Corie Dawson is a husband, dad, entrepreneur, and the proud Director of Marketing Sweet. Since 2015, he has been helping business owners from around the country discover their potential through digital marketing techniques and unbiased business advice. Corie’s work history is extensive; we’re talking everything from bartending, roof insulating, brick laying, retailing, and even building cat runs for the elderly. With a naturally embedded entrepreneurial spirit, he has leveraged off every one of these experiences by doing what he calls “stacking”, which is analysing the strengths of successful people around you, and compiling that information to create your own holistic and unbeatable service.
“When you look at what someone else is doing better than you and actually take that on board and put it to use, you just keep stacking and stacking and what’s happening is you’re coming to terms with your flaws, and building your strengths around them.”
The first of his ventures as a business owner came during his role of National Business Development Manager at one of the world’s largest stationary companies. Corie saw an opportunity to improve the existing business model to reap bigger reward through procurement outsourcing. So, he took on the challenge himself. It hadn’t even hit day one of business when he received an injunction, forcing him to lock the office doors for good—and that was only Corie Dawson’s first kick in the guts. Since then, he has been through liquidation and bankruptcy on more than one occasion, but Corie accepts his failures as the driving force behind his success.
“You can’t afford to stop. You need the failure to have the success, but unfortunately most people see it as the other way around. That’s what makes me a good businessman; I can handle the failure and getting kicked in the guts, but I’m relentless because I have confidence in my dreams.”
Despite hitting the lowest of lows, Corie came back out on top in 2015 by creating what is now Adelaide’s most reputable digital marketing agency: Marketing Sweet. He has more than 20 happy staff, a fantastic office location, and over 180 five-star customer reviews to back the credibility of the business. However, the dream is on-going, and Corie sees Marketing Sweet evolving into a global, hundred-million-dollar company within the next ten years. All of this success came from a place of necessity, because Corie struggled to find a service provider that could offer him the level of direction he needed to excel with his previous operations.
“The problem was I was getting different information from different providers constantly. There was no one spot I could go to that would offer me real, un-biased, and valuable advice.”
As a business owner, the best ways to describe Corie Dawson would be direct, determined, and fiercely passionate. He doesn’t quite fit the bill of your generic boss, because he actually engages with his team every day to inspire their success. The positive company culture has been built on the foundation of staff events, pizza days, cringeworthy dad jokes, and a shared motive to see the company succeed.
“I want people to see working for me as a paid learning experience where they can continually grow their skillsets. Rather than paying a Hex Debt, they pay back by helping the company grow.”
But with the fun and games comes hardcore business, and Corie says he makes no apologies for his intense management style—because to be good, you have to be different. This same ethos is consistent in all areas of the business, including internal management. Corie’s not fussed with degrees and qualifications. He believes that good work has to come from the heart. If people can relate to his passion, they understand why he’s a self-professed “hard task-master”.
“Success is like diamonds, it’s made under pressure, but the outcome is priceless.”
Corie acknowledges that marketing is traditionally seen as a bit of a cash-grab, but as a very grateful person, he’s working towards changing this perception by dedicating time and money to improve the lives of those around him. To date, he has donated more than $50,000 worth of services to various Australian charities like Beyond Blue, SAHARA, SANDAS, In Search of Safety and more.
“In essence, it’s about giving back. I’m lucky to be successful, and it’s fantastic to be in a position where I can use what I have to help others achieve their dreams.”
Outside of the office, Corie’s an adrenaline-loving family man who enjoys spending time on his boat, riding motorbikes, or travelling. If he’s not with his beautiful wife Kirsten and their son Arlo, he’s likely to be having a punt and a whisky with the boys or reading up on some of the biggest successors in business to further fuel his vision. He often refers to the people who have inspired him along his journey, mentioning the likes of Victor Antonio, Jay Shetty, Robert Kiyosaki, Brian Tracey, and Zig Ziggler, who can be credited for one of his favourite quotes: “Give everyone what they want first and you’ll always get what you want in the end”. Corie was even lucky enough to join Grant Cardone for dinner in L.A.
All in all, the man behind Marketing Sweet is a giant teddy bear. His core focus is ensuring that every client who walks through the Marketing Sweet doors is looked after, happy, and educated so that they can benefit from their experience long-term.