The Tale of Alexei Orlov and the Art of Specialization - Social Media Explorer
The Tale of Alexei Orlov and the Art of Specialization
The Tale of Alexei Orlov and the Art of Specialization

The beginning of our tale starts in late 2016. Alexei Orlov sat in a Florida boardroom with his colleagues. Amongst them, CEOs and other influential c-suite members of several world-renowned agencies that together created a global corporate marketing giant that housed over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries. 

That particular day, Alexie Orlov was aloof. He stared out the boardroom window quietly in pursuit of something a little different than every other CEO around the boardroom desk that day.  Orlov’s colleagues focused on the day’s business and the tasks at hand regarding the global corporate marketing giant. Each of them had a small personal piece of the massive corporation that they were solely responsible for keeping alive and thriving. 

When questioned,  Alexei Orlov swiveled away from the window and back to the others in the boardroom. He kindly but firmly whispered two simple words, “I’m bored.”

Orlov immediately began to choose his next statements very carefully. He continued, “I want to do my own thing.”  Alexei’s boss at the time and CEO of this global corporate powerhouse quickly reminded Alexei that it was the wrong time to think about leaving as they were right in the middle of many overhauling changes and that they needed him to help facilitate those successfully.  

“Look,” Orlov continued, “ the world doesn’t need another giant marketing network as we’ve got here. It needs a highly specialist-targeted branding and marketing network. This business doesn’t have to be another four or five or six hundred billion dollar mammoth. Still, it will acquire agencies that specialize, and it will serve some of the finest brands in the world because of our specializations.” 

The men around the boardroom table almost visibly leaned in toward Orlov curiously and asked him to explain more about what he meant by specialization. Alexei fired back, “I’ve just happened upon this thing called bread, and you gentlemen wish me to give away the secret ingredients to the recipe formulating in my head. Each of you has certainly gone a bit mad to think I’ll share it with you straight away.”  The gentlemen’s curiosity was still piqued but left completely unsatisfied by Orlov as he rose, with an excited smile, from his chair and wrapped himself in the tailored suit coat that perfectly matched his astutely-tapered pants.

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Alexei Orlov walked out of that Florida boardroom and resigned from his very prestigious post with the global corporate marketing giant the very same day. But what was this specialist-driven marketing empire that Alexei Orlov saw so clearly outside those boardroom windows in the balmy Florida afternoon sky? Alexei Orlov began to see the ‘Moments That Matter.’ That was the day that Alexei began formulating the concept for his new entrepreneurial adventure and his new company, MTM. Now, this is the end of the tale, but the very beginning of a wildly popular, much more exciting adventure story. Keep reading to find out where Alexei Orlov will take you now.

Alexei Orlov’s Vision Brought to Life

So, in February of 2017, with $35 million in investor funding and a bit of his own cash, Alexei Orlov had put together a $35 million war chest. Then, he set about to create a strategy for a company comprised of 8-10 highly distinct and highly-specialized groups. He would acquire each of them because of what they offered the world, the momentary growth stage each saw themselves in, and because Orlov could see where he could add value to them. Groups and businesses reaching their prime did not interest Alexei Orlov and were not his prime candidates for acquisition. Each company he acquired would be a startup or only have been running for a short time. Each would also own a specialization and offering so unique, the capability of growing was a given.

MTM Choice specializes in awakening their clients to the ‘moments that matter.’ Thus, the MTM in the title of Alexei Orlov’s now three-year-old marketing newborn. In three years, MTM has amassed $50 million in revenue, with offices in New York, LA, London, and Shanghai, Milan, and a new office opening soon in Singapore mid-pandemic. Alexei Orlov has 300 members from four very different and very specialized marketing and branding agencies he has acquired. Together, they serve over 250 clients across the globe.

The Specializations Within MTM 

MTM currently houses four separately acquired agencies. All of the agencies live in the PR, marketing, and brand activation industries. All specialize in what they do that all remain non-competing, allowing for a set of very healthy new partnerships upon entering the MTM fold.  The acquired agencies have seen significant growth steps under the wing of Alexei Orlov. 

The Full Portfolio of Agencies Acquired by Alexei Orlov and MTM

Local Projects 

The Experience and Media Design Platform


The Video Advertising Solution

Syndicate Sub Rosa 

The Brand Strategy and Design Practice


The PR Agency

Alexei Orlov on Tailored Client Communication 

Alexei Orlov built MTM on the notion that what brands need most are specialist-driven branding and marketing efforts to reach their target audience effectively. Every day, Orlov takes the larger ideals MTM purports and uses similar, specific, and tailored communication tactics with his clientele. Ovlov spends much of his time conversing with his client’s CEOs (Executive) and CMOs (Marketing). He knows these leaders look to him to offer cauterizing honesty with every piece of communication given. To advise these brands strategically and with confidence, Orlov speaks to their leaders with intensely blatant honesty. Yet, each conversation’s truth must be delivered uniquely for the specific leader’s ears currently tuned in. 

Engaged with a different leader each time, Alexei Orlov creates specialized communication based on his audience. He might talk to a brand’s CMO one way, while the very same ideas he communicates to their CEO might sound like a completely different conversation to the untapped ear. CMOs generally don’t want to talk about network consolidation and cash flow, or foundational data. Still, Orlov will use all of those pieces of specialized data when communicating with a CEO. With CMOs, he typically appeals to their creative sensibility, while CEOs only want to understand how their brand message impacts all of those operational data points. 

Orlov spent many years professionally deciphering and understanding business executives’ communication patterns from all industries and parts of the world.

Creating Positive Anxiety in Clients

Alexei believes that without a sense of positive anxiety, then there stands a very slim chance that the potential client will choose to take a meeting with you. You want them to come into the room and take the opportunity to feel why your services are necessary to their business now. You need the client to know you can elevate their brand to its greatest possible visibility. 

“These potential clients are not the type of business people that need any sort of education from me. They don’t want a lecture; they want refreshment and new insights. They want to have a conversation and, in all of that, an anxious feeling or two. It’s my job to instill in them the sense that if they don’t stop and speak to you at that moment, they very much could lose an important opportunity that is likely not to be there in the morning.”

–Alexei Orlov on Instilling Positive Anxiety

Specialization through Technology

AIEQ is proprietary technology currently being developed by Alexei Orlov and already in use at MTM. The technology increases understanding for MTM agencies across more significant marketing ideas, specifically cultural intelligence and social listening. AIEQ comes from an idea Orlov birthed at the outset of MTM.

AIEQ  does not assist marketing and branding professionals in closing business deals with clients but in opening up profitable, on-going business relationships. AIEQ helps MTM professionals form and sustain, even grow and cultivate long-lasting, smart business relationships with every single brand that walks through the door.

When Brands Don’t Need to Specialize

Specialist-driven brand activating platforms are the bread and butter of MTM. Most clients seek Alexei Orlov and MTM for precisely that. Yet, sometimes there are individual clients whose immediate goals tell the MTM specialists that this particular brand needs expansion beyond their current specialization to hit a more comprehensive customer demographic and expand their essential offerings. MTM prides itself on giving its clients the best specialized marketing offerings in the industry. Still, Orlov also knows when a client needs to go in the opposite direction, and he demonstrated that clearly in MTM’s work with a little financial firm called Goldman Sachs!

With MTM helming their rebranding initiatives, Goldman Sachs (GS), to the general public, became a more tangible investment option, readily available to assist any investor. Goldman’s goal was to expand their offering, becoming an investing company accessible to all people, slightly quelling the elusive investment giant persona its reputation and brand strategy had promoted in the past. MTM successfully facilitated this expansion and brand evolution. Goldman Sachs still carried that elusive financial giant essence, but the rebrand opened up their business to a much broader clientele base and tremendously increased their potential annual earnings. MTM taught the world that it wasn’t necessary to have a million dollars in the bank before choosing to invest with the almighty Goldman Sachs. 

Alexei Orlov’s Specialized Path to Success

Even in the expansion of Goldman Sachs’s target audience, the tools and strategy Orlov used desired a large dose of specialization to pull off the feat successfully. Alexei Orlov’s greatest gift may be his ability to decipher the specialized pathway needed for each brand to reach their intended destination while claiming a long list of brand-activating and high-level marketing wins along the way.

Our tale ends here for now. But rest assured, Alexei Orlov will continue to pen his grand professional adventure. No matter the MTM client involved or the size of the task brought, Orlov will always find a unique way to succeed with each one using his personally cultivated brand of specialization.

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About the Author

Adam is an owner at Nanohydr8. He really loves comedy and satire, and the written word in general.

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