We Feed Raw

Welcome to the latest edition of Career Journey with Marketing Leaders. 

 

Following last year’s mini-blog series, where we heard from eight CMOs in the UK, this new season will see us focus on senior marketing leaders across the USA. 

 

I’ll be interviewing top-class Chief Marketing Officers and senior marketing leaders working in the consumer market, focusing on the D2C space throughout the United States. 

Each episode will ask questions to uncover how they got to where they are today, challenges faced, emerging trends, biggest failures and a moment of reflection. 

 

I’m thrilled to welcome a key partner of Acquire Digital Talent, Nicholas Nomann, CMO at We Feed Raw. 

 

We Feed Raw is a subscription-based pet health brand offering species-appropriate raw meal plans for dogs. Their company exemplifies what happens when “love” for pets becomes more than a vague notion and transforms into something that compels them to work actively to improve their lives.

 

Before We Feed Raw, Nick started his growth marketing agency and DTC brand in Yoga. Let’s dive in and learn more about his journey!

Alex Marriner: Tell us a little about your marketing career and journey to where you are today.

 

Nick: For the past thirteen years, I’ve been riding the wave of growth marketing, starting with those early, game-changing days of Facebook ads and then moving on to kick off my growth marketing agency focused on D2C and subscription models.

 

This adventure led me to start Yoga Club, my very own direct-to-consumer brand, and eventually, to my current gig as Chief Marketing Officer at We Feed Raw, a company that’s all about healthier dog food options through a membership model.

 

Since I joined We Feed Raw two years back; we’ve hit the gas and seen our ARR shoot up by 6x, diving headfirst into the pet food industry—a whole new playground for me.

 

My role has shifted from getting my hands dirty with growth hacking to leading innovation, managing teams, and setting up processes to keep us growing strong.

 

The pet food world has been an awesome ride so far, full of new stuff to learn and ways to adapt as we keep expanding. I’m super excited about where we’re heading in the pet food market, especially with the amazing growth we’ve seen in just a short time, and it doesn’t look like we’re slowing down anytime soon.

Alex: What’s the one marketing campaign that you are most proud of and why?

 

Nick: Launching Yoga Club was an exhilarating leap into the unknown, a venture that might just be remembered as the most cost-effective campaign in marketing history. With nothing but a Shopify site and a promise to deliver a full activewear outfit for less than the cost of a single high-end legging.

 

I set a personal challenge: to transition from the stability of my growth marketing agency to the unpredictable world of starting a brand.

 

The criteria for success were simple yet daunting—if a hundred people signed up for this concept, a mere spark of an idea without vendors, inventory, or even a customer service line, I would dive headfirst into this new venture, leaving behind the security of a leading D2C marketing agency.

 

To my amazement, I woke up to a hundred orders the morning after launching the site and ads, a clear sign that the concept had struck a chord. This was more than just market interest; it was the start of something special.

 

I personally reached out to these first customers, explained the situation, and invited them to be part of our journey from the ground up. About half of them were intrigued enough to stay on board despite the initial uncertainty.

 

This campaign wasn’t just about launching a product; it was a testament to the power of a bold idea and the willingness to take risks. It laid the foundation for Yoga Club, proving that even the smallest spark can ignite a flame of excitement and innovation.

 

 

Alex: What are the key challenges facing D2C CMOs in 2024?

 

Nick: Heading into 2024, the game for D2C CMOs is about moving from those one-and-done deals to building lasting customer relationships. We’re talking multiple touchpoints and repeat purchases, all with the goal of making fans for life or at least for a good long while.

 

This shift is key to keeping our numbers healthy and making sure our businesses can stick around for the long haul. Plus, there’s a big push towards being smart about profits and ensuring we’re not just chasing growth without thinking about the bottom line.

 

This is super important now since snagging venture capital, equity, or a decent loan is getting tougher than it used to be. It’s a whole new ballgame, and if we want to keep winning, we’ve got to play smarter, focusing on being financially savvy in a more competitive world than ever.

 

 

Alex: What emerging marketing trends do you anticipate will have the most impact on D2C businesses in the coming year?

 

Nick: Bringing AI into the mix is changing the game for how we handle everything in business and marketing these days. It’s all about getting ahead of the curve with predictive models that can tell us everything from how customers might journey through our sites to which leads are hot, what kind of value we can expect from customers in the long run, and who’s likely to stick around.

 

AI is our new best friend for making smarter decisions and really connecting with our customers on a whole new level. This move to tap into AI for the inside scoop and tailor experiences that really resonate with people is going to be a huge deal for D2C marketing moving forward.

 

 

Alex: What has been your biggest marketing failure? And what were the key lessons you gained from that experience?

 

Nick: Looking back at my biggest marketing oops moment, it definitely goes back to the Yoga Club days. We were all in on women’s activewear for a subscription model, but we missed the mark on how well it actually fit with what the market wanted.

 

Even though we were cooking up some pretty advanced marketing tech, we stuck too long with a plan that just wasn’t clicking. That whole adventure hammered home how important it is to be ready to shake things up and try new directions, like switching gears to a tech platform for subscription services.

 

The big takeaway? Stay nimble, listen to what the feedback tells you, and don’t be afraid to pivot fast to stay in tune with what your customers are looking for.

 

 

Alex: What would you tell your younger self?

 

Nick: Hey younger me, buckle up because those tough times and challenges? They’re actually golden tickets to learning and growing faster than you ever thought possible. At work, don’t shy away from the tough stuff. It’s those very moments that are going to make your career truly satisfying.

 

And hey, remember the incredible flexibility you’ve got with digital marketing? Use it to the max. Get out there, work from wherever you fancy, soak up new cultures, and see the world. Trust me, the road’s going to have its share of bumps and twists, but every single step, stumble, and leap is going to build you up, shaping a career and a life that’s as rich and rewarding as they come.

 

 

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Alex Marriner is the Founder & Managing Partner at Acquire Digital Talent. 

 

 

Acquire Digital Talent is a people-first Leadership Search & Recruitment Firm that exclusively partners with Direct-To-Consumer (D2C/DTC) companies to build Digital & Growth Marketing Leadership teams. Our expertise and reputation ensure successful delivery across niche, critical and executive appointments from Seed to Series A and beyond.