How to Build Community & Make Great Marketing Accessible

Erik Huberman, Founder and CEO, Hawke Media (Santa Monica, CA)

Erik Huberman is Founder and CEO of Hawke Media, an agency serving as “an outsourced CMO-level expert” which, Eric says, “puts client success ahead of our own.” The agency’s “SWOT team” identifies “holes” in a client’s marketing program and provides a “comprehensive à la carte menu of services and month-to-month contracts” to address those needs in a timely manner. Month-to-month works, Erik says, because the idea of signing a long-term contract with someone you have just met is like getting married to someone you’ve never even dated.”

When the agency started 6-1/2 years ago, the scope of services was relatively narrow – primarily e-commerce. In short order, Erik added content creation, production work, and web design. Last year, the agency purchased its first affiliate agency. Erik says that it was the -commerce community that built Hawke Media and e-commerce is still 70 percent of the agency’s business.

Today, customized, data-driven, performance-based solutions facilitate product launch, scaling, and business vitalization for a broad range of industries and business sizes. “Big” companies are responsible for only two percent of the agency’s revenues. 

Erik says his agency’s goal is to expand into 3 to 5 new territories this year. Rather than acquiring agencies or opening offices in new locations, Hawke hires talent in places “of interest.” When things in a particular area “start to open up,” the agency evaluates the kind of space they want . . . and if they want a space. New markets are selected based on market opportunity, cost of living. high concentration of ecommerce brands, SMBs, startup community, and agency saturation. He believes that TikTok, once it scrapes through the political issues, will be “one of the first things since Facebook and Instagram, to be a viable [and quite possibly great] advertising platform.”

Erik notes that building community is one of his agency’s core values. Hawkefest, an annual summit, has drawn 600 brand owners every year for the past 3 years. Since inception, the agency has sponsored weekly e-commerce Happy Hours, recently started fun bi-weekly Zoom events, and even more recently introduced a trivia night. The agency will partner with the city of LA to hose an e-commerce week starting September 28. 

Erik says that one thing he has learned over the years is that hiring and investing ahead of expected growth is “always a mistake.” Reacting to reality makes growth far more sustainable than proactively building for something that might or might not happen. Hiring and training executive talent is more difficult than hiring and training staff.

Hawke operates a venture fund that invests in marketing and e-commerce technology and e-commerce brands. E-commerce-related business doubled in Q2 of this year . . . both large businesses and small. Eric sees cellphone SNS (social networking service) marketing as a massive opportunity in the coming months, even more so than email.

Erik can be found on his agency’s website at https://hawkemedia.com/ or on any social media platform, including TikTok, @ or /ErikHuberman.