1783 – Scale Your Business 10X with Clare Price of Octain

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the President & CEO of Octain,  Clare Price.

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Claire Price brought her extensive background as an analyst and research director for Gartner, greatly influencing her marketing approach. She passionately spoke about the necessity of a systematic approach to marketing, especially for small business owners who often face significant challenges in this area.

One of Claire's most impactful points was about the value of building long-term relationships. She explained how these relationships could significantly impact business success, emphasizing that marketing is not just about transactions but about creating lasting connections with customers.

Claire introduced listeners to Octain, which she described as the first true marketing operating system designed specifically for small businesses. Octane aims to replace inefficient trial-and error-marketing with a sustainable, systematic approach.

Claire outlined how Octane provides a turnkey system encompassing strategy, smart execution, and automation, all crucial for supporting small businesses in their marketing endeavors.

She also shed light on the role of growth architects, who are instrumental in implementing the Octane system. These architects work closely with businesses to ensure the marketing operating system is tailored to their needs and goals.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Importance of systematic approach to marketing for small and medium-sized businesses
  • Challenges faced by small business owners in marketing
  • Value of building long-term relationships for business success
  • Introduction of Octain as a marketing operating system for small businesses
  • Turnkey system of sustainable marketing operations provided by Octane
  • Role of growth architects in implementing the Octain system
  • The target audience for leveraging the Octain operating system
  • Overview of the book “Smart Marketing Execution” and its resources for small business owners
  • Emphasis on effective execution and integrating automation systems in marketing

About Clare Price:

Clare Price, CEO of Octain Growth Systems in Raleigh, NC, specializes in scalable growth and is a luminary in B2B marketing strategies. Her expertise is distilled in her book, “Smart Marketing Execution,” guiding businesses from haphazard marketing to sustainable, profit-boosting operations.

Previously, Clare honed her skills as a Research Director at Gartner's Internet Strategies Service and Vice President of Research at Demand Metric. A prolific writer, she's authored five marketing playbooks, a remote work guide, and the cyberthriller “Web of Betrayal.”

Clare is a sought-after speaker, engaging with organizations like the American Marketing Association and Women in Technology International. Beyond her professional endeavors, Clare is an amateur ornithologist and adores her Shetland sheepdogs, Toby and Ashton.

About Octain:

Octain Growth System revolutionizes business growth through its integrated marketing operating system, combining strategy, smart execution, and automation. It starts by crafting strategic blueprints in six key areas: brand positioning, customer acquisition, message clarity, market expansion, sales enablement, and product innovation.

Using a proprietary decision framework, Octain develops a roadmap for smart execution, aligning actions with goals. The final step involves automating marketing and sales activities, ensuring sustainable boosts in performance and productivity.

The outcome is a transformative shift from erratic, inefficient marketing to a sustainable, operationally efficient approach, leading to significant business growth.

Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur:

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Octain website at

Check out Octain on LinkedIn at

Check out Clare Price on LinkedIn at

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Josh (00:00:04) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us. Right now it's Claire Price. Claire, you are the founder of octane and octane is found on the web at Octane And Claire, you're also the author of the book Smart Marketing Execution How to Accelerate Profitability, Performance and Productivity. Claire, thank you so much for joining us.

Clare (00:01:20) - Thank you so much, Josh.

Clare (00:01:21) - Really pleasure to be here.

Josh (00:01:23) - Well, I would love to have you maybe share just a little bit about your impact in the world, what you do and what octane is.

Clare (00:01:31) - Okay. Well I appreciate the opportunity. So I have a passion for helping small business owners, small and medium sized business owners stop the struggle in marketing. Most of the business owners that I talked to, or that I was working with, just really just tied up in knots over their marketing. We call it trial and error. We call it you, as you mentioned, pray and spray. It's just scramble hard enough to get to that next deal or get that next client or get that next customer in the door. And I knew from my background as an analyst and as a research director for Gartner, that there was a better way that larger companies had big systems, larger companies had processes, larger companies had teams that most small and medium sized business owners don't have access to. So I ten years ago, started my journey 2012, to figure out a way to provide a system and a framework and a set of tools that small and medium sized businesses could use that would get them the kind of results that fortune 500 companies get from their marketing.

Clare (00:02:40) - And that's the journey I've been on for the last ten years, working with a lot of wonderful people developing this system, and then with the launch of my book, have actually introduced it into the market.

Josh (00:02:53) - Yeah, well, Claire, I would love maybe just your little mini Ted talk about what kind of the state of marketing right now, and why so many small business owners may be struggling with this. What's going on?

Clare (00:03:09) - I think the state of marketing is a hot mess. It was it was really confusing and chaotic and sort of a black hole before I. But now that I has been thrown into the mix, it is it's completely in, I think, turmoil. And the only way to really address that kind of turmoil is to go into it with a strategy, with a blueprint. And that's really what we preach. We preach, stop doing stuff. Don't just keep doing stuff, but step back, take a deep breath, look at everything you're doing, and figure out a good blueprint for growth, foundation and blueprint and then a roadmap.

Clare (00:03:53) - Those are two separate things. The blueprint gives you the way to grow, and the roadmap shows you how to get there. And so what that's what we really focus on. And in terms of marketing out there, I think the other thing that's that is really difficult is so many people trying to figure it out on their own without any guidance, without any help. And that's where I think that really one of the blessings of the last couple of years has been the the increase and the growth of the fractional community, because the fractional community. But whether you're marketing, CMO, fractional CMO, or CFO, uh, sales, that gives experienced expert resources to smaller companies that they certainly couldn't hire for full time.

Speaker 3 (00:04:42) - Yeah, yeah.

Josh (00:04:43) - And as well clear. I think that there's a lot of conflicting information. It's really confusing. Like, let's say that above all, you know, you're you're a leadership consultant or leadership coach, right? And you've let's say you've worked and, you know, you finally have your own shingle doing this on your own.

Josh (00:05:00) - Okay. Well, I've got my warm market. And so I've gotten a few clients from that. But I'm probably looking at the end of that soon. And I don't know, I'm, you know, I'm creating blog content. I'm on social, but I don't know that that's working. Am I doing the right thing? What would you recommend to someone in that position?

Clare (00:05:22) - I think there's two things. One of the things that I think is the struggle for people who are in that position is fundamentally, you're selling your experience, and your experience only takes you as far as what you've learned in your last job or your last couple of jobs. That's number one. And that's on the the system side. I think you need a system you can rely on that's proven that you can literally pull up your toolbox and use with your clients. And then the number two thing, and I know this is something, Josh, that you really, really firmly believe in, preach on is building those leader relationships, really providing, giving generously, providing those relationships, building those long term relationships.

Clare (00:06:07) - And I'll give you a great example. So I just recently launched my first cohort of licensees for my program. Uh, they are about halfway through the program now, starting a new one in January. And one of the first people to come to me and say, I'm interested, I'd like to join your next cohort. Is someone in the relationship with the person who's already in the program? So I think that really speaks to your concept of the whisper network and how that's how you find those deals. So I would encourage everyone, as I know you do, to really, really focus on building those, those long term relationships.

Josh (00:06:46) - Um, so if someone pushes back on that and say, well, why do I need to do that? That sounds like a waste of time. I just want to be out there hustling for customers. Why would you advocate for building meaningful, high level relationships?

Clare (00:06:59) - So I had a great story to tell you about that. So I, uh, was engaged with in, uh, when I was in California, in Sacramento, uh, one of my clients was one of the top real estate teams in the area.

Clare (00:07:11) - She was huge. She had about four people on her team. And she came to me and she goes, I need leads, I need leads, I've got all these mouths to feed, I need leads, gotta have them. And I'm like, okay, well, that's great. You know, we can get leads and we'll we'll figure that out. But I have a question for you. How many people do you have in your database? And she goes, oh, I think I have maybe 500, maybe 700 people in my database. I said, okay, well, when's the last time you talked to them? And she said, well, I don't know. It's been a while. And so I said, well, here's what I want you to do before you run out and spend a lot of money on getting new leads, go back to your database. I want you to call a personal email every single one of those 700 people. And find out what's going on with them. Two weeks later, she comes back to me and she goes, I lost $4 million in business.

Speaker 4 (00:08:02) - Because people.

Clare (00:08:03) - Literally because people did not go with her, because she was out of sight, out of mind. So if that doesn't speak to keeping in touch with your network and building those relationships, I don't know what does.

Speaker 3 (00:08:16) - Yeah, yeah.

Josh (00:08:17) - I like that, you know. And that was always my approach on the PR side of things in my former life, you know, is spend more time with fewer people, really dive into those relationships, create collaborations. And, you know, my belief clear is where you plant your seeds is not necessarily where you'll reap your harvest, but you just always continue to show up in generosity. And I believe that for leaders like for folks that are truly good at what they do, you get to a point, I think when you lead in generosity, and I'm kind of teeing you up for your take on all this, by the way. Um, but I believe that you get to a point that if you continue to be consistent in leading and generosity, you do get to a point where you will not be able to out give the market.

Josh (00:08:59) - That's my experience. I'd love your take on this.

Clare (00:09:02) - Oh, I completely agree with you, Josh. You absolutely, uh, looking for ways to support and help other people in your network? Just what I do. One of the things that I do is I've written or even see an article that I think that person could really learn from, gain from. I'll just send it over to them and say, hey, thought, thinking of you. Check this out. That's a small thing, but it just kind of says, I'm thinking about you. And I think just letting people know you're thinking about them in this crazy world where everything's going, you know, 50 million miles an hour. It's a small gift, but I think it's an important one.

Speaker 3 (00:09:38) - Yeah.

Josh (00:09:38) - And reaching out without a big ask right out of the gate.

Clare (00:09:43) - Exactly.

Josh (00:09:44) - Which is tempting to do. Especially if there's something that you want and need. But, you know, again, I think we all appreciate that when someone genuinely reaches out to us out of desire, concern to help, you know, just like I'd say, most of my conversations with new introductions are like, hey, I love to see.

Josh (00:10:05) - I don't know if I have any ideas. You know, I'd love to brainstorm. You know, certainly you can learn about what my area of expertise is, if that's at all insightful or valuable. But let's just see. And what I find is two leaders clear that, like each other, I believe that, you know, if you've been in business for any length of time, leaders know how to help one another. You don't have to push the issue just organically, you know, let that, but do that consistently. Um, tell me more clear about where octane fits in.

Clare (00:10:36) - So we have developed what I believe is the first true marketing operating system or CMOs. And basically it's to replace trial and error marketing, frantic market activity to create a turnkey system of sustainable marketing operations. So it's really it starts with a mind shift of thinking about marketing as an activity to marketing is actually part of my organization, and it's operationally part of my organization. And then we combine strategy, what we call smart execution, because we have a way to determine in advance what kinds of campaigns and programs are most likely to work for different clients, and then incorporate automation into that depending on what they need, so that they can sustain their activity over the long run, even if they're a small team in systems.

Clare (00:11:31) - Basically, it's a complete system in a box.

Josh (00:11:33) - Well that's amazing. So I understand like for example, I'm on your website right now, Octane Growth Comm. I clicked on a link that said become a Growth architect. And what does that what is a growth architect?

Speaker 4 (00:11:47) - So the easiest.

Clare (00:11:48) - Way to explain what we do is to say we are like iOS for marketing. So our growth architects are like iOS implementers or iOS focuses more on the entire business infrastructure and structure and team leadership. We focus specifically on the marketing end of things. Yeah, and we are in the process of creating a team, an army, I hope, of a movement that will really be available to change the way small business marketing is done, and get those business owners out of that scramble every day and get them into a real sustainable situation.

Josh (00:12:26) - And so who would be a really good candidate to start leveraging the operating system?

Clare (00:12:33) - So the best candidates are people who have been in corporate, for example, maybe they've been in the CMO chair or the marketing director chair.

Clare (00:12:41) - They're coming out and they want to launch their consulting or their fractional practice. They've got their experience, they know what to do, but they really don't have a framework or system or set of tools that they can really rely on. And we just hand that to them. It's all done. It's tied up in a nice ribbon. You've got training video and live training, and what we want to do is make them as successful as possible in their their new venture. Because I've been there, I've got the scars on my back to prove what it's like to build your own consulting practice, gain those clients, figure out how to deliver and sell and market and and do all of the business operations, you know, billing and everything that you need to do. And we want to make that easy for people to make that transition.

Speaker 3 (00:13:29) - Yeah.

Josh (00:13:29) - And Claire, tell me a bit more about your book and who should read it. And what is the, I guess, transformation that they may experience if they kind of adapt what you lay out.

Josh (00:13:40) - And again, the book title is called Smart Marketing Execution. It's on Amazon, both Kindle and paperback format.

Clare (00:13:48) - The entire format of the book is around showcasing the system, so if they don't want to license the system, they can buy the book. And the book itself has, I would say, 80% of what we are offering available to them in the pages of the book. So it has it teaches them how to develop a blueprint for their clients. It teaches them how to understand how to execute effectively and for the long haul. And then it offers consulting and advice on how to install automation, automated systems. Now, when we do it live with clients, we bring in partners. My team, my growth architects really are the strategist. And then we partner with digital agencies, web developers, and the whole slew of marketing executors to do the execution format. We partner with IT companies across the country to help people do an IT audit and integrate their automations. So it really does create a marketing operations department, something you'll see at a fortune 500 level, but in a mid-level company and at a fraction of the cost.

Speaker 3 (00:15:00) - Yeah, you.

Josh (00:15:01) - Have a number of free resources on your website, someone that might be in that position and they might be a good candidate to partner with you or to work with you. Where do they go from here?

Speaker 4 (00:15:12) - So I would.

Clare (00:15:13) - Suggest that they click on the the link that says become a Growth architect. That will share a lot about the program. If they want a taste of what the system actually is, they can download the growth plans. Those are the canvasses that we use as a baseline framework and the tool library, so they can see what tools are available.

Josh (00:15:32) - Yep. So just you can click on resources. And then there's a link that says Free Tools. And that's where you've got the Growth plans accelerator scorecard octane toolkit library. Those are all free that you can grab. So yeah well this is great Claire Price I'm grateful for our connection. Your website once again is octane Growth. Com that's octane Claire Price you're the founder. And it's been a true joy having you as a guest on the podcast.

Clare (00:16:04) - Thank you so much.

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