HOME / INSIGHTS / Spotlight on… Sarah Joy

Spotlight on… Sarah Joy

Meet Sarah Joy, ex-Head of Marketing for Coverly & expert in growth marketing. Your go-to person if you want a marketing strategy to achieve 100% year-on-year growth, increase conversion and reduce your CPA. 

She’s passionate about spending time and money wisely, focusing on solving customer problems and making sure your budget and plan focus on short term & long term objectives.

  1. What is your role since leaving corporate life?

I’ve been advising scaleup businesses on growth and marketing for over 20 years.  

For the last 5 years, I’ve been working as a fractional chief growth officer for recently funded startups in their hyper-growth phase, providing growth and marketing strategy services. 

I specialise in helping businesses not yet big enough to need a full time Head of Growth or Marketing – which have small or junior marketing teams that are great at “doing”, but lack strategic/commercial experience.  

I help them develop a roadmap to achieve revenue and acquisition targets quickly and effectively. I focus on all areas of the sales funnel, identifying revenue and conversion opportunities across marketing, product and sales functions.

Generally I first – help them develop their 5 year marketing strategy, budget and implementation plan and then help them on a part-time fractional basis to help them build a team and give their junior do-ers strategic support.

  1. How long have you been a member of Camelot?

I’ve been a member for almost 3 years… so I’ve enjoyed watching us grow from 20 members to 160. I feel honored to have access and know so many top of their game consultants. We’re all at different stages of our consultancy journey and our skills and experiences are so broad that any question I have, someone’s always “Been there, done it and has a great answer”.

  1. Are you a leader or a member of a ThinkTank? If so, why and what do you get out of it? Or hope the industry gets out of it? 

I’ve recently joined the Customer Experience Think Tank, and us marketeers are in the process of launching a Marketing Think Tank.

When I joined I was the only marketeer, but now we have about 15. Being able to share successes like the best CPA we’ve achieved in our various previous “Head of” roles, is so valuable. I wish I’d had access to a group like this when I was Head of Marketing for Coverly.

  1. Have you been a panel expert on any Road Tests? If so, which and can you remember what the themes were and how you enjoyed helping them?

Yes, I’ve been on many panels. I love that the carefully selected 10-15 consultants have all got a different angle or value that we bring and we bounce off each other, giving the solution providers and InsurTechs invaluable advice in such a short space of time.

My approach is… I try to REALLY listen to the client. For example, if they’re trying to get funding and need to demonstrate success in a sector – I help the client identify which target audience or product will help them achieve their goals e.g. who has the shortest sales cycle. It sounds obvious (but often overlooked) but I look for what is the value of the problem you’re solving, does the client know they have the problem? Are they looking for a solution? If not, they’re unlikely to have a line in their budget, and if they don’t… it will be a much longer sell.

  1. Area of expertise?

Marketing, growth, reducing CPA, increasing conversion, increasing revenue.

  1. Highest/proudest most recognisable previous role?

Head of Marketing at Coverly:

4/7 online insurance for (SME) small businesses. ⭐4.8 our of 5 start Trustpilot rated InsurTech. ★ Highlights★ Reduced cost of acquisition (CPA) by 72%, growth 4x greater than nearest competitor in 25% of time.🏅Brand of the Year Award finalist 2020 – Insurance Post. 🏅InsurTech of the Year award finalist 2019 – British Insurance Awards in first 12 months.

  1. How long have you been doing this subject/area?

I’ve been advising scaleup businesses on growth and marketing for over 20 years.

For the last 5 years, I’ve been working as a fractional chief growth officer for recently funded startups in their hyper-growth phase, providing growth and marketing strategy services.

My passion is exceeding targets, maximising conversion, engagement and return on investment at all stages in the purchase funnel.

  1. What is your company name? Do you have a website? What is your URL or LinkedIn profile URL?

Sterling Bright Limited. If you want some tips on tools and software I use or advise my clients to use, you can find them here.

I’m guilty of the classic “Do as I say, not as I do” as I rarely spend time on marketing myself. Generally clients find me on a “Camelot Network Road test” or pitch panel – like the advice that I give and approach me after. However, I have written a few articles including – how to engage CEOs with content, automation tips & B2B sales process.

  1. Please can you provide some examples of recent projects that you’ve worked on?

Case Study: Coverly, InsurTech startup

Objective: InsurTech start-up, they had 4 months left to achieve their ambitious acquisition targets in order to secure £4.3m for the next phase of their growth. 

Solution: Hit the ground running, make a number of immediate changes to achieve quick wins and instant results. In multiple areas: get more out of the media agency and reduce CPA, Optimise and improve conversion, guide product pivots, target customers with shortest conversion to achieve short term targets.

Results: We exceeded acquisition targets on time and on budget (with changing targets) and got £4.3m investment round approved. Achieving a 30% reduction in cost of acquisition (CPA) in 1st 3 months & 72% reduction in 1st year.  57% increase in homepage to purchase conversion – 45% higher than competitors. achieving a 5 start trustpilot rating. 🏅Brand of the Year Award finalist 2020 – Insurance Post. 🏅InsurTech of the Year award finalist 2019 – British Insurance Awards in 1st 12 months.

  1. We need to talk about…? What is, or what should be, hot on the industry’s lips in your view?

Content, Inbound marketing and automation – we should be focusing on activity that has a compound interest e.g. keeps working for you.

  1.  Why are you such an asset to the industry & the network?

I have nearly 10 years of agency experience, with bleeding edge and best practice experience from outside the insurance sector. I’ve worked on many verticles and sectors including Honda, EA Games, Callaway Golf, Mars, BBC, JCB and many small startups that are not so famous.

★ My North star is all about achieving the KPI growth metrics in the easiest, most effective way.

  1. Why does your area of expertise need to be spotlighted?

It’s the bit you need to do BEFORE you spend any money on advertising campaigns, you need to work backwards from the goals.

By having a 5 year strategy, you can then work out what activity you need to do now, to achieve long term goals e.g. SEO versus what is going to achieve your targets in 3 months time?

If you don’t focus on conversion… you’re potentially ripping £50 notes up, there’s no point driving traffic to a leaky sieve!

  1. Most importantly what are 2 or 3 tips or ‘give aways’ that you can give to fellow consultants?

Solution providers to the insurance industries

If you’re a startup and you need to generate revenue, pivot from creating technology and solutions for problems the industry doesn’t know they have or aren’t ready for. Education is expensive and the sales cycle will be over 12 months. Start with a problem that an ideal client has a budget line item for. Build up your revenue and get funding to do the longer term stuff.

Insurance businesses – startup/scale ups

Fail fast. Test, learn, refine.

Don’t spend months and huge budgets on developing products or marketing campaigns. Think of MVP minimum viable tests to prove your hypothesis. Make measurement and reporting a priority. Weekly conversion results on your top KPIs, the first thing I do is create a measurement framework so we can see what’s working and stop what’s not. Document each week what changes you implemented. At Coverly we were refining our PPC, retargeting and paid social bidding every 2 weeks. Without this approach we wouldn’t have achieved our conversion improvements. 

Ask yourself:  Are you confident you have enough resources or budget to achieve your customer numbers? Are you sure you’re not missing some key marketing techniques that would better achieve the results you need in the long or short term? 

Insurance businesses – established

Recruit marketeers that have worked in startups and have non-insurance experience, you’ll get more bang for your buck as they’ll focus your budgets being spent efficiently, balancing quick wins with long term goals and increasing conversion.

Other consultants

Consultancy can be a lonely path. Build up a network of consultants you can bounce ideas off. I find “Two heads are better than one” – I love doing collaboration projects with other marketeers. I think the client gets a better solution. There’s plenty of work out there to share.

  1. And… Last but not least, how does being a member of The Camelot Network help you/or add value to your business?

The Camelot Network is fast becoming my second family and the paid work I’ve been introduced to by members has been considerable. Everyone should be part of a network like this.


Further reading

To find out more about our members and how we can create your perfect solution, contact David Clamp: