Courtney Kehl, President & CEO of Expert Marketing Advisors (eMa)

Courtney Kehl is the powerhouse behind Expert Marketing Advisors (eMa), a strategic growth marketing agency that offers complete marketing solutions to clients in the technology sector. With over 15 years of experience in marketing, she has become the go-to person for businesses looking to enhance their marketing strategies. “I started as an Operations Manager and Executive Assistant, but over time, I began taking on event planning responsibilities, and my skills proved to be an asset to the marketing department. My responsibilities grew until I became the last person standing in the marketing department, and I loved it!” explains Courtney.

Courtney’s journey has been unconventional, giving her a unique skill set. She focuses on creating smart marketing strategies that build brand awareness and generate genuine interest, resulting in high-quality leads that boost company revenue. What sets her apart is her ability to make data-driven decisions. She delved into analytics early on, steering her career toward success. As a demand generation leader, she revolutionized how we look at return on investment (ROI), turning marketing activities into a finely tuned machine.

From start-ups to large enterprises, Courtney has been instrumental in helping companies grow. Now, as the mastermind behind eMa, she aims to share her wealth of experience. “The idea of eMa came about when I received calls from my network of connections. They were looking for marketing contractors to provide growth advice in their area of expertise. After quite a few of these calls, it was a natural sign to develop the idea of starting this company,” recalls Courtney.

Under Courtney’s leadership, eMa took shape in May 2017, evolving from a concept to a thriving reality. The initial team, carefully curated by Courtney, consisted of high-caliber marketing professionals with whom she had forged strong collaborations throughout her career. Recognizing the importance of a talented and adaptable team in the fast-paced business world, Courtney ensured eMa’s foundation was built for long-term success.

“As our team has grown over the years, it now consists of over 40 passionate experts representing all areas of marketing. Acting as an extension of our client’s team, we are results-oriented and have a passion for what we do,” shares Courtney. The company, driven by results and a fervent love for its craft, excels in launching startups, executing successful campaigns, driving product launches, and assisting companies on their path to exit. “Expert Marketing Advisors is a marketing team that thrives on scaling results and increasing client valuations,” pinpoints Courtney.

The agency’s expertise in digital and social media marketing for startups has been particularly noteworthy. For example, eMa partnered with the tech company Protera, resulting in a 304% increase in impressions, a 593% surge in engagements, and a 20% growth in followers. Courtney states, “We are proud of our ability to help companies go from zero outbound to full campaigns within three months. We can quickly get Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) by using our tried-and-true playbooks.”

Navigating Growth and Impact

Expert Marketing Advisors (eMa), led by Courtney, has played an essential role in advising on transactions totaling over $12 billion in M&A, IPOs, and funding rounds. This achievement marks a significant milestone in Courtney’s career. Courtney says, “Throughout my journey, I have had the privilege of working for venture-backed high-growth startups, public global enterprises, and private-equity backed companies. I have met many strong leaders and mentors who have shaped me, and I am grateful for their values of transparency, integrity, and clarity in leadership, which I carry through my team at eMa.”

During the early stages of eMa, Courtney was fortunate enough to collaborate with a group of highly skilled professionals in the B2B industry. These individuals consistently delivered value and pushed themselves to achieve exceptional results. This group formed the foundational network that Courtney partnered with when she initiated eMa. “Working closely with C-level executives taught me a lot about what to do and what not to do when running a business,” says Courtney. This insight led her to start eMa with the right talent, whom she knew she could rely on.

eMa stands out from other marketing agencies due to its team of high-caliber experts, healthy working culture, and deep understanding of B2B marketing. The commitment to maximizing marketing ROI for each client is a cornerstone value. By adhering to industry best practices and clear communication, eMa consistently delivers results. Courtney shares, “Every year, our firm hosts an offsite meeting, where each member shares the previous year’s achievements and future business goals and offers insight on how to get there using best practices that elevate the client experience to enable the success of our company-wide values. We are always improving!”

At eMa, a culture of continuous learning thrives, underlining the importance of staying ahead in the ever-evolving B2B landscape. Embracing a proactive approach, whenever a new tool emerges, the team eagerly immerses itself in exploring its potential. “We want everyone on our team to use their creativity, and if they naturally gravitate towards something, we encourage delving into it and seeing where it could be useful to us or a client we have. We really believe that together we can make things better and that we can all teach each other,” affirms Courtney

In this era of unprecedented change and unpredictability, where teams are scattered and employees prioritize flexibility, meaning, and purpose in their work, navigating the shifting landscape of business demands a united front, a collective effort where we all “swim together.” Recognizing the significance of teamwork, eMa emphasizes collaboration to optimize work processes and achieve the best outcomes for clients. The approach hinges on leaning on each other, collectively shouldering the responsibility to continually expand knowledge and evolve expertise.

A cornerstone of this collaborative ethos is the weekly stand-up meetings. These sessions serve as a crucial forum for the team to come together, review accounts, and ensure alignment on goals for both eMa and their valued clients. It’s a moment of synergy where individual efforts converge into a cohesive strategy, fostering a shared understanding and commitment to excellence. Through these regular check-ins, eMa ensures that everyone is on the same page, fostering a collaborative spirit that propels the team forward in the dynamic landscape of modern work.

Nurturing Growth, Mentorship, and Sustainable Success

Courtney derives the most satisfaction from watching individuals grow and recognizing her contribution to their development. She acknowledges the impact of her past mentors on her own journey, and she is committed to sharing valuable knowledge and advice with those who are eager to learn. According to her, having the right mentors in life can give one a significant advantage over others, and it’s always great to get a second opinion on any thought or idea. Despite the cutthroat nature of the world, Courtney believes in supporting and helping each other grow in any way possible.

In navigating what may seem like a competitive world, Courtney firmly believes in the importance of mutual support and fostering collective growth. Courtney shares, “There are three goals we currently have: build valuation, establish ourselves as leaders in the B2B marketing industry and become a knowledge base for other marketing professionals. Looking beyond those three goals, we want to scale and exit.” Courtney’s current efforts are focused on setting up the team for sustained growth and job security. Daily endeavors involve refining the business foundation, encompassing aspects from medical benefits to 401k and overall margins. “We just invested in Haiti Volcanic Coal to support their charitable and sustainable growth. In 2024, we are looking to invest in and potentially acquire another company that is like-minded and similar to ours,” concludes Courtney.

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