FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VinCue has hired local entrepreneur and marketing professional Michael Hopkins as its first Chief Marketing Officer to accelerate the company’s growth following additional funding.
Kansas City, Missouri | Friday, April 30, 2021 – VinCue (DealerCue LLC) announced today they have hired Michael Hopkins, a local Kansas City entrepreneur and marketing professional with extensive experience in Software-as-a-Service sales, marketing, and delivery. Hopkins will be the company’s first dedicated marketing resource and will report directly to the executive team. The role was created following a $3M non-dilutive investment by Cypress Growth Capital and is intended to support and accelerate market share and monthly-recurring revenue growth.
“VinCue gives dealerships access to data and tools that aren’t available anywhere else in the industry,” explains VinCue Founder and Chief Technology Officer Chris Hoke, “our only obstacle is the ability to let more people know about it.” Despite a global pandemic, VinCue revenue grew 220% in 2020 with the addition of hundreds of new dealerships. During the same time, the company also rebranded, significantly expanded its product and performance management capabilities, and developed a dedicated sales team under the leadership of Managing Partner, Danny Zaslavsky. “We got so busy so fast we couldn’t keep up with marketing priorities,” says Zaslavsky, “we needed someone to own marketing.”
Last year’s growth also attracted the attention of institutional capital, ultimately resulting in the $3M investment by Cypress Growth Capital. This investment gave VinCue the resources to search for a Chief Marketing Officer. After initially contracting with Hopkins to build its new website, Hoke and Zaslavsky extended the full-time offer in March. Hopkins was then Manager for Marketing and Communication with RPI Consultants, a professional services organization supporting enterprise software implementations.
Hopkins began his professional career in Kansas City as a Delivery Consultant for Cerner and then moved to Perceptive Software (now Hyland) where he was quickly promoted to Solution Architect Team Lead, responsible for delivering software solutions for hospitals and billing departments. Following Perceptive, he joined Intouch Solutions (now Intouch Group), a digital marketing agency in the life sciences industry, though his role was dedicated to product development and delivery.
“My career path probably isn’t typical for a Chief Marketing Officer but it makes total sense to me,” says Hopkins. “As a software consultant I was trained to use software, processes, and people to solve business complex problems,” he explains, “marketing is a complex business problem – how do you apply branding, messaging, and marketing channels to create campaigns that educate a market, promote a product, and generate leads?” Hopkins says he learned this lesson and started his marketing career thanks to Zaslavsky.
“Many years ago, Danny asked me for advice on how he could be using email and social media to help sell more cars at his family’s dealership,” says Hopkins, “based on my experience as a software consultant I prepared some plans, a content calendar, and make-shift training docs.” Zaslavsky, who is still the General Manager for Country Hill Motors, appreciated the effort and immediately offered him a monthly contract. Hopkins says that experience taught him everything he needed to know about good marketing, “when you show up authentically to help someone solve a problem, they’re going to trust you with the business.”
From that first opportunity with Country Hill Motors, Hopkins quickly took on more responsibilities at the dealership and then eventually more contracts to manage marketing with other local companies. That experience ultimately offered Hopkins the opportunity to move into a fulltime marketing position as Manager of Marketing and Communication with RPI Consultants.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity RPI Consultants gave me, and I know they’re going to continue to be successful,” says Hopkins, “but when I got to see what Chris and Danny were building at VinCue it was just too good an opportunity to pass up.” Hopkins says the attraction was twofold: getting to work in startup environment with the resources to grow, and the quality of the product. “A lot of companies claim to be on the leading edge of data science, but Chris is one of the few people I’ve seen actually doing it.”
Hopkins started with VinCue on April 5th, 2021. His responsibilities will include branding, internal and external messaging, marketing and advertising campaigns, partnerships, and sales support. During his first month, Hopkins successfully launched VinCue’s new partnership with Jasen Rice and LotPop, planned VinCue’s exhibition booth and presentation for Digital Dealer Tampa, and created new collateral and pitch materials for sales.