top of page

Brooke Chapman


Brooke Chapman

Gabriel Flores  0:00  

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the shades of entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr. Gabriel Flores. Today I am here with Brooke Chapman from three by three. Brooke. How are we doing?

Brooke Chapman  0:11  

I'm really well, thanks. Thanks for having me.

Gabriel Flores  0:13  

You know, me and Brooke have been chatting. And folks, I gotta I gotta tell you, she is in the future. She's literally in the future. She is a day ahead of us because she is actually calling in from Australia.

Brooke Chapman  0:28  

Yeah, a long way away. Yeah, it's Friday morning here. So, you know, I don't think I can share too much about what's happened in the future yet. But let's see how we go through the podcast, he thinks might reveal themselves.

Gabriel Flores  0:39  

So please, first before we get into three by three would love to kind of hear who is Brooke Chapman?

Brooke Chapman  0:46  

Yeah, great. Sure. So yeah, as you said, I'm Australian born and bred here. In Oz, I'm a mom of three. I've been a, I started my career as a television journalist. And then, you know, really, you know, moved around a bit was in PR was in corporate communications. And then I found myself in marketing, which is my passion. I love it. And then now obviously, with with two of my dear friends and colleagues, we've started three by three. And we're on a journey of really trying to make the business scale and make it work at a global level.

Gabriel Flores  1:19  

Yeah, in fact, you're kind of you're tasked with revenue and growth for your company, correct?

Brooke Chapman  1:24  

Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, I'm all about, you know, increasing the awareness of what we're doing. And, you know, developing new partnerships and making sure that this this, you know, framework that we've developed is really getting out there and helping small to medium businesses with their marketing strategies.

Gabriel Flores  1:40  

Yeah. So let's, let's give the audience a little background. What is three by three?

Brooke Chapman  1:45  

Yeah, so look, I mentioned it before we there's three of us, three directors in the business, we in our corporate roles, what we noticed was that the big end of town, those enterprises have got marketing strategy covered, they've got someone great, you know, in a head of marketing position, or a CMO role, which is excellent. But first SMBs. So thinking about businesses that are turning over, you know, a few million dollars anywhere up to $100 million, they may not necessarily have access to that corporate level strategy when it comes to marketing. So what we see in today's business landscape is a lot of SMBs, jumping straight into tactics. And we've mixed results. So you know, we work with businesses to really take it back to basics, what are the foundational pieces of work you need to do to make yourself fit for purpose in a marketing sense, so that when you actually press go on some of those marketing initiatives, and you start spending money, you've got a high degree of confidence that it's going to work. So it's a framework, it's proven, it's repeatable, and it's about working on all the areas of your marketing and sales function in your business, rather than just going campaign to campaign and being highly tactical?

Gabriel Flores  2:55  

And just for clarification, SMBs is a small to medium sized business.

Brooke Chapman  3:00  

Correct? Yeah, correct. So, you know, we just really wanted to give those business owners, you know, on a smaller scale, access to fantastic strategy. So that's really what we're all about making it equitable for all and seeing, you know, great marketing results for for smaller businesses, because a lot of them by the time they get to me, and I speak to them, about supporting them, they've got some horror stories. And you know, they've wasted a lot of money. They've, they've worked with some agencies that maybe haven't done the right thing. And they really want a step change, and how do they get out of that bad cycle of, you know, spending money, spray and pray? It doesn't work? Yeah. How do they change that? And the answer is three strategy.

Gabriel Flores  3:43  

So how did you kind of get to this point? How did you? How did you how did we get to the three by three,

Brooke Chapman  3:49  

it's been an interesting journey. So one of my co directors, we met about 10 years ago. And she had actually come up with the framework. So you know, she was a former cmo out of News Corp in London. She started a consulting business with with small to medium businesses, and she saw this gap. And she came up with the nine boxes framework as this this way to tackle strategy for smaller businesses. And we met, I was in a CMO role. I was quite young, I was probably a little bit inexperienced for the position. And I met Deb and I was a client, I hired her and I said, you know, come and help me build this strategy. Because I needed to learn how to be strategic. And it really changed my world and the way that I thought, and then together, we really refined the program together. We brought in our third director, Nicola, and then yeah, we look it was probably about 18 months ago, we decided that we were really going to go for it and create a business out of this and see if we could scale it.

Gabriel Flores  4:48  

So why did you decide you know, you're, you're in kind of corporate setting your CMO, why did you decide to say you know what, I'm gonna leave the corporate world which is for when you think about it a little bit more comfortable. Little bit more easier, right? We have those, those benefits that we tend to not have an entrepreneurial ship world. Why? Why did you make that jump?

Brooke Chapman  5:09  

It was not an easy decision. Well, it wasn't it was it. On the one hand, you know, all of those things you mentioned, it's a big step to leave corporate, there's a there's a feeling of safety and corporate and you know, all of the benefits that go along with it. But I was really ready for a challenge, I kind of have a hard time sitting still. And I'm always thinking about the next thing. So and I'm all about growth. So I think eventually, anyone that knows me probably thought that I was going to end up in my own business at some stage. But I think really, when it came down to it, it was this passion. And all three of us have this, this, this passion for wanting to improve their industry, marketing should be transparent, it should be easy to understand, everybody should be able to be successful at marketing. But we've got a scenario now where it's seen as a gray area, a bit of a black hole. And people have lost faith in marketing. And many of people in our industry as seen as seen as a little bit dodgy, you know, fast talkers. And we want to change that we want people to have faith in marketing, and to see it as a critical function of their business. So it was really that passion, I knew I couldn't put it down until we tried to get get this business going and get this product out there. So I felt compelled.

Gabriel Flores  6:27  

You know, I when I think of what you just said, right there, you know, in regards to marketing, and trying to change the optics of it, because it's true. I work in healthcare. And our marketing department gets beat up a lot for various reasons. And sometimes none of the reasons have anything to do with marketing, but it gets kind of directed at the marketing team. And and, you know, I think one of the things is how do you kind of change that mindset? How do you change people from thinking like, Hey, we're here to be a supporting member versus the punching bag?

Brooke Chapman  7:03  

Yeah, look, it's a really common problem. And I think, you know, I've had three cmo roles, and in all of them when I came in, and I started speaking to the business and the key stakeholders. One of the key things that I heard back was, we just, we just don't know what marketing does, what are they doing in there. And the reality was, they're working really hard. But the business was not having meaningful conversations about marketing, marketing, didn't have a seat at the table. So every month, the leadership team, and the board would get together to talk about the p&l and the finances and operations and people. But marketing doesn't get spoken about in a meaningful, robust way. So it is really about how do we have a better conversation about marketing at all levels of the business board, leadership team, and all of all of the key stakeholder groups in the operational teams in the business. So we say all the time, that 50% of what we do is marketing strategy. And 50% is education. We have to educate stakeholders on what good strategic marketing is. And we have to talk about what we're doing and why. So if you can improve the education, and you can improve the communication, you're really gonna go a long way to breaking down some of those barriers and changing some of those attitudes towards the discipline.

Gabriel Flores  8:14  

That's very true. You know, one thing I try to tell people, marketing is every single one of your employees, every single one of your employees is in fact a marketer. Right? Totally your social media pages there, they're going when they even just take a photo of your campus because they got there in the morning to work and it looks beautiful. That's free marketing. Right there. Right. And to your point, getting I think there's a there's a huge disconnect sometimes between, you know, executive leaders and what marketing is doing. Because there is that sense, like, what are you doing back then? What what, what would you kind of say to an Executive leader, if they did ask that question, what is marketing doing back there?

Brooke Chapman  8:56  

We need to be better as a professional at showing what we're doing. And that's why having a framework like ours, there are nine core areas of sales and marketing, and you should be able to pinpoint at any time, what's happening in each of those nine areas, and how are we trying to improve it? You know, I was just speaking about this with a client the other day, you know, they're wanting to get campaigns running their work, wanting to, you know, get those commercial returns. But successful marketing is not just about the leads coming into the business, it's about doing the right things in a collection of the right things for a long period of time. And that's where you get that sustainable growth. So it's really about, you know, where are we at with each of those nine areas? How are we trying to improve having documented strategies, and tracking everything that we do? It's not good enough anymore to just be able to say, Oh, look, it's kind of hard to connect A to B. You know, with marketing, there's lots of tools now that we can use to do that. So we need to be better. But I think just to, you know, hit on a point that you made before around, you know, marketing, really having a part in the whole business, it's, it's when you walk into a business and the the experience you have with the receptionist, it's when you call in and how long you're sitting on that line, it's your marketing needs to really think about every element of the customer experience, and how that can be, you know, seamless and smooth for the customer. So, now we need to take that macro view, but then be able to report on it at a micro level.

Gabriel Flores  10:23  

That's a great point. And more importantly, is it's it's not the perception of what the staff sees. And the executive leadership sees it's the perception of what your guests or clientele or however you want to define them. It's their perception that matter. So kind of doing the you know, the what do they call them? The the secret Santas, you know, kind of being like a secret sanity or place, go there for a day, if you're a clinic, go and sit through the check in process. If your sales, go walk through the store and see how your sales associates are working with you, you know, all these different variations, but it's kind of takes like a bit of a grassroot effort to understand what those issues are. You know, you know, Brooke, one of the things you mentioned a few times, is this, this nine box method. Elaborate on that. What is the nine box method?

Brooke Chapman  11:14  

Yeah, sure. So, you know that there are nine core areas of marketing and sales. And like I mentioned before, you need to have a firm grip on all of them, if you have one of them that's underperforming for your business, it compromises the whole piece. So you do need to be across all of them and working towards goals. We split it into three categories. The first group of boxes is the find boxes. So finding and engaging with your customers. The first box is position. So you know, you were talking before about, you know, internally, your culture and your values and your position. Is that aligned with what you're putting out into the community? And how your customers see you? Are you really clear around, you know, what you do the type of business you want to be? And are you communicating that effectively? Are you getting an edge on your competitors with your position? So that's a really important part. And we spend a lot of time on that box, because it's the foundation. Next is capability. How do you actually do your marketing? Who are your people, both internally, and then your external suppliers, your strategy, your budget, your platforms and processes? What is helping you to actually do the marketing. The next box is channel. So really critical one and most people when they think of marketing, think of channel, you know, your website, your social media platforms, your advertising strategy. So you know, are you in the right channels and engaging with customers in a meaningful way? The next three boxes are our convert boxes, and that focus on focuses on the buyers journey, first of all, which is critical? Do we understand what the Pathway to Purchase is for customers? And do we know those moments that matter? Where do we need to be present in that pathway? And influencing decisions? So where do they want to have conversations with us? Next is communication. So everything to do with your brand, all of your touch points, you know, from that receptionist right through to closing the sale, and beyond in terms of service, really plotting that out, because the buyers journey is different for different stakeholders. So the communication has to has to be different as well. And then lastly, starting conversations. So how sales and marketing work together, who's responsible for what how the sales and marketing support each other? And you know, who's looking after each stage of that customer journey? And then lastly, it's our deliver boxes. So first of all products and services, do you have what the market wants to buy? Are you innovating? Are you leading? Are there any gaps in your offering client management, which is around knowing your good and your bad customers and filtering them in or out accordingly. And then lastly, client service. So we should always be marketing to our existing customers, building lifetime value with them and encouraging more investment. So it's always easier Gabriel to serve customers who already have than to bring new ones into the mix.

Gabriel Flores  14:05  

And you know, marketing is not easy. I'm not gonna We're not trying to sugarcoat it and say, this is easy, but you did simplify it very nicely. Right? And how did you kind of get to this process where you really kind of simplified it in a way it does. Because I'm looking at this already and thinking, Okay, this is where my role aligns. This is where marketing roles aligns. This is where the production roles, and this is where the executive team alliances, right? And so you're kind of starting to see in these boxes of like, who's who's in that position? How did you simplify it? How did you kind of break it down? Yeah, look,

Brooke Chapman  14:39  

marketing is an incredibly broad discipline. There's so many things you could be doing, and there's a lot of jumping around, you know, we should be doing this or maybe that's not working. Let's jump over here. We knew that there needed to be a way to systemize it and also to engage with your marketing has to engage with every area of the business. So products and services you're engaging with, you know, the r&d team and the operations team, client service, obviously the customer service team, with channel, you know, you're working with sales and business development. So we needed to have a framework that everyone could engage with and really understand marketing, break it down, make it transparent. And what are the key things in each of those boxes that you need to have? What's your checklist? So, you know, we just wanted to be systemized around it the same way as you would be with other business planning processes. So that was the approach that we took. And the result is the nine boxes.

Gabriel Flores  15:32  

Now. Was this the first business you created? Yes, it is. Yeah. So how did you guys did you? Did you guys finance it through, like grassroot effort? Did you guys go venture capital? How are you financing it?

Brooke Chapman  15:44  

At the moment? It's completely funded, just privately and yeah, bootstrapping. And, you know, at the moment, you know, our growth is funding our future growth. So that's a strategy for now that we do have global aspirations. We want this to be a big business. So yeah, that there is we are thinking about what that looks like, you know, as we grow,

Gabriel Flores  16:05  

so tell me what this is your first one, what has been hard about starting this business?

Brooke Chapman  16:11  

I think it's just how broad the role is, when you're running a business and you're trying to grow a business. Obviously, I came out of large corporates, where there was IT teams, and HR teams, and there was people to support and I could really focus on marketing. I can't, I can't be a line swimmer anymore. I can't just focus on a product in the marketing, we have to put out our own fires, we have to think about growth, we hear the buck stops with us. So I think it's around just that. That responsibility. When you're trying to build a business in the right way. You're trying to look after your people, you're trying to create a great culture you're trying to deliver to clients, there's a lot going on every day. But with that, it's it's a highly enjoyable, enjoyable journey. It has been for us so far. Anyway,

Gabriel Flores  16:59  

you know, I just I just learned a new phrase, lame swimmer, I'm told, I've never heard that before. I'm gonna start using that. That's great. I was like, when you said, That's lame swimmer, I'm like, Oh, that's a good one. That is such a lame swimmer. Um,

Brooke Chapman  17:13  

well, we do talk about it quite a bit. Because you know, you do you, you become a lion swimmer, right, like you stay in your lane. But when you're running a business, you have to be able to fix your own computer sometimes. And you have to be able to, you know, have a really strong grip on finance. You have to be able to recruit well and make people happy when they come to work with you. You have to be able to do a lot of things. So yeah, we stay in our lane. When it comes to what we deliver with our product. We're very much strategy focus, but we kind of have to be across the whole pool when it comes to the business. Yeah,

Gabriel Flores  17:48  

you have to be a jack of all trades, master of none, we especially it true business truly is like the duck, right? Everything looks calm on the outside, the client tells what they're seeing, but underneath we're going crazy, right? So when like crazy. Now, what has been has, has there been anything easy about this process?

Brooke Chapman  18:07  

I think probably the easiest thing has been just just staying true to our purpose we've got we're very purpose driven, we've got very strong values. And seeing that come to life when we deliver to clients has been amazing. Seeing the change in the businesses, having small to medium businesses say You know, I spent $200,000 on marketing last year, and it didn't do anything for us. We've been working with you for six months, and look at what we've done. You know that that has been great. And for us, that's why we keep getting up every morning and we keep coming in and doing the work. So that's been the easy part is staying true to our purpose because we know that we're on the right track.

Gabriel Flores  18:47  

You know, you you've you left corporate the corporate world, right you you said you have a family you were you're talking about you woke up at one in the morning, you're doing a podcast the other day, which is just insane. What motivates you what keeps you going what pushes you

Brooke Chapman  19:04  

it's it's that passion for the purpose that we really want to make this industry better. We want to clean it up. We want to make marketing easy to understand and easy for everybody to access and do well at. And then it's also our team, you know, where I'm incredibly close with my other two directors, we always show up for each other. If someone is feeling it and is divvied down the other two, pull them up. So you know we that that is a motivating factor around the team and what we're trying to build here but yeah, overall, I would really say it's the purpose that that motivates us and and we really want to get stuck into this. We're not where we want to do it.

Gabriel Flores  19:43  

Now, is there any part of the business that like keeps you up at night or that you think about the most?

Brooke Chapman  19:50  

Look, I think I think it just comes back to what I was saying before the the crushing responsibility of trying to build that business and your response. Support for people's livelihoods. And I think one of the things that I've come to understand is that I don't have to have all the answers, but I need to know where to get the answers. And that's been a really tough lesson for me. Because I have spent a few sleepless nights thinking, how am I going to get out of this? What are we going to do hear, and you have to have a network you can reach out to, you have to have people that can support you that have Trump tried this path before and can let you know, you're gonna get through the other side. So that's sort of that's a recent revelation that I've had. But that's what's kept me up in the, in the, in the past, just wondering how we were going to solve certain problems. And now I know, I just need to get support.

Gabriel Flores  20:42  

You know, you mentioned something or their network, I talked pretty consistently about the importance of network on the show, you mentioned that you just kind of found the realization of the importance of networking. Can you elaborate on that a little bit? How did you find that aha moment of networking?

Brooke Chapman  20:58  

Yeah, look, it was a, it was a conversation I had with with one of my fellow directors, and I was like, you know, you, you've you look at all the things you've solved this week, like, that's, that's fantastic. And, you know, I just, I just kind of, you know, I want to solve problems at that rate. And she says, broke, I don't have all the answers. I just, I just know who to go to, for help. And I thought, That's how I've got to frame it up. And I then became really proactive in terms of who is going to be my network, who's my mentor? How do I develop a group of peers, who are maybe a few steps ahead in this business building process that we're in, that can say, Oh, this is how I handled that. And this, these are the pitfalls of that choice. And I really want to learn from that experience. So I have since got myself involved in in a networking group or in a group of tight individuals that I can grow with over the next few years. And also just benefiting you know, we've got an amazing team of about 20 people in our business, we all have different perspectives. It's not just mine, or the other directors responsibility, everyone has got to be on board with growing this thing. So really making sure that you know, a problem shared is a problem solved. And that's been something over the last couple of months that has really helped me.

Gabriel Flores  22:13  

You mentioned you created this network, right to kind of help you progress in the future. Where do you see three by three in the next five years.

Brooke Chapman  22:22  

We have ambitious growth goals and ashamedly. So we want to be the global language of marketing. When people talk about marketing, they want to do a nine boxes education program, they want to speak to a nine boxes accredited strategist, we become the industry standard. So you know, we want to be global at the moment, we've got operations in Australia and New Zealand, the UK, we're starting to have some strategist in the US. So we want to be all over the world. And, you know, we that that is our aspiration. So you know, when people hear nine boxes, they think marketing,

Gabriel Flores  22:53  

I love it. Now, before we go give the listeners at home some advice, either from the marketing world or entrepreneur world, what are some advice you have for the listeners at home?

Brooke Chapman  23:04  

For listeners at home, I would say that, you know, marketing is a critical element for any business. So for all of the entrepreneurs listening, I'm sure that you've had some experiences good, bad and ugly with marketing. If you want to improve, and you would like some some free advice, I would encourage you to connect with me on LinkedIn. Brooke Troutman three by three, you could also go to our website, which is thr WEBY, number And you can actually access a free online benchmark. So it's a diagnostic tool, which will tell you how you're performing in marketing at the moment. It's 45 questions, every business should be asking about their marketing. And then I'd be happy to jump on a call with you and, and give you some commentary around what those scores mean and what you need to do moving forward. So please connect. And let's let's get started on the journey.

Gabriel Flores  23:54  

Love it, Brooke. In fact, folks listening all this information again, we're going to have it on the shades of E newsletter, so please subscribe to the newsletters to get this information. I'm gonna have information about the three by three, have information about how to get that assessment for your marketing tool. I know there's a lot of individuals that probably own companies that are listening to this. They're thinking to themselves, this is very interesting. I already checked it out on their website. Again, there's the diagram there the the nine box please go check it out. Brooke, thank you so much for taking your time. eight in the morning in the future. I hope I hope the future is treating you well then Australia. really do thank you for taking the time for being with us today. For those folks at home please follow me on the shades of You can also visit the shades or you can also follow me on the shades of E on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and Tiktok Have a great night

bottom of page