FC to Forage: Why I started a marketing operations business

Editor’s note: We want to congratulate Garrio, our longtime staffer and great friend, as he starts his new venture Forage. We wish him success and hope his selfless investment in our community pays great dividends. – Don Ball and Kyle Coolbroth, co-founders

The Fueled Collective leadership team at our last planning retreat.

Over the past 9 years I’ve been connected to the COCO, now Fueled Collective, entrepreneurial community. First as a member, then as overseeing the day-to-day operation of the St. Paul location and most recently overseeing technology and marketing operations.

During that time I’ve learned to appreciate the humble yet focused entrepreneurial spirit of the North. From business builders nurturing their ideas into successful businesses (Mary and Dori of Kidizen), to companies officing at Fueled Collective that helped shape their company culture (Leadpages), to large companies benefiting from having their teams absorb the energy and innovation present in each location (Optum, 3M, Google).

The one thing that has remained constant from the first day I met Kyle and Don and joined the community were the people. The members, the amazing team, supporters, and collaborators. Everyone genuinely interested in seeing each other thrive, celebrating wins and challenging each other.  

Why I’m leaving to start something new
During COCO’s early days, before transitioning to Fueled Collective we had to be intentional about our marketing resources in order to realize the vision of being Minnesota’s largest coworking community. That discipline still exists today as Fueled Collective. It has been a pleasure building the systems to make that a reality with the Fueled team.

I’m starting Forage to bring that same business-outcome-focused marketing to the larger entrepreneurial community and companies wanting to get more out of their marketing efforts.

Who Forage serves and the results we want to achieve
We work with marketing leaders and business builders who want to align their marketing and sales operations to achieve business outcomes, realizing their vision for their organization. We do that in three ways:

    1. Align creative energy with business outcomes
      We help creative teams prioritize projects that align with business goals and available resources.
    2. Orchestrate sales and marketing
      We create prospect lists that match our clients’ ideal customers to give sales and marketing the same target.
    3. Social technology activation, planning, and coaching

We help teams use LinkedIn and other social platforms to engage with the right customers and prospects.

What’s on the horizon for Forage
At the end of the day, every creative project with a business objective has one thing in common. Whether it’s a marketing initiative, an innovative product feature or a brand narrative designed to build a deeper connection with customers or your team. The one thing these items all have in common is they require making intentional use of your marketing resources. This is the challenge I launched Forage to solve.

As a part of that mission, we’ve partnered with AIGA Minnesota to launch a conversation series with creative and business leaders. These conversations will be focused on the practical side of creative projects, which often doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Join us on March 1st as we kick off this educational series with former Fueled Collective member and president of Foundry, Kurt Schmidt. If you’re interested in learning how my team and I can help you streamline your marketing efforts you can contact me at foragegrowth.com.