Meet Our CMO & Co-Founder Brent Harkins
A Born Marketer
Growing up the son of a teacher and second-generation family business owner, an emphasis was put on ambition, quality work, honesty, and strategic thinking from an early age. His curiosity in business had him seek out classes beginning in high school which naturally led into college. While the highly regarded Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder was a key decision factor; leaving the shores of Lake Michigan for the mountains and skiing of Colorado might have had a part to play as well.
Following a Passion
Graduating during the Great Recession of 2007-09 Brent was presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live in a friend’s Breckenridge ski-in ski-out condo. While the “ski-bum” life called him, he felt the need to apply his shiny new marketing degree and was fortunate to acquire a position within Vail Resorts sales department. That incredible lodging opportunity was only for a season, but Brent was hooked on working in the industry he was so passionate about and packed his bags for Denver to work at the Vail Resorts corporate office.
Teaching himself HTML through a music and lifestyle blog he created an opportunity to join the marketing department providing the next step in his career. Working on the cutting-edge EpicMix app team, he was surrounded by rockstar marketers and developers, pushed out of his comfort zone, and coached by amazing leaders.
Brent’s efforts at Vail Resorts did not go un-noticed when a former colleague offered him the position of Social Media Coordinator for a new travel startup called Inspirato. While developing their social media content and strategy, his role quickly grew taking over the management of their blog and a roster of twenty contract writers, followed by an eventual promotion to managing their primary website content as well.
Working on large-scale projects such as new website and iOS app launches, partnerships with American Express and Cadillac, and the acquisition of a competitor, grew Brent’s scope of work and presented the opportunity to manage highly talented individuals. This period of his career had a tremendous impact on his outlook on leadership and digital marketing.
Launching a Legal Career
It was February of 2018 when Brent received a LinkedIn message inquiring if he’d be open to considering a new opportunity with a dynamic attorney and entrepreneur. Leary at first, Brent took a call with David Crum, Esq. and immediately connected with his vision and aspirations. Expressing his interest in the position, Brent entered the competitive process to become the Director of Marketing for US Legal Groups. The pitch deck he created for his in-person interview wowed the team and he’s been a part of their leadership team since.
Brent partnered with David to launch dozens of campaigns, optimize ad accounts, and develop new technology stacks and sales process. Through their relentless efforts, they launched the fastest growing divorce and family law firm in Denver, expanded state-wide with satellite offices in New Mexico, and have grown the largest divorce and family law firm in Omaha.
Creating Cardinal Concepts
Brent had always had a dream of helping other businesses succeed through his own marketing agency. After three years of successful teamwork and relationship building, he pitched an idea to David to share the campaigns, work, and insights they’d done for their own firms to others as a service and Cardinal Concepts was created. It’s Brent and David’s goal to help entrepreneurial attorneys grow their practices and reach financial freedom.
My marketing “cardinal rules” are simple. 1) Provide value to the consumer, 2) position yourself uniquely from your competition, 3) listen to the data, and 4) don’t be afraid to fail.
Too many marketers get distracted with trends and fads when it’s as simple as being a champion for your stakeholders.
– Brent Harkins