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Marketing Veterans Join Forces to Serve Tampa Bay’s $2.3 Billion Startup Community




St. Petersburg, FL — Innovation brings jobs. Jobs drive economic development and growth.  Therefore, it is not a secret that Tampa Bay has spent countless resources to foster a growing startup ecosystem in hopes of keeping new businesses and their top talent here in the area.  Tampa Bay is now home to countless incubators such as The Tampa Bay Wave, Tampa Bay Technology Incubator (TBTI) and many more that mentor entrepreneurs and provide them with educational resources to help them build their businesses. The strength of our startup ecosystem is finally paying off as a new report from Startup Genome, a research organization focused on entrepreneurship, just valued Tampa Bay’s startup community at $2.3 billion.

Earlier this year, two marketing consultants added their names to the list of rapidly growing startups in the Tampa Bay area. Tamara O’Dea and Michelle Frome, known for their contribution in the successful launch of another well-known startup, Priatek, partnered together to create a full-service marketing and advertising agency with a twist. While the agency works with small to mid-sized businesses, they have dedicated a division focused on working with entrepreneurs and startups.

Co-founder and CEO, Tamara O’Dea, believes in the importance of working with other startups.  She said, “The startup community needs the support of a full-service agency just as much as larger, more established businesses do.  Unfortunately, they don’t think they can afford a marketing agency.  What ends up happening is that they try to market their products themselves and get overwhelmed because they have their hands in every part of their businesses.  Marketing eventually ends up getting dropped as a priority as their businesses grow because their time is needed within operations. This can be detrimental to their growth because it doesn’t matter how amazing their products are if their customers don’t know they exist. That’s why we created the startup division which focuses on fast, creative and outside-the-box solutions with customized pricing. This gives these businesses the power of a marketing agency without having to spend all their funding.”  

O’Dea and Frome’s list of growing clients is a testament to a business model that is working.  Within their first two weeks, they had their first client and have been adding new customers each week. Their staff has grown to nine employees over the last several months. They continue to create new positions as demand for their services continues to increase. Shark Branding Solutions’ other Co-founder and President, Michelle Frome, said of their success, “Unfortunately, businesses think they can’t afford to work with agencies. That’s just not true. We are teaching these businesses that they don’t need a big budget to look like a big company.”  Frome said, “We aren’t your typical agency.  We specialize in working with startups and small businesses to help them build a big brand presence within their markets in a short amount of time.  We utilize our network of creative resources to offer a full suite of marketing and advertising services at a fraction of the costs other agencies and consultants charge.”    

The founders of Shark Branding Solutions have deep ties within the startup community. They have worked with over fifteen startups over the last twenty years in marketing consulting roles. O’Dea’s career has focused on working with both online and brick-and-mortar retailers. She helped them create solid and effective marketing channels that established long-lasting revenue streams. Frome has focused her career on working with startups and small to mid-sized businesses to penetrate new markets that ensure sustainable revenue growth. Through Shark Branding Solutions, the co-founders and their teams are able to scale this expertise through their unique agency model. O’Dea said, “We are excited about this new venture. Michelle and I work great together and really feed off each other’s energy and ideas. We’ve also been able to hand-pick some of the best talent we know to be included on this team.  The combination of that kind of unique and creative talent all under one roof is an incredible opportunity, especially for our startup clients.  They no longer have to carry the responsibility of launching their new ventures alone.  They now have the power of a strong marketing team to support them.  This gives them the ability to scale faster and to shorten the amount of time it takes for them to generate revenue.”   

About Shark Branding Solutions

Shark Branding Solutions has one mission and that is to make our clients famous.  That’s because it isn’t about who YOU know.  It’s about WHO knows you. Shark Branding Solutions is not the typical marketing and advertising agency where it takes months to create a strategy and tens of thousands of dollars to see minimal results after a year. We use a variety of untraditional and viral marketing tactics to put our clients everywhere their customers are.  We help them get attention, be found, seen, heard, watched, and read on any device at any time. We work fast and efficiently so our clients can see results almost immediately.

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