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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2023

We help our clients see around corners, anticipate the challenges, and provide the expertise necessary to help them be wildly successful: Lou Hughes, Founder & CEO of Moving Minds


“Our marketing teams are led by fractional CMOs who bring deep expertise across all marketing channels and understand the interdependency between marketing, sales, operations, and support.”

Moving Minds is an award-winning global marketing agency offering Fractional CMOs and ‘Growth-as-a-Managed-Service’ to private equity and venture-backed companies. Based in West Palm Beach, Florida, Moving Minds serves clients worldwide.

Lou Hughes founded Moving Minds in 2006 and currently serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Hughes has led mission-critical growth initiatives, strategic marketing, and digital transformation for a diverse group of global clients, including Siemens, MasterCard, Citibank, Caremark, Axogen, Schweiger Dermatology, Thomson Reuters, Costar Group, Guidewell, Fannie Mae, Tessco, The United Nations, Norwest Venture Partners, Deerfield Management, Lindsay Goldberg, Accel-KKR and Ballast Ventures.

Mr. Hughes is recognized for consistently increasing his clients’ business valuation by driving demand utilizing strategic marketing, branding & repositioning, digitalization, e-commerce, and marketing systems.

The Silicon Review reached out to Mr. Hughes, and here’s what he had to say.

Interview Highlights

Q. What does Moving Minds’ innovation culture look like? What strategies are in place to encourage innovation in your Company?

Marketing is rapidly evolving with new channels, techniques, data and analytics. And now, we are entering the early stages of the AI era and marketers will have to determine how they can use artificial intelligence to give their clients and companies a competitive advantage.

Our clients depend on Moving Minds to stay on top of the landscape so that we can recommend and implement new capabilities to accelerate their growth.

Not a single day goes by without us learning something new and recognizing how new marketing innovations can be applied to optimize their revenue growth.

Over the years, we have built an extensive network of partners specializing in every aspect of marketing – from CRM and marketing automation solutions to digital advertising platforms and contact data tools – so that we can recommend and implement state-of-the-art solutions to enable their ability to drive revenue and measure the performance of their marketing investments.

Our marketing experts are intensely curious. We love what we do and enjoy the learning process so that we can apply our intellectual property to benefit our customers.

Q. Can you introduce us to your services? What are their main features?

Our services range from strategy to execution across all marketing channels — from branding, creative, messaging and positioning to digital advertising, website design and development, PR, marketing automation and multi-channel campaigns. We call it ‘Growth-as-a-Managed-Service.’

When I founded Moving Minds in 2006, I envisioned creating a marketing agency with a broader, holistic and more strategic view of a Chief Marketing Officer. For marketing to be successful, you need concentrated force, which requires the integration of touchpoints, channels and tactics.

Many companies make the mistake of hiring a discombobulated assemblage of agencies, contractors and freelancers, each specializing in only one marketing channel.

As a result, the right arm doesn’t know what the left arm is doing, which negatively affects the results of their investments. Who is ultimately accountable for the results? Watch the finger-pointing begin.

CEOs need a singular partner who can orchestrate their marketing with singular accountability. We welcome the challenge because we are confident in our ability to deliver results. By having one fully integrated agency — from strategy to execution — CEOs and CMOs no longer have the burden of managing various agencies and pulling together KPIs across channels. Having one partner saves them enormous resources, time, and energy because Moving Minds orchestrates all of the moving parts for them. We connect the dots.

Our clients appreciate that we have served as Chief Marketing Officers. We’ve sat in their seats and understand the pressures and dynamics CMOs face daily, whether internally or externally. We help our clients see around corners, anticipate the challenges, and provide the expertise necessary to help them be wildly successful.

Q. What innovative strategies does Moving Mind implement to leverage customers with mission-critical MarTech initiatives and needs?

Often, it’s not necessarily about innovative strategies required to generate growth. Most of the time, it’s the ‘blocking and tackling’ executing the fundamentals of marketing well. You’d be surprised at how many opportunities we find related to execution that, if addressed, can have a material impact on their business.

Sometimes clients don’t know what they don’t know. As Fractional CMOs, we help them identify missed opportunities and fix them. As we address fundamental flaws, we then expand into more innovative approaches. In some cases, it may be the deployment of new systems or the use of different channels and innovative techniques to target more of their ideal customers.

We begin every client engagement by baselining KPIs. If they aren’t measuring their marketing investments, Moving Minds can help them implement the systems required. Many marketing organizations struggle to rationalize their existence and demonstrate tangible results. Without the ability to measure, clients jeopardize their jobs. It’s no wonder why marketing budgets are often the first to get cut. We put the marketing infrastructure in place to demonstrate the effectiveness of our efforts.

Q. How is Moving Mind helping businesses to accelerate execution velocity and sourcing specialized MarTech talent fractionally?

CEOs need to move quickly, and their boards are getting more impatient. Many of our clients, Series-A and Series-B private equity and venture capital-backed companies, have ambitious growth targets. Still, most don’t have the scale or budget to build a huge internal department of marketing FTEs. To compete and win, they know they need Fractional CMOs with enterprise-class marketing expertise.

We give our clients access to world-class marketing capabilities by utilizing fractional teams of marketing experts – all bound together with the leadership of a Fractional CMO.

The average time to recruit a CMO is four months, a lifetime in technology, software, and healthcare. Even after a CMO comes on board, they must recruit a diverse team to execute their vision. The entire process of building an internal team may take nine to 12 months. The opportunity cost of lost revenue and net new customers is enormous.

With Moving Minds, we already have a fully formed marketing organization in place, and clients have on-demand access to an entire team of multi-channel marketers on a fractional basis. Early-stage and even mid-size companies may not need full-time marketers. The economics don’t make sense. So, they often hire a gaggle of disparate vendors. Our fractional approach allows our clients to collapse the time required to implement their growth initiatives.

We like to say, build your pipeline, not your headcount. Companies can expect stellar results without having to onboard an entire team of FTEs, and a CEO can focus on addressing the needs of the rest of the business with the confidence that Moving Minds will deliver results their board expects to achieve.

Q. Tell us about the Moving Mind team. What value do they bring to the Company?

We have more than 35 employees and contractors spread across the United States and the world, each of whom is an expert in a particular field of marketing.

Our marketing teams are led by fractional chief marketing officers who bring deep expertise across all marketing channels and understand the interdependency between marketing, sales, operations, and support. We can uniquely connect the dots and break down silos and functional barriers. With Moving Minds, our clients know they will receive state-of-the-art recommendations and innovative strategies that exceed their competitors’ capabilities.

Q. Will Moving Mind be expanding, bringing on any services we should know?

Yes, we will launch a diverse array of new marketing solutions in the fourth quarter of 2023 and the beginning of 2024.

We will expand our Fractional CMO consulting services with more advisory services that include pre- and post-acquisition assessment to help private equity companies perform deeper due diligence on the marketing readiness for achieving the desired growth targets.

We will also launch a new contact targeting solution for B2B clients, enabling Moving Minds to identify and market individual ICPs. Our new B2B offering called Lazr provides a more efficient manner to build awareness and provide air support for sales outreach.

Q. What level of growth do you hope to see in the next five years?

We are growing at about a 40% rate annually. Because of our model, we expect to continue our trajectory as more companies recognize the value of leveraging a fractional vs. full-time FTE staffing model. More companies realize that fractional marketing teams allow them to accelerate their velocity, the flexibility to adapt more quickly to changing market conditions with less risk and reduce the cost of hiring and retaining full-time FTEs while still having on-demand access to world-class integrated marketing talent.

About | Lou Hughes

Lou Hughes, founder, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Moving Minds.

Mr. Hughes attended The University of Southern California, Harvard Business School Online, and The University of Alabama, graduating with a BA in Communication. He has received numerous industry awards for excellence in marketing, digital marketing, e-commerce, branding, and creative achievement, including a Webby Award, Internet Week 100 recognition, and multiple Interactive Media Awards and WebAwards.

“We will expand our Fractional CMO consulting services with more advisory services that include pre- and post-acquisition assessment to help private equity companies perform deeper due diligence on the marketing readiness for achieving the desired growth targets.”