Dana Hundley had been one of Maven Recruiting’s highest-performing recruiters for several years in a row. She consistently exceeded quota and helped the business land some of its biggest clients. And after being with the firm for five years, she saw an opportunity for even stronger growth for the business.

“Maven has always been a fast-paced group, and it’s served us well,” reflected Hundley. “But, we’d reached a point where we were no longer a really small shop. I believed we needed to take a step back and develop a more formal, coordinated strategy for growth.”

Hundley approached her boss, Maven CEO Jessica Vann, and told her she wanted to help lead that growth. Vann agreed, recognizing Hundley’s contributions to Maven and knowing Hundley had skills that could be leveraged to make an even broader impact on the firm.

“I was flattered and excited, but I also knew I needed help,” explained Hundley. “I had never led marketing or business development, and I was eager to do so but needed guidance.”


“When I first approached Owl, I was hoping for guidance on some tactical issues I was having,” recalled Hundley. “I asked them about digital advertising, events strategy, how to track our campaigns, and for some tips for our social presence.”

Michael Stapleton, who led the project with Maven, was impressed by Dana’s eagerness. He also knew she needed to take a step back.

“Dana was so excited about the growth potential for Maven, and she had every reason to be,” said Stapleton. “But, I knew the best way to help Maven wasn’t to just focus on the tactical issues Dana was asking about. The right approach was to help her first answer some core strategic questions and develop the marketing strategy skills she needed to accelerate Maven’s growth.”

Owl proposed a series of day-long workshops that would ultimately lead to a marketing plan, but would also help Dana develop the ability to manage Maven’s marketing initiatives in the future.

"I feel much more capable of helping Maven grow. I know if I work with Owl again, they won’t just give me a short-lived tactical solution. They’ll help me help Maven for the long term."

- Dana Hundley


Owl designed three day-long workshops that would culminate in Hundley delivering a marketing plan for Maven. The workshops included:

  • Day 1: Business Analysis. Owl worked with Hundley to review its business performance, better define its customer segments, and understand its ideal positioning in the market.
  • Day 2: Goals, Strategies and Tactics. Armed with a full understanding of Maven’s past performance and goals, Owl worked with Maven to define revenue goals, big strategic moves, and the tactics associated with those moves.
  • Day 3: Milestones and Budgeting. Once it was clear what needed to happen for Maven to hit its revenue targets, Owl helped Hundley create a budget and lay down a calendar of milestones.

“The workshops were incredibly helpful,” said Hundley. “I worked directly with Michael Stapleton, the founder of Owl, and he asked me questions I had never even thought about asking. He helped me develop the ability to think through the strategic marketing process. Owl didn’t just do everything for me; they showed me how to formulate a marketing strategy and plan for growth. It was a hybrid learning-and-doing experience.”

The plan that Owl and Hundley worked on had several components that were synthesized into a presentation. The plan’s contents were:

  • Executive summary
  • Evaluation of recent business results
  • Growth plan for the next two quarters
  • Key milestones
  • Budget
  • Metrics for monitoring performance

“I appreciate that they developed such a unique approach and really served my unique needs,” said Hundley. “And most importantly, I feel much more capable of helping Maven grow. I know if I work with Owl again, they won’t just give me a short-lived tactical solution. They’ll help me help Maven for the long term.”