What does success look like for you?
Vancouver, August 25th, 2017
What does success look like for you, is one of the key questions that Chris Breikss asks his clients when starting on a new project. He has been asking this question to himself since he was a child
Chris is the co-founder and President of 6S Marketing, a digital marketing agency with offices in New York, Toronto, and Vancouver, where he lives and works.
6S Marketing provides digital marketing services to clients across the USA, Canada and Internationally, across many industries including hospitality, travel, technology, manufacturing, automotive, airlines, entertainment, and retail.
Chris is an Internet Marketing Specialist. He gained valuable experience as a member of the Internet marketing team at Stratford Internet Technologies, where he provided website promotion services for its Web design and development clients, and later also at Infowave Software.
6S Marketing was founded in 2000 and has since worked with 500+ companies worldwide.
From an early age Chris knew that he wanted to shine and be recognised for his achievements. As he was growing up, he also developed into a risk-taker and thrill seeker.
“This is a bit embarrassing to disclose,” says Chris, “but I have always been a shameless self-promoter. Ever since I was eight-years-old I craved attention and wanted people to take notice of me. My parents both got sick around this age and I was constantly seeking the approval of others and had to do things that made me stand out. It manifested as a class clown early on, but then as a marketer as my career developed.”
“I also liked risk and adrenaline filled experiences. I thought that I would become a pro freestyler skier or extreme rollerblader in the X-Games, but instead, I ended up running a 50 person digital marketing agency and sitting in front of a computer screen 12 hours a day,” he confesses.
What does a great working environment look like for you?
I like open spaces, brick and beam, and a lot of light. I like to have healthy snack options in the kitchen and a fridge stocked full of alcoholic beverages on a Friday afternoon.
I like working with a diverse mix of people from different countries and backgrounds.
We have three main offices (New York, Vancouver, Toronto) and each of them are easy to commute to by transit and are in very walkable parts of the city. Our WeWork space in Los Angeles is the only exception but nothing in LA is walkable.
How do you know that you are leading, and leading well?
If people are happy and we are working on cool projects with great brands then I know we are doing something right.
We have gotten to the point where we can be selective on the projects that we work on and I am proud of that. We are building something at 6S Marketing, and we are not building just for the sake of growth.
We want to change the marketing world and sometimes that means that we make mistakes. If we are making mistakes then it means we are still trying hard and pushing the limits, and that means I am leading well.
What tools do you use as a manager to plan your activities as well as that of your team?
I am 41 and I am trying to stay current and the biggest tools in my arsenal, that I am struggling to learn and adopt, are Slack and HubSpot. We are also checking out Mavenlink.
How much time do you spend with customers?
I am often involved in the digital marketing strategy component of a project or campaign often in the early phases, and then I transition out as my team takes over. I typically re-engage when we start evolving and exploring new strategies.
What are some of the characteristics of people that have been successful at your company?
Our managing partner, Lyn Bryan, is a perfect example of how to grow with 6S Marketing. She started as a strategist and then moved laterally into an account manager role before being promoted to partner. She then switched to sales and by that time had learned every aspect of the business inside and out. On top of that, she met her husband, got married and now has two kids.
Where do you see yourself/your agency in 5 years?
Our agency is booming, and I honestly think that we could become a 300+ person agency in 5 years with 3-4 more international offices.
We may need to acquire a few more companies to do that. Only this month we announced the acquisition of Motive Communications, a Vancouver-based social media agency. Along with Motive, we brought on Mitchell Fawcett (who has recently also been interviewed by TIA), as our new VP Partnerships and Social Strategy. We’re investing in a social future for our agency, and it couldn’t look any brighter.
We also recently bought a building to move our head office in Vancouver into, which we plan to turn into a “Center for Digital Marketing Innovation” or something like along those lines. The future is bright!
By Geny Caloisi.