Touch Points to Touch People – Nick Kraus of Kraus Marketing

Nick Kraus, CEO & Founder of Kraus Marketing

Nick Kraus, the CEO & Founder of Kraus Marketing, grew his company’s revenue from $656,000 in 2014 to $2 million in 2017, a 205% increase, and to around $2.1 million in 2018.  

Kraus Marketing is a branding and digital marketing agency that specializes in corporate identities, digital advertising, interactive marketing campaigns, and web development.  

In this interview with Eversprint‘s Malcolm Lui, Nick shares how he and his team accelerated their high value sales by:  

  • Increasing inbound leads through SEO and content marketing.  
  • Committing to long term sales, employee and client growth goals.  
  • Hiring and retaining the best people, and letting go those who were not a good fit.  

Computer generated transcript - Kraus Marketing Interview (transcribed by Sonix)

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Malcolm Lui: Welcome to the High Value Sales Show of I'm Malcolm Lui, the Managing Member of Everysprint, and today we're speaking with Nick Kraus, the CEO and Founder of Kraus Marketing, a branding and digital marketing agency that specializes in corporate identities digital advertising interactive marketing campaigns and web development. Welcome to the call Nick.

Nick Kraus: Thank you Malcolm. Appreciate you having me.

Malcolm Lui: Nick you grew your company's revenue from $656,000 in 2014 to $2 million in 2017, a 205% increase, and in 2018 you hit around $2.1 million. Before we talk about how you grew your company so fast, can you briefly share what your company does beyond my quick intro and how your company differs from the competition?

What they do, and how they differ.

Nick Kraus: Sure. So we're a digital marketing agency. We're rooted in branding and website design. And digital marketing. In case that's not clear is integrated plans that could be mixed with traditional but typically have a couple if not several of the following including social media marketing search engine marketing including search engine optimization programmatic advertising and and any other digital including YouTube advertising Amazon optimization as well. What makes us different is that we're not just simply tactics. We have a saying around here you can use touch points to lead a media plan or you can use touch points to truly touch people. We believe that it's the strategy the execution of that strategy but also the creative behind the strategy that makes a successful campaign.

Malcolm Lui: Now is there any part of marketing that you don't do

Nick Kraus: Is there any part of marketing that we've done to traditional public relations PR. We do not do that is that's a lot about connections. And as far as those traditional channels as far as television and newspaper or print that is just outside of our our skill set. Other marketing that other things that people would consider marketing like printings or the promotional products are also outside of you know we have vendors that we work with. However it's not something that we list as a service. It's something that we will help you get on an end or connect with at the end. If we need those partners

Malcolm Lui: Right. Got it. What would you say were the three biggest drivers that grew your sales from six hundred fifty six thousand in 2014 up to two point one million this past year

Nick Kraus: Yeah it's a little bit of a story is it OK to tell it.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah definitely

Nick Kraus: So Back in let's see here two thousand and fifteen. Yeah. 2015 it was April 2015. We had just launched a new Web site was the version before the one we have currently. And when we launched that new Web site our phones went silent and the inbound lead stopped happening at the time we weren't getting a whole lot of leads to our website. We were getting a couple a week and at least one or two phone calls additional on top of those a week and and then I looked at our traffic three or four days later after we launched the Web. It's kind of a crazy time. And I had skipped a lot of parts of our process because I said well it's just it's our website. We don't need to do all of our process just launch the damn thing that think were my words exactly. So the team launched it but we missed a couple of steps. Long story short we had chilled our own organic ranking when we relaunched the new site and then I realized that that time not only the work that we were doing for our clients is so important that it was really important for us and most agencies you know don't really focus on their own marketing. It's a typical you know it's just typical not to do things for yourself that you know is good for others.

Eating their own cooking

Nick Kraus: So what I said to my team at that time once we realized what was going on we got the organic traffic going again I said guys you know one thing that we always talk to our clients is how important digital marketing is to them and how can help grow the business. But if anything I realized over the last week is that we don't do it for ourselves like we should. So I want to make Krauss marketing a Tier 1 kind of Krauss marketing. I want everything that we're doing for our best clients at crowds marketing for Krauss marketing. And that day for we started writing a ton of content doing a ton of social media emails programmatic advertising retargeting. We continue to search engine optimizer Web site but just in a much more aggressive manner. And I told them I don't want to be like our short sighted clients or prospects. Usually we don't particularly take on short sighted prospects as clients. I want to think long term. It's April 2015. I want to look at 2016 and I want to absolutely crush it in 2016. That gives us eight months to really ramp up things and change and change the game. And we literally did just that in 2016. We over doubled revenues and we kept that through 2017. Now we're tracking for 2019 for about a 50 percent increase in revenue.

Nick Kraus: You know there is a lot of catching up in the back end for all the business that we took on. And I think the back of house is good but there's a couple of things about can we did besides increasing inbound leads. The second thing I mentioned long term goals and a commitment to those long term goals. Before that there was a lot of tactical things I was doing just like any other entrepreneur is just to try and drive business through that month and the next couple of months. So we have long term goals and we're committed to that. And then the third that really helped us grow but also lowered our attrition rate to just 10 percent in 2018 which is by 2019 is gonna be such a great year is great employees. We got rid of some really garbage employees people that were there for just a job that were you know if you looked at the top grading scale they received for sure maybe D minuses and we turned overstaffed in 2015 and 2016. Not completely but slowly in order to get really good employees that delivered the most value to our clients and that were motivated and hungry. And I think that with those three things combined it really just turned the company into a different sheet

Malcolm Lui: Right now going back to number one where you said you're going to start eating what you cook in the kitchen

Nick Kraus: Yes.

Malcolm Lui: As well for your clients right.

Nick Kraus: Yep.

Malcolm Lui: Eating what you cook or eating what you kill depending on your mindset if you're a

Nick Kraus: Right.

Malcolm Lui: Chef or a hunter and I fired up my my spy tools that were the same ones that you I'm sure your team has as well and I checked out your company and my spy tool actually doesn't show that you have a D on your main website that you have a super strong CEO presence or super In fact I didn't find any paper click ads is my tool just garbage or

Nick Kraus: No.

Malcolm Lui: You running traffic

Nick Kraus: Well

Malcolm Lui: Elsewhere

Nick Kraus: For for Ezio for sure. It's what we're using by the

Malcolm Lui: Is a ice age.

Nick Kraus: Ok. So for Ezio it is definitely incorrect and I guess it depends if it's requested that you put in certain terms or is it just looking at the at the power of the website. That to me globally and it's cross group marketing dot com is the actual domain cross marketing is a vanity domain. I'm not sure we're using that

Malcolm Lui: I actually looked at cross marketing dot com.

Nick Kraus: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: So that might

Nick Kraus: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: Be it

Nick Kraus: Yeah cross group marketing is their actual domain press marketing sort of vanity but paper click. We actually and we it doesn't make sense for everyone paperclip. We have taken your tech clients and even us for website design out of paper click in the last 12 to 24 months and we continue to play with. But I tell you what happened with paper quick and what happen is that the cost of the clicks get driven up so much especially in an area like New Jersey in New York where we're fighting for clicks that when you're at a 20 to 30 dollar cost per click you're at a even let's say you do a two percent. But let's just say on average a 1 percent conversion rate. So for every one hundred clicks we get a lead. So now we're talking two thousand dollars per lead and let's say you have a good closing percentage and you're closing 30 percent of the leads that you're getting or even if you're closing 50 percent of the leaves are getting it still costing about twelve thousand dollars for a lead or for a new client. So many times on paper click you're closing one in 10

Malcolm Lui: Yet.

Nick Kraus: When you're closing one in 10. You know you're costing twenty thousand dollars for a new client or sometimes even more. A lot of times your I.T. companies at least in our area it's as much as 30 and 40 dollars a click per forty thousand dollars for a new client it just becomes not reasonable. So we really focus on their search engine optimization growing whether through social media and then retargeting we use we do use Google's retargeting a lot the budget allows

Malcolm Lui: Right. You know while you're chatting a little bit I actually fired up my tool on Cross group marketing and yeah now I see your SGI presence in there. So

Nick Kraus: Yeah

Malcolm Lui: What's your thinking between using cross group marketing as opposed to cross marketing which is a shorter domain name

Why they are sticking with their original, longer domain name of

Nick Kraus: Yeah. So we started off as the crowds group was our first company name. I had it marketing on to the domain because even back in the early 2000s domain having a have a keyword in the domain was powerful the algorithm. So I want it marketing within my domain. And as the Kraus group for your class group marketing would be a solid one. Now we switch from the crowds group to cross marketing about five years ago when we opened up a retail location in a downtown and I wanted everyone to know exactly what we did. I didn't want anyone to think that the crowd scoop was a financial firm or CPA etc.. I wanted to know that we were marketing agency. So I switched across marketing.

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Nick Kraus: Now the reason I never switched the domain is because one of the most terrible parts of Google's algorithm is how long your domain has been around and how long there's been good content around that domain. Now you can use 3 or 1 redirects and redirect a full domain to another domain. But what I've found is that use 25 percent if not more of your juice or traffic when you switch domains up. So to me to have a vanity domain that just redirects to the original domain was an easy solution since you know to the end user there's no issues with the

Malcolm Lui: Right. Got it. Now work for the second driver a commitment to long term goals. Can you talk a little bit more about that. Like what are the long term goals that you your team committed to committed to

Nick Kraus: Yeah. So right now we're about 20 employees. Our long term goal is to be a 40 person agency long term goal is to continue to grow the size of our clients. Right now our average client on an annual basis spends about 75 to one hundred and twenty five thousand dollars a year with us and the goal is to increase that as time goes on to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year. Average sized client up so that the long term goal was to continue to grow the agency as a small agency. There's a lot of risk if you lose a couple of major clients you could you could easily lose your agency and have to let everyone go. But with enough critical mass as they say even with the loss of some major clients with restructuring and hard work the agency sticks around and feeds the people that have worked so hard for it.

Malcolm Lui: Right. And what is that critical mass level

Nick Kraus: As far as the size of the company I really believe that around I believe that we have we reached critical mass. This year's is what I believe we have reached finally and that's why I think 2019 would be such a good year for us and that critical mass to me is a sense of stability. I take a lot of pride in my employees and making sure that they get every paycheck. A lot of small companies. It's crazy to hear but that's a lot of entrepreneurs if they ever missed a paycheck and most of them will say yes and crass marketing has never missed a payroll. And I take pride in that and I'll never miss a payroll. And

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Nick Kraus: I think that that critical mass is important that you know even with some destructive or crazy things happening that your employees get paid when you know they deserve to get paid because they didn't enter into this relationship as the entrepreneur or as the person with risk they entered into a contractual that you will pay them on time. And I think that that's all. And I think as long as they're doing a good job you know that the vision is to provide them with a position that you provided them with not with you know ups and downs or layoffs

Malcolm Lui: Right. Exactly.

Nick Kraus: Because yeah. So that's the idea that critical mass

Malcolm Lui: Ok. So critical mass. One level it's 2 million or so in revenue. And then another angle just doing a quick math and I'm guessing you have 20 clients now

Nick Kraus: You know we have 20 clients we have about 100 clients but 20 clients 20 to 30 clients that are doing ongoing marketing services with us on a monthly. We have a hundred that we also have a really cool product called website as a service where for a little monthly fee we provide you with a website instead of a huge 15 or sometimes 30 thousand dollar project cost we provide you with a website that you can pay us on a monthly basis for. So we have quite a few of those smaller clients so those aren't calculated into the into the average client size

Malcolm Lui: Right. OK. So man because you have about 20 clients on a recurring basis. I'm paying you roughly a hundred thousand a year. If you lose one it's only five percent of your revenue. So it's not

Nick Kraus: Correct.

Malcolm Lui: Not

Nick Kraus: Exactly.

Malcolm Lui: The end of the not not the end of the day not the end of the game.

Nick Kraus: No.

Malcolm Lui: Using not

Nick Kraus: Exactly.

Malcolm Lui: Just that one.

Nick Kraus: That's exactly correct.

Malcolm Lui: Okay. Got it. And then the third driver you're able to hire great people and keep your attrition rate at 10 percent. How does that 10 percent attrition rate compare to industry norms in your opinion.

Their 10% attrition rate vs the industry's 25-30%

Nick Kraus: So I I would say that it is really pretty fantastic. From what I understand Patricia is closer to 25 or 30 percent for most agencies. We also have a similar attrition rate for our employees. I did read a stat that for professional companies in the advertising space that the attrition rate for employees is as much as 40 percent. We have a similar 10 percent attrition rate for employees or employees really loved to work here. And I think that's why our clients to ground is they love to work with or are happy and passionate employees.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. And at the same time I think no no wants the work of the new person every year. Because

Nick Kraus: That

Malcolm Lui: Then you have to get to know them again and

Nick Kraus: You know

Malcolm Lui: Share what your

Nick Kraus: In

Malcolm Lui: Preferences

Nick Kraus: The past

Malcolm Lui: Are.

Nick Kraus: We've lost clients just because that Malcolm they're like well you know I've trained I trained a new boy twice in the last year. And I realized that that was a very important thing was keeping my employees Brown especially those eight players. Put those on the best accounts because you don't want to lose a client because you have employee turnover

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. So what do you do about a pod structure. That's oftentimes it suggests its solution where were your clients never have this one person being a point of contact to actually have three people who can all do the same job. So if one person leaves you still have two to available and need to hire someone who the other two can now train up

Nick Kraus: Yeah. Yeah. So we actually have a pretty similar thing happening here where there's just there's always a point person which is the project manager but there's also an account manager on it. And then there's a lead from one of the departments on it as well. So yeah. So we have a three person scheme here as well. But you know in the bigs in the big scheme of things you know if they really attached to that lead person which is the project manager and that person goes you know even the even the pod I actually haven't heard of call that before but even that strategy may not may not say that

Malcolm Lui: Right. Right. But the pots are dry. I'm imagining it's actually a bit more finer than what you detail.

Nick Kraus: Yeah

Malcolm Lui: So you have three

Nick Kraus: Go

Malcolm Lui: People

Nick Kraus: Ahead

Malcolm Lui: In three different areas but like say your project manager is the main primary point of contact that there would be two other and this will have to increase your staffing costs quite a bit but instead just one project manager working with the client you're actually be three. Right. One

Nick Kraus: Gotcha

Malcolm Lui: Primary and two who are who are working with the client as well as perhaps learning as well how to do the project management right

Nick Kraus: Yep.

Malcolm Lui: And they'll be different tiers. Want to be a junior person wins a middle person with a senior person. The whole idea is that if one person leaves then there are at least two other people available to cover that gap until you're able to replace the

Nick Kraus: Yeah. That's an interesting thought. Yeah I think it would

Malcolm Lui: Yeah.

Nick Kraus: Require a little bit larger of a team than I got but I think

Malcolm Lui: Yeah.

Nick Kraus: That yeah that's interesting.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. I would be a bit more but in the three people right. You could have three senior people at the project managers right in and they take different roles with different clients. Right. Once once a lead for one client then the other two are the backup and then they rotate

Nick Kraus: Sure.

Malcolm Lui: Different clients.

Nick Kraus: Yes.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. It does require an extra level of investment on the staff to do that. So can you talk a bit more about what happened in 18 that led to a relatively flat year for you.

Nick Kraus: So 2016 one of her big reasons for growth was a very large client team on board and they left us at the end of 2017. So while we are poised for a lot of growth in 2018 that client left us in 2017 they left us just at the end of the third quarter 2017 that left a big gap to be filled. So to be quite honest so I was proud that not only did we fill the hole but we still increased revenues that one client was about 20 percent of our total gross revenues. So

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Nick Kraus: It was a pretty big hole to fill.

Malcolm Lui: So what happened there. What led them to go elsewhere or or stop using your services

Why their big client left them

Nick Kraus: You know we have a you know there's something called perceived ROIC right. So you could prove to a client you know what we're doing. We can show them the increase in traffic we'd show them increase in e-commerce. They could tell you that they have an increase. And so this is a retail client that will side e-commerce connected to it. And they could even show you. This client did have all these increase in traffic increase in e-commerce sales and a very large increase in retail sales. And but they didn't believe it was due to Cross's work over the 18 months that they worked with us. It was more 18 24 months however buying was that they worked with us. They believe that it was other you know things that happened within the economy and seasonal to do with their retail that increased their revenues so drastically. And so they perceived basically that you know that they could do less and get the same growth.

Malcolm Lui: Right

Nick Kraus: So that left very very good terms very nice people but they just perceived that they could they could do it for cheaper and get the same type of growth. So those are the type of people I hope to see come back around. I don't think that they do well just that you know I believe that they'll find that what we were doing was that beneficial for them.

Malcolm Lui: Oh yeah. Yeah and that's one of the key things about marketing sometimes that's especially when you go to like you're doing work in the TV space radio ad space it's harder to attribute where

Nick Kraus: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: The returns are coming from right.

Nick Kraus: Yeah I completely agree and that's what I love about digital is you know you can the numbers are very you know easily proven especially if you get all the the you know conversion metrics set up properly so but even sometimes again they they may not attribute to you the increase in conversions they just might attribute to you know whatever other reason they come up with. So it's you know it's always a little bit of a struggle to make sure that the client understands what you're doing for them and not everything is a perfect fit at the end of the day. So you can't you can't get too upset about it.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah for sure. It's a in a way it's a relationships type business about something and the other side it's also a numbers sort of business as well right. You can't just say

Nick Kraus: 100

Malcolm Lui: You

Nick Kraus: Percent

Malcolm Lui: Can't just get hung up on one particular client.

Nick Kraus: If

Malcolm Lui: Now have they have you know what have your conversations been like with them. You know a year later in and revisiting how they're doing and see how you can help.

Nick Kraus: Yeah so. So fortunately for them they've actually done a couple of acquisitions so they know they're growing. Yeah acquisition and you know we we actually were able to see some of their analytics and talk to them about you know some of the things that have kind of gone flat despite their you know growth. The acquisition as opposed to personal growth. But it's one of those things that they welcome the conversation every time. It's just that we haven't changed their mind to come back to us just yet.

Malcolm Lui: Sure. Now you and I both know right people. They're not always ready to buy every time that you engage them and see how you can help right. So you stay in touch when they're ready they'll let you know.

Nick Kraus: That's exactly it. And you know the other thing that's been keeping is keeping us so busy is just our our inbound are inbound leads you know. So our our team is so busy that you know it's hard to chase. It's it's much easier to replace them. So you know we end up getting this game of you know and you know what. There's a little bit of buyer's remorse. You gotta be careful about overselling. I like to be consultant. I don't like to be as a sales team because I know I don't believe there's any dirty word in the world selling people you know. You sell sales so there's like a forward four letter word. But to me it's what has to happen in order for a business to grow. However the way you go about it is important to me because I think it needs to be a mutual respect in order for two companies to work well together. I believe when someone's sold on an idea as opposed to you know brought to an idea that they agree with that there could be buyer's remorse. That tends to make the relationship go sideways pretty quickly. So that's why we try to stay away from chasing too much and having those conversations that we just referred to to see how things are going and if there's any interest in continuing the conversations which you know is all you could do I guess.

Malcolm Lui: It is and is also more time efficient as well.

Nick Kraus: Yeah

Malcolm Lui: In my experience as well.

Nick Kraus: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: And then at one point you need to draw the line. I mean if a person continually says they're not ready contact talk me again in a few months. You know you do that for a few times a couple of times and then after a while maybe these guys will never be interested. So

Nick Kraus: Right.

Malcolm Lui: Save yourself

Nick Kraus: Yep

Malcolm Lui: The time.

Nick Kraus: Yep. Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: So

Nick Kraus: We just had a company come back to us. So as a company I dealt with years ago and I didn't have a sales team and they just actually my team was in here this morning with sales I was in my office this morning they said hey this one company is looking to do an e-commerce and digital marketing plan. And I said who I talked to them back in 2013. When you get in there ask assume what's changed in the last six years that they think they might start doing it now and of course they'll say it gentler than that but now you're completely right. Some companies will just never get around to

Malcolm Lui: Yeah I mean he's got other initiatives that they're working on. They don't

Nick Kraus: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: Have time to think about it you know when they're ready they'll let you know. So

Nick Kraus: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: Did you. That's our the time keeping in touch by a company from six years ago or they

Nick Kraus: No.

Malcolm Lui: Kind of

Drawing the line on prospects who are unlikely to do business with you.

Nick Kraus: No actually it's just that that's one of those things that you were just talking about. You know you you follow up with a handful of times but you know it's you. You have it's time efficiency thing like you said you have to. You have to keep marching and keep finding new ones. They're not going to pull the trigger. There's no reason to bother.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah definitely lets you pop them on a sequence and not even think

Nick Kraus: Right.

Malcolm Lui: About it. Right.

Nick Kraus: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: Okay. How about we look another year for it. Tell us. I mean he sure a little bit more about your 2019 plans. I know you talked about some commitment to goals about growing your average account size client size from six seventy five hundred twenty five thousand two hundred fifty thousand. I'm sure you probably are keen to add more clients as well. I know you talk about adding more employees. Can you talk a little bit more about maybe some of your quantified 2019 goals that you have

Nick Kraus: Yeah. So 2019 is the target growth is 30 percent increase in revenues which would get us to about two point seven million. And we're tracking for not a whole lot under that already. Based on our last quarter of sales. Since we're a monthly recurring business for the most part it's pretty easy to see that. So we have to we're gonna have to replace some clients that will be used because that's just the way of the world especially in advertising. You know people take a fresh look at their stuff so we'll have to replace and then glow on top of that. What we're doing in order to attract the larger sized clients and also to deliver the most value is this year is really focusing on integrated marketing plans only. So the idea behind that is no longer will we just take on a client that just wants to social media we're just wants to paper click. We find that the best clients are the clients that come to us and want to integrate their marketing strategy digital and and sometimes traditional to a plan that really can get to touch people in multiple ways as opposed to just one tactic which what we find just doesn't convert as as often as something that could touch someone in several different ways. So

Malcolm Lui: All right

Nick Kraus: That's our that's our big strategy is really integrated clients only going forward.

Malcolm Lui: Okay. And how big a client are you thinking of attracting

Nick Kraus: So we still will. So the clients that we really want are the Fortune 500 and you know kinds of that size where they have a brand that we can work with. So we have a client as a that is a very large multinational client and we work with one of the brands and they're no four or five hundred thousand dollars a year we have another client that's similar to them we've had a couple of shots that some clients like that this year we will just work with one of their brands. We do an integrated marketing plan or one of their categories to really increase awareness and drive more sales of that product or that service for them. And those are the type of clients that you know that we'll be targeting. Now it doesn't mean that his own claims that get this excited typically are client side starts around 5000 dollars a month. We do have some clients a little bit smaller than that. And that's how you get to that average of seventy five thousand. But you know the goal is to continue to increase those client sizes. It's really kind of fun to dig deep into a client and have weekly calls and daily work where you just really digging in and doing hours and hours of work you know that having teams specialized on certain clients. I think just make delivers the most value. So that's that's what the ideas behind that

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. So we're sending you have a pretty pretty wide range for Fortune 500 companies all the way down to the ones that are paying you five K a month. I imagine those are outside of the Fortune 500 scope

Nick Kraus: Oh yeah of course. Yeah yeah those are small and medium sized businesses when we started the company Malcolm The idea was and it still is that critical mass where we have as many clients as possible in order to to you know not so you know basically I could sleep at night to know that if we did lose any given one that the next day the business still runs and there's not a huge layoff which I think that we're still at.

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Nick Kraus: But so it was also the idea that you could deliver the best marketing to the small medium sized businesses where quite honestly they're being undervalued there's a lot of agencies that are award winning like ours that have you know employees that are you know as well experience but they won't touch an account unless it's a million dollars or up in revenue you

Malcolm Lui: Yep

Nick Kraus: Know. So or we're maybe a half a million in a lot of times those agencies only have four or five clients too. Sometimes they have 10 but the idea is for us to diversify enough. So what we want to do is to grow and we have a couple clients that size we want to make sure that we grow that so that we could again have enough clients that size that we're not just relying on one client for a paycheck or two to make payroll

Malcolm Lui: Yep. Yeah. In another interview I had with another digital marketing agency and they get it because they are so specialized serving a one particular niche. And they were happy doing work for a smaller client that was literally only paying them hundreds of dollars a month right. For some basic prepackaged service. But their idea was one day because they designed their systems they can still make money with a client it's only paying that six seven hundred dollars a month. But there's always a potential that they will do more with them over time.

Nick Kraus: Correct. Yep.

Malcolm Lui: Right. So

The potential growth of small clients

Nick Kraus: Which is what we've seen with a lot of our small clients. Come on you know even for twenty five hundred or three thousand but within a year to do nine and ten thousand dollars a month because their company is grown and they see the value in our services.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah and that is key right. I have you and I both I'm sure we've encountered businesses business owners who you see marketing as an expense as opposed to an investment.

Nick Kraus: Correct.

Malcolm Lui: Right. And then once you see as an expense it's really difficult to show them how spending more marketing can actually grow your business right.

Nick Kraus: Yes 100 percent

Malcolm Lui: All right. Now how are you going to target the Fortune 500 companies.

Nick Kraus: To that's going to be the ones that we've gotten have been in that leaves look for a digital marketing agency know New Jersey or New York. And they find us. We're going to switch off the game playing a little bit this year and do some outbound marketing. So this this month specifically actually we'll be mailing capability decks to these Fortune 500 companies the marquee managers at some companies and hopefully get them some more opportunities at pitching them as they pitch more you know your closing percentage goes up. So and as you get more of them you understand what they're looking for more just like anything else. You know we started when I started this company you know over 10 years ago when my first clients was a restaurant down the street you know and then you get a big client understand what they're looking for. And you do marketing for them and you understand have little value to them. So as time goes on you keep growing it. My experience is as a marketing management with a multinational corporation consumer electronics before the agency but no one wants to hear that. They want to know what you did. Since you have had your company. So

Malcolm Lui: Yeah of course.

Nick Kraus: As you grow that portfolio and you understand their needs more it's easier to land more of those clients. So that's the goal is more outbound reach as opposed to inbound this year and really you know it's that's the hard work the inbound leads are easy to hit you in head you close the deals and you do it again. The outbound ones as you know where no one wants to get their hands dirty and and and I think that there's some room for growth and that for our organization specifically.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. So what type of what types of outbound outreach are you thinking about doing

Nick Kraus: So those capable decks will be mainly now we'll be doing e-mails we'll be doing retargeting campaigns for them once they do reach our website to continue to see us and serve content that we hopefully until they find valuable to them.

Malcolm Lui: Okay.

Nick Kraus: And then some good old fashioned cold calling as necessary. We're

Malcolm Lui: Right

Nick Kraus: Also doing some more strategic networking events where we think we can find these people that we'll be getting our stuff. And then of course speaking events or the other ones that we'll hopefully be doing more of this year we find that almost every time one of them myself or one of our other experts get in front of a group of people of our target audience a couple of leads if not sales come out of almost every speaking event. So that's another big KPI that will be or you know maybe leading indicator that we know will add to the conversions and the back end by the end of the year. We can get them done and commit to early.

Malcolm Lui: All right. Any plan to do any sort of lumpy mail type campaigns.

Nick Kraus: So we've done this in the past and we've looked at those but not in the current works. I love the idea of that. And but no nothing currently in the works

Malcolm Lui: Yeah I mean on one hand it's expensive right. Compared to the other options. But on the other hand so little mail of relevance comes through now that anything that does I think would get people's attention.

Nick Kraus: Yep. I agree.

Malcolm Lui: So I suppose once you fine tune your message to the Fortune 500 companies then the lumpy mail would look more interesting otherwise you're kind of guessing shooting in the dark with a

Nick Kraus: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: Fairly expensive campaign.

Nick Kraus: Yeah that's true too. One thing we do a lot of projects to produce Fortune 500. So the goal is just to get our name in front of mom and then to have them see the other logos so we don't have a lot of integrated digital plans with these large companies. We've done a lot. We have a lot of nice logos that we could say our customers and past customers of ours

Malcolm Lui: Yeah

Nick Kraus: Or client experience as we call it. And once they see that we've worked with other companies of their size and even in their vertical we get a lot more phone calls so

Malcolm Lui: Oh

Nick Kraus: That's the

Malcolm Lui: Yeah

Nick Kraus: Idea to.

Malcolm Lui: Definitely. Are you targeting any particular vertical among the Fortune 500.

Nick Kraus: Not currently now.

Malcolm Lui: What were your thoughts about that.

Why they are not targeting a particular Fortune 500 vertical -- yet.

Nick Kraus: Yeah. So well we always request that our clients give us very specific you know we want to target right. And if we did we hit the bull's eyes and we want to know what the bull's eye is for our clients and and we'll keep a minute a bull's eye and we might just hit the target. But that still might be a pretty good lead for you. So what I'm trying to say is maybe we're not eating what we typically cook with not having too defined of a list yet. But I do have to say that this is still something that we're defining and we're actually we have a annual summit and a semi-annual someone in the summer where we get together we talk about OK. Here is our. Here's our biggest clients or the biggest industry that are clients came from and he was our biggest growth. And then we decide you know what we want more of that. That goes back to our homes our content calendar. We start running content targeted at those those those clients as well so I think part of the reason I can't answer it yet is that is coming up next week January 30th. So

Malcolm Lui: All right. So next week you guys who have a better idea as to who

Nick Kraus: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: You want to target first.

Nick Kraus: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: Just a couple there's a couple of strategies or one you could take a vertical and you can pursue it and see how it works or another one you can go broad and then the ones that express interest then you can have been self-selecting then you go deeper right

Nick Kraus: Yep. Exactly.

Malcolm Lui: Now. Three last question for you. First one. Say you say you had a billboard up on a on a freeway in your area and the New Jersey area that's. Typically people who to see billboards while driving on the freeway. That's moving where traffic is moving they only see it for six seconds. So what message do you have on that billboard that someone can can read consume and comprehend in six seconds

Nick Kraus: I would say go back to the beginning. Malcolm we talked about what truly differentiates us from other agencies. And one thing that we talk about all the time. You can use touch points to complete a media plan or use touch points to truly touch people.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah I like that one touch points that you really touch people.

Nick Kraus: We could also one that we hang our hat time. We still uses creatively obsessed strategically guided media agnostic so as much as we still talk about us being a digital marketing agency for a lot of our clients or so do billboards and out of home and even platform posters for train stations. So the media agnostic it makes sense doesn't have to be digital. It's important that we give them the best tactics that will reach their audience.

Malcolm Lui: Right. Totally makes sense. And it's really key is defining who you want to reach because there is no point doing a campaign or Facebook. Your target audience is never there. Right.

Nick Kraus: That's what that's for sure.

Malcolm Lui: Two last questions for you. Who are your ideal clients. I know you talk a little bit about that are already but maybe you can recap it again. And what's the best way for them to contact you and your team.

Their ideal client.

Nick Kraus: Sure. So our target audience our target audience is a little bit broad but I will say that they have a couple of things in common. They have long term vision and goals and they have an understanding of the commitment that it takes to get to this long term vision and goals. One of the other commitments is an integrated digital plan. So we're not looking to just deliver one tactic and hang our hats that that's going to get them to their end goal typically the size of the client is about 20 million to 100 million dollars in revenue. There are clients that are larger than that that we work with. However we work with one of their categories or one of their brands as opposed to being their agency of record for a huge company. So those are those are the typical clients and I will put one more premier on there. Typically we like to work with a client that actually has a CMO or a marketing director or even just a marketing coordinator. Some of it could be our point of contact besides the entrepreneur. We do work with a lot of entrepreneurs directly. However we find the most success is when there's someone that's on the partners team or the client's team that could that their job is dedicated to helping us keep the ball moving forward.

Malcolm Lui: And also just for those companies that do have a CMO or marketing director they clearly see the value of marketing right. If they've allocated a chunk of their salary and headcount to a specialist in marketing

Nick Kraus: One hundred percent. Yeah. And the best way to reach us is really go to our Web sites. Cross marketing dot com crosses folks. K are a US marketing Scott

Malcolm Lui: All right. Fantastic. Thanks so much for joining us today Nick in sharing how you accelerate your company's high value sales.

Nick Kraus: You've got to Malcolm appreciate you having me on.

Malcolm Lui: We've been speaking with Nick Kraus, the CEO and Founder of Kraus Marketing about his company's rapid growth. For interviews with other fast growing high value sales companies, or to learn how we can accelerate your firm's high value sales through automation, visit

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