Steve De Long, Marketing Expert in San Diego, United States
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Steve De Long

Verified Expert  in Marketing

Marketing Expert

San Diego, United States
Toptal Member Since
February 24, 2022

Steve is a seasoned marketer with over 10 years of experience. He has a proven track record in developing and executing successful marketing programs. Whether it's creating lead gen campaigns using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Google or Facebook, building sales funnels that automatically segment leads, or working as a product marketing manager doing deep competitor research and building a go-to-market strategy, he has the skills to get the job done.

Project Highlights

Real Estate Startup
Led the product design of a real estate application intended to help investors identify untapped opportunities.


Work Experience

Product Marketing Manager

2021 - 2022
Ziff Davis Martech Group (via Toptal)
  • Collaborated with the product manager and marketing manager to create a go-to-market strategy for a SaaS product relaunch in the email marketing space, utilizing email autoresponders (like ManyChat) to engage and nurture leads.
  • Performed SWOT analysis and developed deep competitor research matrices for multiple products that will inform both marketing and product development projects going forward.
  • Built a feature prioritization matrix that I used to make suggested revisions to the product roadmap, which were adopted, reducing time to market by several months.

Product Marketing Manager (Freelance)

2020 - 2021
  • Worked for a venture-backed B2B SaaS company in the cybersecurity space. Took their paid search results from two leads in September to over 50 per month in November and December, providing their sales team with much-needed opportunities.
  • Built the landing pages and Adwords campaigns that generated over 300 leads through February for a new free trial offering launched in January.
  • Audited the existing Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager implementations and made adjustments that allowed Google Adwords to properly optimize ad campaigns, resulting in significantly higher conversion rates and more leads.
  • Drove marketing automation using platforms like HubSpot, ClickFunnels, ActiveCampaign, KISSmetrics, Pardot, and Salesforce. Purchased a course to proactively learn other platforms such as Keap.

Product Manager

2019 - 2020
Management Consulting Firm (via Toptal)
  • Assisted a management consulting firm with sales funnel analytics, campaign performance analysis, lead attribution, and funnel optimization.
  • Solved a lead attribution problem caused by a Google Data Studio data blend issue, allowing full-funnel attribution and resulting in a clearer understanding of which campaigns were most successful.
  • Created and updated dashboards in Google Data Studio after solving the critical lead attribution issue using Google Analytics, Salesforce, and Pardot so the team could easily review campaign performance.

Product Management and Marketing Consultant | Owner

2011 - 2019
RealtyKick, Inc.
  • Built a simple CRM using GlideApps, Zapier, and Google Sheets for Facebook Ads clients to use on their phones to click-to-call or click-to-text, resulting in a higher speed to lead.
  • Generated over 2,000 leads at approximately $15 each for a venture-backed B2B enterprise IT SaaS startup, using Facebook ads, Microsoft Advertising, and landing pages I created.
  • Designed and implemented a PPC marketing campaign report using Swydo, allowing clients to compare campaign performance across Linkedin, Google AdWords, and Facebook and make data-driven decisions regarding scaling the best-performing campaigns.
  • Performed extensive competitor research for a stealth real estate proptech startup to identify potential MVPs. Created all application input and output wireframes that integrated the founders' novel solutions with industry-standard features.
  • Participated in meetings with real estate data providers, including evaluating the offerings to determine the best combination of price and features, and then designed database update logic flows to integrate data from government and private sources.
  • Researched the market for template-driven websites for real estate agents, including evaluating MLS IDX platforms, SEO packages, and CRMs. The primary reason consumers visit a real estate agent's website was that validation was not addressed.
  • Designed a novel solution and created a clickable mockup to solve the problem of getting to know, like, and trust someone on internet time.
  • Earned meetings with several investors through the clever use of social media, including one with a well-known Los Angeles-based venture capitalist.
  • Acquired significant knowledge of Lean principles during this startup journey, including client services, real estate marketing, and digital marketing. Spent time learning to build sales funnels, particularly using FB as a paid traffic source.
  • Set up inside sales agent (ISA) services that handled inbound and outbound marketing and cold calling for real estate-related services, such as mortgages.

Founder and Product Manager

2013 - 2018
  • Researched the market for food-related products and services designed to leverage the American public's growing interest in new flavors and how to use them in everyday cooking.
  • Built eCommerce websites to test various product offerings using cutting-edge CMSs like Goodsie and Strikingly. Created and tested various MVP product offerings like DIY Vanilla Extract kits on marketing platforms like Etsy and OpenSky.
  • Evaluated and implemented payment platforms like Celery, which was primarily designed as a pre-order platform for post-Kickstarter projects that have now been acquired by Indiegogo, and Stripe, before they were famous.
  • Built a blog and created several ebooks to use as lead magnets. Evaluated viral contest platforms as potential list-building tools. Also acquired the related domains and as many social media handles as possible.
  • Successfully registered a wordmark trademark in multiple classes.
  • Created and hosted meetups for home cooks, food entrepreneurs, and cottage food producers where entrepreneurs like Sara Stroud, co-founder of Carnitas Snack Shack, spoke.
  • Designed and wireframed a custom website based on the engaging and high converting website of an artisan coffee roaster that was later acquired by Blue Bottle Coffee.
  • Developed a three-year business plan spreadsheet with recurring revenue and costs including mapping out specific hires based on the public hiring pattern—including job descriptions—of a venture-backed company in a similar space.
  • Leveraged ClickBank to curate and promote top digital cooking products to FlavorPantry newsletter subscribers.

Director, Special Projects

1995 - 2010
Data Trace Information Services
  • Created the Data Trace starter service and managed data acquisition operations working closely with the regional sales managers to acquire, scrub, index, and load the service with over 3.5 million starter records (title insurance policies).
  • Conceived a new record type that allowed Data Trace to acquire multiple large customers resulting in excess of $1 million of additional ARR. Managed the keying of ten years' worth of additional real estate data in seven Southern California counties.
  • Managed the introduction of the first API allowing customers to directly access the databases and build automated searching tools using business rules engines, including developing pricing and contracts.
  • Created Property Plus, a less costly, limited feature version of a previously retired application. I added critical new features that allowed it to fill a gap in our product mix and quickly grow to monthly billings in excess of $100,000.
  • Closed $30 million in new and renewal business for a real estate SaaS service with a lifetime value of those contracts exceeding $150 million.
  • Owned P&L for a revenue and customer support budget. Grew annual revenue from $5 million to over $7.5 million in additional revenue over a five-year period.

Real Estate Startup

Led the product design of a real estate application intended to help investors identify untapped opportunities.

I served as a product manager and strategic advisor for a stealth Prop Tech real estate startup.

In addition to a deep analysis of the competitive marketplace, I created a complete set of wireframes for the application, including helping develop the UI for the founder's unique and non-obvious solutions to property search problems mapped to proprietary data sets.

I also worked on the data acquisition side, including interfacing with commercial and government data providers and performing provider contract reviews.

The data acquisition tasks included mapping the data to the UI/wireframes and developing guidelines for the development team to use when applying updates.

Finally, I served as a strategic adviser regarding pricing, sales, fundraising, and business development opportunities using my extensive experience in real estate data/property tech, SaaS sales, account management, customer support, digital marketing, and lean startup principles.

Mortgage Broker B2C Lead Generation

Generated quality leads for a mortgage broker using Facebook ads and a multi-step qualification funnel.

Using Facebook ads and a multi-step branching lead qualification funnel, I generated quality leads for a mortgage broker. Leads were automatically segregated into refi and purchase and then qualified by self-reported credit scores.

Go-to-market and Feature Prioritization

Served as the product marketing manager and developed a feature prioritization matrix to evaluate the competitive positioning of the anticipated new product compared to existing offerings.

I used the feature matrix to make suggested changes to the product roadmap to bring the product to market several months sooner than initially planned and prioritize those features that mattered most to the users in this new market. This project was done for a martech company in the email space, launching a new product.

IT SaaS Lead Generation

Solved a lead generation challenge faced by a B2B SaaS.

Working for a venture-backed B2B Enterprise IT SaaS company in the cybersecurity space, I took their paid search results from 2 leads in September to over 50 per month in November and December, providing their lead-starved sales team with much-needed opportunities.

I built the landing pages and AdWords campaigns and generated over 300 leads through February for a new free trial offering launched in January.
1978 - 1982

Bachelor of Art Degree in Fine Art

San Diego State University - San Diego, California


Facebook Ads, Landing Pages, Google Tag Manager, Lead Generation, Paid Advertising, Market Research & Analysis, Marketing Analytics, Marketing Strategy, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), Marketing Leadership, Product Marketing, Go-to-market Strategy, Digital Marketing, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Digital Marketing Strategy, Funnel Marketing, Marketing, Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), Social Media Advertising, Pay-per-Click (PPC), Content, Ads, Social Media Marketing (SMM), Audience Targeting, Google Ads, Email Marketing, Email Campaigns, Email Marketing Automation, Marketing Automation, B2C Marketing, Funnel Optimization, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Cold Emailing, Branding, Copywriting, Inbound Marketing, Product Positioning, Account-based Marketing (ABM), Affiliate Marketing, Inside Sales, Enterprise Sales

Platforms & Tools

Google Analytics, HubSpot Marketing Hub, Google Data Studio, Acquisition Channels, Keap, Mailchimp, Pardot, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, ClickBank, Wistia

Business Models

Software as a Service (SaaS), Business to Business (B2B), B2B, B2C, Business to Consumer (B2C), Market Positioning, SaaS Product Marketing


Market Research, Strategic Planning, Real Estate, Marketing Plans, Competitive Analysis, Spreadsheets, Customer Acquisition, Growth Strategy, Startups, B2B Marketing, Competition Research, Market Opportunity Analysis, Paid Search, Real Estate Marketing, B2B Lead Generation, Paid Media, Sales Funnel, Sales Effectiveness, Subscription Pricing, Pricing Strategy, Facebook Pixel, Analytics, ManyChat, Zapier, Email Autoresponders, Etsy, Microsoft Excel, Chatbots, Email Delivery, Landing Page Optimization, User Experience (UX), SWOT Analysis, Drip Email, Email, Project Management, Growth Marketing, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), B2B Partnerships, Go-to-market Optimization, Data Analysis, Multichannel Marketing, Customer Experience, Microsoft Advertising, UX Design, WordPress, Stripe, Wireframing, ClickFunnels, Salesforce, Cold Calling, Kickstarter, KISSmetrics, SaaS Sales, Outbound Marketing, Client Services, Digital Newsletters, Security Sales, Tech Sales, Attribution Modeling, Sales Optimization, Lead Magnet, Customer Service

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