Fearless Flexibility: How Marcomm supported Ostra Cybersecurity in bringing its marketing vision to life through seasons of rapid growth
When it comes to hiring marketing talent, sometimes you know exactly what you need. But what if your situation is more dynamic—as in, you’re a tech startup company with a fantastic product, but limited marketing infrastructure to support it? Here’s the good news: with a few connections and a willingness to think outside the box, it’s possible to find marketing resources that are flexible enough to grow along with your organization.
That’s exactly what happened for Ostra Cybersecurity. Launched in 2018, Ostra is a Security Service provider that is revolutionizing the way cybersecurity is delivered to small and medium-sized businesses. Ostra combines a best-in-class, fully managed solution to simplify cybersecurity for IT firms, Managed Service Providers, and the SMB clients they serve.
Exploring the options
When Ostra first approached Marcomm in late 2020, they didn’t have an in-house marketing department—but knew their growth strategy would require marketing guidance and consistent project execution. Ostra hoped Marcomm could recruit a part-time marketing project manager to join their team on a contract basis.
Marcomm worked with Ostra’s leadership to define the gaps they were hoping to fill with this new hire, while sharing more about the different ways they serve clients through four pillars of service: Contract Staffing, Fractional Marcomm ExecutionTM, Project & SOW, and Hiring Solutions. After weighing their options, Ostra decided that Marcomm’s “fractional team” approach—versus a single contractor—would be the best option in providing them with the marketing expertise and flexibility that their growth-oriented company needed.
At Marcomm, fractional marketing teams are always anchored by a marketing project manager, but they pull in specialists as needed. For example: in a given week, a client’s project scope might require a few hours of collaboration between a marketing project manager, a copywriter, a web developer, a graphic designer, a videographer, or a social media/analytics specialist—all adding up to about half of the hours that one full-time employee might spend in the office. Month to month, Marcomm’s fractional teams deliver the same level of expertise that clients might expect from a typical marketing agency, but at a fraction of the cost.
Finding the right match
To meet Ostra’s needs, Marcomm selected Stacey Kusnier as the Senior Marketing Project Manager for Ostra. Stacey had a strong background in digital strategy, B2B marketing execution and marketing automation in the tech space. In addition, her knack for big-picture thinking while also attending to operational tasks made her well suited to support Ostra’s marketing efforts. Stacey started working with Ostra in January 2021.
“With 30 years of marketing recruiting experience under our belt, Marcomm knows how to find the right resources for our clients,” stated Ben Clark, Co-Founder and President at Marcomm. “In Ostra’s case, we leveraged that experience to build an ideal Fractional Marketing Team to serve this growing company’s unique needs.”
One of Stacey’s first initiatives was to help Ostra become more focused and strategic with its marketing efforts. She worked closely with Ostra leaders including Michael Kennedy (Founder), Joe Johnson (President) and Paul Dobbins (Chief Growth Officer) as they carved out marketing priorities and established timelines. Stacey also helped Ostra set up automation and project management tools to improve efficiency, project visibility and collaboration.
As a growing company, Ostra needed to focus on building its sales pipeline and gaining the attention of prospective end users as well as Channel Partners. Over the next several months, Marcomm helped Ostra clearly define its audience in the tech/cybersecurity space through a whiteboarding session with Ostra leaders as well as Voice of the Customer (VOC) research. This enabled the Ostra team to confidently pivot their business in the right direction with data-driven insights into their value proposition and customer needs. Marcomm began creating blogs, vlogs, and social content for Ostra that aligned with these insights.
Around the same time, Marcomm was tasked with refreshing Ostra’s website to better attract and support its Channel Partners. Marcomm’s fractional marketing team collaborated with business development leaders at Ostra to build a Channel Partner page as well as a Partner Portal for the new website.
In the first three months of working with Marcomm, Ostra’s refocused marketing content resulted in:
- 154% increase in Ostra’s website traffic
- 158% increase in new website visitors
- 565% increase in social media referral traffic to the website
- 473% increase in LinkedIn referral traffic to website
A continuing partnership
For the next two years, Marcomm continued to work with Ostra to apply the new content strategy to sales and marketing collateral, investor materials, ongoing web/social posts, and marketing assets to support Ostra’s participation in trade shows, speaking engagements, and other industry events. Marcomm helped Ostra achieve greater consistency in its visual branding across all channels.
Then in January 2023, Ostra made some strategic shifts and new hires in its sales and marketing organization—and invited Stacey Kusnier to become its full-time Marketing Director. Over the next several months, Ostra continued to utilize Marcomm’s fractional team on a variety of marketing tasks. However, as an organization that had doubled its headcount since first contacting Marcomm, Ostra was looking at different ways to execute marketing projects.
After further examining their needs and goals, Ostra entered a part-time, contract staffing arrangement with Marcomm in June 2023. Marcomm employee Noelle Epp, a copywriter and designer who had already been working with Ostra on the fractional team for more than two years, was ready to roll with the new approach.
Karen Stejskal, Director of Fractional Marketing at Marcomm, shared why this transition was seamless. “The internal culture at Marcomm tends to attract employees who value transparency and flexibility,” Stejskal stated. “Our close-knit team truly enjoys solving marketing challenges for our clients—so when they need to change directions or tactics, we’re rolling up our sleeves to help them succeed.”
Over the past few months, Marcomm has continued to assist Ostra with a variety of marketing projects under the new contract staffing scope—including a website redesign, new sales enablement materials, company announcements, and more.
Joe Foley, Founder/CEO at Marcomm, summarizes: “Marcomm enjoys being able to provide Ostra with the marketing expertise they need to thrive, on flexible terms that don’t constrain their growth goals.”
Curious about the flexibility that a marketing partner like Marcomm can offer? Contact us to explore your options.