How to Go From Struggling Startup to the Inc. 500 List: A B2B Growth Show Special

March 27, 2018 - 5 minutes read

mobile app developer

It may be true that nothing worth anything comes easy. But just because success takes some hard work doesn’t mean you can’t work smarter. Marc Fischer, our CEO, got to discuss how Dogtown Media employed this exact strategy in a recent episode of the “B2B Growth Show” podcast.

Check out the whole thing here!

The Early Days

“B2B Growth Show” is a podcast dedicated to giving B2B businesses insight into how they can achieve explosive growth. In a recent episode, hosts Jonathan Greene and James Carbary got to sit down with Marc and talk about how Dogtown Media went from a small, relatively unknown mobile tech developer in L.A. to landing on the Inc. 500 List.

Founded in Venice Beach in 2011, Dogtown Media has grown to 40 employees and gotten the chance to work with Google, Citibank, and the United Nations. But it all really started with two broke guys sitting on a couch: Marc and co-founder/CTO Rob Pope.

Both Marc and Rob were absolutely obsessed with recent developments in mobile app technology and wanted to get into the game. They had a plethora of ideas they wanted to try, so they started Dogtown Media. Almost five months later (and quite a few weeknights and weekends), the pair had released their first app.

Called Dog Boogie, the app was designed to be an Instagram experience for dog owners. It had a soundboard for users to make their phones “bark,” “meow,” or “oink” to get the dog’s attention for a picture. The app was a complete success in terms of engagement and received tens of thousands of downloads along with some positive press. But it proved to be difficult to monetize. If Dogtown Media was to survive, Rob and Marc had to figure something out, fast.

3 Tactics for Growth

During the next three years, the two co-founders kept at it and tried everything under the sun. Ultimately, they found that three marketing strategies helped to catapult Dogtown’s growth.

Brand Establishment

After the release of Dog Boogie, Rob and Marc became known as the “app guys” in the local L.A. community. This hyperlocalized brand establishment was one of the best things to come out of the hard work the duo put into that first app. Family, friends, friends of friends… people from every avenue were approaching Marc and Rob with ideas, referring businesses, and giving them projects that ended up being great ways to grow their skill sets.

It also gave Rob and Marc the idea to pivot to a mobile technology studio that helps businesses and organizations realize their mobile visions.

Community Ingratiation

Back then, the Silicon Beach startup community that exists now was in its nascent stages. But this sort of renaissance was occurring; it had never been cheaper, easier, or more fun to put a team together and try to bring an idea to market. Marc and Rob wanted to help foster this local tech community by sharing their knowledge, experience, and failures, so they held a meetup.

The two managed to get 45 attendees for the first event, and one of the audience members referred them some business that turned into Dogtown’s first client as a mobile technology studio.


Before Dogtown Media, Marc founded a digital agency focused on helping professional firms like accountancies and law firms make more of an impact in their community by generating inbound leads. With this knowledge in tow, Marc knew how important it was for Dogtown Media to get found with the right keywords.

After relentless work on this (or as Marc puts it, “science and magic”), Dogtown Media managed to rank in the top 3 Google rankings for approximately 185 short-tail keywords. It wasn’t long before business was coming in from around the world.

Special Thanks

Thanks so much to James Carbary, Jonathan Greene, and Sweet Fish Media for making this podcast a reality!

If you’ve gotten this far and haven’t listened to the show, what are you waiting for? Check it out here!

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