Welcome to this edition of 5 From 5 Fold. Each month, we’ll ask a different member of the 5 Fold Marketing team five questions about themselves, what their job is like, and what they see as the future of marketing. This month, we sat down with 5 Fold co-founder and sales director Scott Klohr to talk about the differences between agencies, a new 5 Fold platform in the works, and why he likes whiteboards so much.
1. Where are you originally from, and where did you go to college?
“I grew up in Pinetop, Arizona and I lived there my whole life before I went to Arizona State University at its Polytechnic Campus in Gilbert, Arizona to study Graphic Information Technology.”
2. What originally led you to establish 5 Fold Marketing? What, in your mind, makes 5 Fold different from the rest of the marketplace?
“Right out of college, I got a job with a marketing agency. They only provided pay-per-click (PPC) services. So, part of my job in the office was to partner up with other web developers, graphic designers, and content writers to produce that product for our clients.
In the two years that I was there, we were unable to find anybody in the Valley. It always came down to the fact that the people we wanted to hire were too expensive. They were too slow. They offered poor customer service, poor quality, poor turnaround times—there was always something wrong with it.
It became such a headache that, in the end, it came to the point where a friend of mine and I said, ‘Let’s leave this company and start building these ourselves.’ We already knew what all the pain points were, so by solving those, we could grow. In July 2009, we founded 5 Fold.
From day one, just because of our experience working with a big agency, we had instant connections with sales representatives and clients.
The real secret was that we actually cared. Even though we couldn’t necessarily get everything right the first time—and even today, you’ll see us constantly refining our process and always improving—we are working to make sure that what we offer stays current and always gets better.”
3. What is your favorite part of 5 Fold? What do you love most about coming into work each and every day?
“I love being able to control our own future. If a product is great, it’s going to be great because of us. If it’s bad, it’s going to be because of us. Just having that control is very freeing.
In a corporate setting, there’s so much red tape. You have to talk to your boss and he’s got to talk to his boss, and it just goes up the ladder. A lot of times, you can’t do much. And if you really do care about your clients, you just want to immediately resolve issues they have that upset them. In a corporate world, it’s very hard to do that.
In a boutique agency like 5 Fold, we have team members that are very integrated. If there’s a problem, we can fix it right away. I like that, and I like how fast-paced this entire field is. It’s constantly changing.
I love working with the clients and learning about their businesses—how they got started, where they’re going. It all comes full-circle when we learn more about how they run their businesses.”
4. In your opinion, what makes this team of people so special?
“Everyone here cares about the work they do. I think that’s really the ‘secret sauce’: the people. You have to find people who truly do care, and aren’t just coming into the office to collect a paycheck, or for the sake of having a job. They actually want to make a difference and contribute. They have their own ideas.
At first, it’s a little hard: most of the people we hire and bring on come from other agencies where they’re very limited in what they’re allowed to do. They have a lot of boundaries. Then, they come to 5 Fold, and we ask them for their ideas and how we can make the product better. At first, it can be intimidating, but once you get used to the idea, it’s kind of fun. If you feel like something’s not right, or something isn’t working, you have the power to make it better.”
5. What are you looking forward to most about where 5 Fold is going this year?
“For 5 Fold, we get together every year and we set our goals. We also have projections all the way out to five years. Short-term, we’re building our internal staff to ensure that we have all of the talent necessary to run successful campaigns; the overall idea is that we never want to send work outside of 5 Fold for others to do. If we keep everything in-house, we can control the quality and guarantee that it’s built and managed by people who actually care. So, we can have better control over the product, versus passing it off to some other agency.
We’re getting into a rhythm of company culture. We’re figuring out our own style and our own voice.
Looking ahead to next year, we’re most excited about releasing our new platform. That’s going to really give us the ability to engage, interact, and send communications to our clients even better than we do now. It’s going to be really awesome.”
Bonus: What is your favorite piece of technology in the office?
“Honestly? It’s not a piece of technology. It’s the whiteboard. I love it. I almost have one everywhere I go. We have two really big ones in the office, and we’re getting a third in here soon. For me, whiteboarding is a part of my own thinking process. A lot of times, I have to whiteboard things before I even understand them. Once I start to write things down, I can stand back, look at it, and have somebody else contribute their ideas to it. That’s when it starts to click for me.”