Kara Brown has spent more than a decade building a marketing skill set specific for the B2B software market. She has worked for startups and large firms, and her expertise ranges from PR to enterprise data management.
In 2006, Brown was one of the first employees of Echo Global Logistics. A one-woman marketing department, she managed all brand, image, and marketing initiatives for the company. In 2009, Brown worked with sales and IT leadership to develop and launch www.myfreight.com, Echo’s self-serve LTL website. She was also responsible for driving traffic to this new revenue stream.
In late 2008, CEO of Echo, Doug Waggoner, asked Brown to take on the role of Investor Relations. She had no prior exposure to the securities market but rose to the occasion. On October 9, 2009, Echo held a successful IPO and Brown was the company’s first Director of Investor Relations, at 26.
Brown was recruited by SEKO Worldwide as director of global marketing. In a short 9 months she was able to execute a corporate website and email re-brand. From there Brown made was recruited by OHL (Ozburn-Hessey Logistics), at the time a $2B Nashville based global supply chain provider with clients like Apple, Starbucks, Samsung, Sony, and Remington.
PE firm Welsh Carson was preparing the company for an IPO exit and Brown was to lead IR when the time came. Instead of an IPO, the company underwent a Federal TSA investigation and possible whistle-blowing by the CBS evening news. By the spring of 2011, Brown had weathered a major communications crisis with almost no market exposure. The company was not unscathed and Welsh Carson replaced most senior staff. In 2015, OHL was bought by GEODIS, as the smaller, legacy contract logistics company.
In 2012, Brown set up a consulting practice, SmithBrown Marketing. She is essentially the outsourced CMO for six transportation and transportation technology companies. Her clients depend on her for all things marketing including lead sourcing, scoring, marketing automation, CRM implementation and management, tradeshow execution, collateral development, PR, website development and management, search engine optimization, and social media engagement. She uses her skill set, expertise in logistics and relationships to execute well-designed marketing strategies for her clients, usually on a very limited budget.
In 2015, Brown took the risk on a trash startup in Atlanta, Rubicon Global. Her former colleague and friend was leading the sales team and asked her to come be his counterpart and build the marketing team from scratch. Brown built a five person marketing team from scratch, delivered an entirely new revenue stream with more than $100k in revenue, and built a new website with a 400% improved conversion rate.
Brown is now back to consulting in Atlanta after falling in love with the weather. She currently lives in Morningside with her husband and two daughters. She is an Ironman athlete and is wrapped up her MBA from Dominican University in the Spring, 2017.