I combine data + marketing to define emerging marketings. And that is why I crave learning and growth. I have worked in everything from nationwide agencies to publicly traded SaaS companies. Started my first business at 16, built my first website at 17 and haven’t looked back since.
You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.
~Clay P. Bedford
At one point I owned more than 10,000 local B2C domains, and at Verizon SuperPages was responsible for a network of websites which boasted more than 32,000,000 monthly unique visitors. I built Freegrader, which has graded more than 100,000 websites since it was launched.
One summer when I was 7, I took old cardboard laying around the house and built a mock up of my dream city. You can image my mother’s delight when it grew over the next few days to take up the entire living room. It seems I have been a builder my entire life.
At 11, I took my father’s tape measure and documented every square inch of our three bedroom house. Why? So that I could have a perfectly scaled blueprint of it to hang on my wall. I wanted to know every square inch of the place I called home.
Repetitiveness and tedium drove me crazy growing up, and at the time I really had no idea why. Looking back you can clearly see a young man craving an intellectual challenge, and finding only manual labor.
As a teenager I created dozens of websites, and bought and sold hundreds of domain names. Domain names were a chance for him to create value. It was my earliest exposure to entrepreneurship and business. I could buy a domain name that nobody wanted, then possibly turn around and sell it for a profit.
Until I was about 18 years old, I focused almost solely on learning web design and how it related to search engines. That meant night and day, weekends and weekdays, looking at everything through the eyes of Google. I would eat, sleep, and breathe ranking algorithms, and over time it became second nature.
Just like I visualized that dream city as a child before I built it, I would stay awake at night and visualize entire websites before they are ever created. I could see the potential of thousands of pages of digital content, all without a single line of code.
In 2003, I started buying and selling domain names, using advanced tools like Estibot to discover quick profits. From analyzing 60,000 URLs on a drop list, to scouring aftermarket auctions for expiring names, I developed a passion for data, advanced tools, and digital strategy.
I quickly discovered that while a domain might have intrinsic value, it’s real value is unleashed when you build a website on it.
That transition lead to launching my first affiliate website in late 2004, which became a network of more than 70+ affiliate websites by early 2005.
My passion for technology drove him forward through many late nights and long hours teaching myself Product Marketing, Content Strategy, SEO, Email Marketing, HTML, CSS, and Domain Valuations.
This passion then translated into a host of public speaking opportunities as well as volunteer opportunities with non-profits. During this time I helped several international non-profits expand into India, Africa, and Central America. It was during these campaigns that I truly began to understand the power of global influence of combining data and marketing.
Fast forward to 2010, and I was fortunate enough to land a job at DexMedia, as the Search Marketing Manager for all their brands and solutions.
By completely rewriting the application taxonomy for over 25,000 business categories, I was able to increase organic traffic to Superpages.com by 64% in my first year of employment.
This added more than 148 million unique visitors, and saved millions of dollars in traffic acquisition costs. During my time there, Superpages.com grew to one of the 50 most-visited websites in the country, with more than 32M monthly unique visitors.
It was also during this time that I was asked to build a tool to enable our 2,000+ nationwide salesforce to sell new digital solutions to local businesses. It was called Freegrader. In less than 6 weeks, the tool was live and graded more than 20,000 websites in it’s first month.
The launch was so successful that I won the Verizon MVP award for Freegrader. I was even honored with a medal by the CEO and Chairman of the Board at the companies annual corporate meeting. 6 years later, it is still in broad use supporting a business with $2 billion in annual revenues.
In the fall of 2012, I joined RealPage as Marketing Director, tasked with eliminating a $1M+ outsourced agency and building a world-class in-house digital marketing organization from scratch.
After a year at RealPage, I was promoted to VP of Marketing and selected to perform due diligence on the M&A team, providing strategic oversight for more than a dozen key acquisitions.
Two years later, the job was complete. We had started with an outsourced agency and built a talented team of 65 marketers and engineers in 7 cities and 4 different countries.
We did great work during this time. This team now supports customer acquisition for the 12th largest SaaS company in the world, and enabled annual revenue to grow to almost $500M (25% YoY).
In addition to the revenue growth, I am most proud of setting a framework for success and innovation inside of the marketing organization. It also allowed me to learn the skills I would later need at Aha! to build a completely distributed team. At RealPage, I was responsible for teams in San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, Washington D.C., Barcelona, Hyderabad, and Manilla.
In 2014, I joined Aha! (which is product roadmap software) to lead the marketing team. Aha! is one of the fastest growing SaaS companies in the country, now serving more than 100,000 users at the world’s leading software and technology companies.
Incredibly, the company has achieved this growth in only a few years, is self-funded, completely remote, profitable, and does not have a single commissioned salesperson on staff.
Thanks for visiting my website. If you were looking for Keith Brown the motivational speaker, apologies. The previous owner of KeithBrown.com sold building materials in Salem, Oregon, so I see some visits from that as well. There are a lot of Keith Brown’s out there, including a football player, a man with top yacht times (the sailboat lady lola), and of course the artist Keith Brown of the 5 Brown’s musical group. There was a Keith Brown who played football for Alabama, and even one who was a keynote professional speaker for a time. None of those great Keith’s are me, but I hope that you enjoy my website all the same.