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Christine Pilkington

Christine Pilkington was working for a communications director when she had her first light bulb moment. As she watched the marketing leader make strategic decisions, allocate marketing budgets, and own the marketing function, she thought, “That’s what I want to do. But I'm going to do it my way.”  

While the concept of a “fractional CMO” existed, she learned these fractional marketers were in short supply. They could only take on so many clients at the same time. After working in product development and marketing, Christine decided to found her own company.  
“I got tired of the corporate grind and just wanted to do something on my own,” she said. Today, Crisp provides fractional marketing services and comprehensive marketing strategy to growing businesses. 

 On a mission to help other businesses scale 

Many of Crisp’s clients are in the early growth stages of their company. They don't have the budget to bring on a full-time marketing team, which can inhibit their growth. Crisp fills that gap and makes sure that its work aligns with the business's goals.   

“Our role is to translate marketing into business objectives and help entrepreneurs understand how marketing strategy will influence their bottom line,” Christine said.    

Being a growing business that helps other small businesses in the same position is what Christine believes is Crisp’s secret sauce.     

“Marketers can sometimes be speaking a different language,” she said. “At Crisp, we make sure we have the empathy and understanding of what the business owners are looking for. We know first-hand the time and investment the company is making into its marketing efforts, and we make sure that the marketing services we provide successfully further the business's overall goals.” 

Traditional payment methods come with tradeoffs 

 While Christine’s experience in marketing and product development had primed her to lead her marketing firm, payments proved to be problematic for her small business.  

Initially, Crisp was accepting payments from clients through physical checks or credit cards — both of which presented challenges.  

Physical checks were not only error-prone, but were also difficult to reconcile at the end of the month, and accepting credit card payments came with a 3% transaction cost.   
“In an economy where every dollar counts for small businesses, accepting checks and credit cards was a pain,” said Christine.  

After consulting with the company’s controller about their payment problem, Christine came across Plooto. 
“Our fractional CFO fractional controller had used Plooto with other clients and told us we could save on transaction costs by switching to Plooto,” she said. 

By automating and reconciling recurring client receivables, Crisp not only cut costs on payments, but also saves time they put toward helping other businesses with their marketing strategies.  

“Now we can set up pre-authorized debits and easily collect automatic payments from clients,” Christine said. “For us, this platform was a very easy sell.”  

Testimonial Crisp

Finally time for some down time 

It’s no secret that when you’re in the growing phase of a startup, you often find yourself wearing a lot of hats. Before Plooto, Christine was in charge of all approvals — which often meant an inability to unplug from the business.  

Now, she’s able to set approval flows without having to worry about being close to her computer to approve each transaction.   

“I was going on vacation for a month, and payments wouldn’t have gone through if I was away,” she said. “I love the idea of being able to delegate that to somebody else on my team and have the peace of mind and know that the payments will be approved while I'm away.”

Testimonial Crisp 2

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