In a remote-first culture, this top notch small marketing agency has no set schedule and encourages employees to work from home or elsewhere. The flexible schedule and no bosses mean the company doesn’t have to use a traditional 9-to-5 schedule. The company encourages people to make talented friends and acquaintances, and every successful candidate receives a placement fee.
Grayson Lafrenz peeks into his laptop. The 34-year-old CEO ponders numbers in his office. A few meters from its open glass door, a brown Labrador Retriever named Lola sleeps on the cool laminate floor, while Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” softly plays in the background.
Lafrenz wears a maroon t-shirt and ripped jeans. Power Digital Marketing employees – the vast majority of them in their 30s or younger – dress similarly. There are plenty of baseball caps.
But don’t be fooled. The clothes may be casual, but the mood suggests something else: people are working here.
“Do you see that little wall curve right there?” Lafrenz said about the company’s beginnings at the end of 2012. “That was the wall. We actually had two hockey nets here. I think there were 12 of us in the office and thought we’d never grow into this place. And now we’ve grown six times since we’ve been here. “
Power Digital is a data-driven agency with an office in Old Town, helping companies grow their sales by enhancing their digital marketing services in areas such as web development, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, e-commerce sales and social media. Power Digital has worked with brands such as Sycuan Casino Resort, Berkshire Hathaway Real Estate and Jenny Craig.
“We’re acting as an extension of their team as most brands don’t get the technical know-how in internal marketing,” said LaFrenz. “We are the extension that gives you a strategy and then helps you to increase sales.”
Since its humble beginnings, Power Digital has grown steadily every year, with 2019 being particularly notable.
In January, the company secured an investment deal from Periscope Equity, a privately held Chicago-based company, that helped accelerate business opportunities. And in October, Power Digital took advantage of one of those opportunities by taking over the marketing and SEO agency Factorial, a company with offices in New York and South Carolina.
CEO Grayson Lafrenz (center) leads a meeting at Power Digital Marketing at the company’s headquarters in the old town. The company has grown year on year since it was founded in 2012.
The addition, Lafrenz said, will increase Power Digital’s workforce to more than 100 employees.
In 2018, Power Digital had sales of $ 14.2 million and a year-over-year growth of 24.1 percent.
“We have a culture of growth thinking,” said Lafrenz. “Everyone is focused on getting better, improving, and learning new things.”
And part of the culture is the non-traditional dress code.
“If we go to a customer meeting and they are very formal and we go to their office, we will dress appropriately,” said Lafrenz. “But why wear a suit and tie, right? Does that make someone better or happier? I know for myself I had to do this before and I was scared of it. When I feel good and good, I am happier and more productive.
“For us, talent is everything and we have to attract, recruit, retain and develop the best talent. And I think most people don’t want to wear a suit to work or to dress up. Most people would rather dress to represent who they are. “
Power Digital’s leadership style is similar. There is no fixed, fixed schedule for employees.
“People can come when they want and they can go when they want,” says Lafrenz, who was born and raised in La Jolla. “There are no fixed opening times, absolutely. And we really haven’t abused anyone that much. I think we’ve had a few incidents that needed a little diversion. But I think everyone is a professional and everyone keeps their books. We want that here. And if someone abuses that and doesn’t do it, then culturally they don’t fit in with us anyway. So they are sorted out somehow. “
Power Digital encourages employees to find talented friends and acquaintances to apply for positions in the company. Team members who approach a successful applicant receive a placement fee.
“This is a results-driven company,” said Lafrenz. “There are different ways to get the result. What works for one is different from the other. For me, until 4 p.m., I’m not in my game. I’m there in the morning so I like to get in early and do a lot. But that’s not everyone else’s peak. You have to dictate it, be mature enough to do it, and do your best. And so we give people the opportunity to do that. “