What Does it Mean to be a Snap-In Team?
Kyle Hoffman, Director of Growth Strategy | September 07 2023
It’s no secret that a robust growth strategy is essential to drive long-lasting and sustainable success in today’s ever-changing business landscape. Historically, businesses tapped into traditional advertising agencies for help, but times are changing. As consumer demands and technology evolve rapidly, the traditional agency model has become obsolete, less effective, and increasingly out of sync with the fast-paced nature of business.
Today, we’re seeing a major shift from a “We do it for you” to a “we do it with you” model – and for good reasons. Snap-in teams are a new way for successful direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands to find smart paths toward scale. As a dynamic and strategic solution reshaping how successful companies achieve growth, it’s a game-changer for brands aiming to thrive in today’s competitive market.
In this article, we look at why the traditional agency model is dying and how a snap-in team can advance D2C growth from within.
What happened to the traditional agency model?
Gone are the days when a decent product and mediocre advertising were enough to guarantee growth for direct-to-consumer brands. As brands strive to keep up with ever-changing market demands, the modern growth landscape demands a completely new way of thinking. Sustainable growth requires cutting-edge technology, an obsessive pursuit of product marketing fit, persistent content creation, and so much more.
These requirements make it difficult for a single person or small team to succeed. And employee burnout is at an all-time high. In a recent study conducted by Deloitte, 77 percent of employees reported feeling burned out in their current role. For businesses relying on full-time teams, burnout is troubling. Not only does it reduce productivity, but burnout can stunt innovation and make problems seem impossible to solve.
Most companies know they need an effective growth strategy in order to be successful, however, not all companies are created equal. Some companies start with massive amounts of funding while others start in a garage or as a family business.
The traditional agency usually provides a “one-size-fits-all" approach, disregarding a business’s unique challenges. Instead of meeting companies where they are now and guiding them to where they want to go, the traditional agency typically stays in their comfort zone, rolling out standardized campaigns that can only be modified to a certain extent.
We’ve seen far too many agencies profit from a struggling direct-to-consumer industry, demanding high retainer costs while putting forth the bare minimum. As a result, brands are left in the dust, trying to pick up the slack and the pieces left behind from a disjointed strategy.
It is clear that the siloed agency model simply will not work and is antiquated by design. Instead, it takes a well-orchestrated effort from within the brand to succeed.
Enter – the concept of a “Snap-In Team.” This innovative model provides D2C brands with a flexible, scalable, and method-agnostic approach to tackle the most significant challenges.
Why the Snap-In Team Approach Works
We created Function Growth as brand-side growth experts with a desire to flip the script. We knew the traditional agency model wasn’t working – for both sides.
At the core of the snap-in model is the belief that successful direct-to-consumer growth must come from within. Growth requires in-house, brand-side experts who use method-agnostic problem solving to solve diverse challenges that D2C brands face on a daily basis. Instead of relying on isolated agencies, Function Growth advocates for a collaborative and synergistic approach – that “we do it with you” mentality.
This methodology offers major benefits to all parties involved. Here’s how:
Benefit #1: Access to a Team of Experts
One of the most significant advantages of working with a team that “snaps” into your in-house team is gaining access to a team of experienced professionals. Rather than relying on a single in-house marketer or outsourcing to multiple freelancers, Function Growth offers a collective team of diverse experts, acting as an extension of the company. We operate broadly across technology, marketing, and business consulting, so we can focus our attention on the areas that matter most to scale efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, this ensures your growth strategy is cohesive, consistent, and effective across business units.
Benefit #2: Flexibility and Scalability
Our snap-in team brings a level of agility that traditional agencies struggle to match. Instead of providing a rigid set of services, we offer flexibility in terms of resources and services, offering a tailored approach based on real-time data and feedback.
As your business grows, your business requirements and needs are bound to evolve. You need a partner that can evolve and scale with you. Function Growth’s diverse team of professionals swiftly adapts to shifts in the market and industry trends. And, with specialized professionals on board, we can provide timely solutions to emerging business challenges, ensuring your brand remains competitive and ahead of the curve.
Benefit #3: Method-Agnostic Problem Solving
One of the most significant problems with traditional agencies is the one-size-fits-all solutions. At Function Growth, we tailor our strategies to suit your brand’s specific challenges and goals. Since we're flexible in our methodology, we custom-fit our strategy to your needs to deliver optimal results.
At Function Growth, our methodology is driven by the idea that technology-enabled commerce that puts human behavior, desires, aspirations, and beliefs at its core is the only way for brands to move the needle. This unique approach has allowed us to help countless direct-to-consumer brands scale efficiently. By crafting strategies that resonate on a personal level and tap into human behavior, we create meaningful connections that drive growth and loyalty.
Benefit #4: Integrated Efforts
A major problem with traditional agencies is they typically work in silos. You may have a weekly check-in call with the agency, go your separate ways for a few days, and repeat the process... forever. This tedious and repetitive routine makes it hard to have a truly integrated and connected partnership, which can create a huge disconnect between both parties.
Rather than working in silos, our experts collaborate closely with your internal teams, acting as an extension of your team with shared goals and united efforts. It’s a true partnership. This integrated approach aligns everyone toward the same growth objectives, resulting in a harmonious and synchronized growth strategy.
Benefit #5: Shared Incentives
The traditional cost-based compensational model for agencies has been the industry standard for decades. You know the model – agencies are paid a fixed retainer amount of a pre-determined timeline, regardless of the value they create.
It’s a completely outdated model that needs a reboot.
The traditional agency compensation model needs to be revised for a very important reason: It misaligns the economic incentives on each side. Instead of driving value that benefits all parties involved, the traditional compensation model focuses on efforts, activities, and costs.
Function Growth operates exclusively on zero-profit compensation models with revenue share and equity deals to create an environment for mutual success.
Putting our skin in the game creates a truly strategic and integrated partnership. Whether we win, or we fail, we do it together. Sharing the risks and rewards helps foster rapid growth, forge a true partnership, and motivate teams.
Benefit #6: Strategic Leadership and Affordability
Whether starting from scratch or ramping up a brand, one factor that most companies need to consider is the financial costs of bringing on executives to help scale a business. A company must consider the time and money spent on onboarding, training, and possible new tools or platforms needed.
The “fractional” or “snap-in” executive model provides founders a cost-effective way to ensure their brands fit more for purpose upon launch. At Function Growth, we hold leadership positions with over 95% of our clients.
This model allows D2C businesses to tap into the expertise of experienced professionals without committing to a full-time hire. Whether remuneration is based on equity or commission, the snap-in C-suite is a viable and cost-effective alternative to full-time staff.
Real-World Success Story
We put our money where our mouth is and have the track record to prove it. We’ve demonstrated success in driving growth and overcoming challenges at every stage for direct-to-consumer brands.
Take the case of Wellow, a Function Growth-owned and operated D2C wellness compression sock brand. We identified a need in the marketplace for a compression sock brand and have been responsible for every aspect of the creation of the brand – from developing the product to developing early traction and so on. In our first year of business, we earned $5M in sales and are expected to see continued growth in the years to come. Our website conversion rates, which usually hover between 1 and 3%, reached 4%.
Additionally, we partnered with Ami Wellness, a female-owned company offering non-toxic, plant-based wellness products. We helped establish and differentiate the brand in an increasingly crowded CBD marketplace. By providing growth consulting and innovative e-commerce marketing tactics to generate sales, Ami Wellness experienced a 4x increase in their website conversion rate, a 175% decrease in CAC in the first six months, and 1500+ affiliate leads in the first 30 days of launch.
These success stories illustrate the transformative impact of an integrated and thoughtful snap-in approach.
Paving the Path to Future Growth
Traditional agencies are out, and snap-in teams are in. The snap-in team model has ushered in a new era of growth strategy for direct-to-consumer brands, blending agility, expertise, and a human-centric approach for an unparalleled competitive advantage.
Function Growth has a proven track record of propelling brands to new heights of success. If you are looking to unlock exponential growth and work with an integrated, collaborative partner, get in touch with us today.