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The Marketing Agency Leadership Podcast

Dec 20, 2018

Kade Wilcox, CEO and Owner of Primitive Social, was working at a church when he started managing business Facebook pages in 2011 as a “side gig.” Two to three years into this work, a friend challenged him by labelling his Facebook work as “a hobby.” It was time for some planning, goal-setting, and business “underpinnings.”

Some 5 years later, Primitive Social offers a far broader range of services, including custom software development; custom designed and developed websites; content marketing; a full inbound marketing, lead gen, marketing technology setup and implementation; social media management; and creative work—end to end business solutions that address customer needs. Primitive Social addresses marketing issues and the heavy tech solutions that can make a business’s internal organization more effective and efficient Expected revenues in 2018 should come in around $4 million.

In this interview, Kade talks about the quandary a company can face when it “outgrows its name.” Primitive Social? What about all the other things his company does? Kade feels his company needs a new name to convey the broader scope of what his company now has to offer. But, if he changes the name, how does he maintain the value of his brand and the goodwill his company has earned through the years?

Primitive Social is headquartered in Lubbock Texas, which, in 2018, had a reported population of 252,506. That’s not a lot of people if you want to keep a company growing. In addition to the limited number of potential clients in the Lubbock area for the services the agency offers, Kade has found the Lubbock area to be slower that other parts of the country in adopting technology and digital solutions. In order to grow, the company has had to “develop a presence” in other locations.

Lubbock is also not a hotbed of creative talent. Kade likes to hire local, but when local talent ran out, what could he do? He did not want to restrain his company’s growth. He did not want to limit the company on what it could do to serve clients. or the quality of the work. He did not want to expand by investing in brick-and-mortar in new locations. Solution? He hired remote employees. Today, twenty of his 50 employees work remotely from other parts of the country.

Kade notes that it takes thought, intention, and consistency to make sure remote employees are allowed to contribute to the corporate culture. He has had to make an extra effort “to create opportunities for organic communication and getting to know people.” Although having remote employees has not worked perfectly, Kade describes it as being “a blast.” Future company direction? Kade intends for the company to simplify what it is doing and what it is leveraging to accomplish success for its clients . . . and go deep.

Based on his experience, Kade identifies some of the lessons he learned (the hard way):

  1. It’s better to grow slowly with the right client at the right place than to grow rapidly with the wrong client at the wrong price.
  2. Think about how you are growing as you are growing . . . How do we think about growth? What do we do with our growth? Who are we? Who do we want to be? How are we going to get there?
  3. Don’t focus on the growth of gross revenue—focus on the growth of profit.

Kade can be reached on his company website at: