STAR PERFORMER

Scorpion

HEADQUARTERS: Valencia

CEO: Rustin Kretz

BUSINESS: Digital marketing services

2018 REVENUE: $253.9 Million

NUMBER OF LOCATIONS: 3

EMPLOYEES: 800

In the fast-moving world of digital marketing, Scorpion has carved out a niche with an energetic commitment to its clients’ success.

The Valencia based company was No. 19 on the Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Private Companies list and the recipient of the Star Performer Award for achieving the fastest rate of growth for companies that were on the list for the last four years at 246 percent.

Julia Cook, chief client success officer, said that the growth at Scorpion is due to always doing what is best for its clients.

“When I started at Scorpion there were 10 to 12 employees and we now have 800,” said Cook, who joined the firm 11 years ago. “That should tell you how it has gone so far.”

The agency creates websites, online videos and digital advertising and social media campaigns for clients in the legal, health care and home services industries. In addition to Valencia, it has offices in New York and Texas.

The firm was founded in 2001 by Rustin Kretz, who still serves as chief executive.

Cook said that Kretz’s management style is an energetic one that is innovative because the digital marketing landscape is always changing.

“If we are not evolving, then we are going to be left behind and our clients are going to be left behind,” Cook said.

The notion that the company can always do better trickles down from Kretz to all the agency’s employees. It is about hitting a goal and then seeing the next goal and the next goal after that, she added.

Cook equated it to going on a hike to the summit of a mountain, except there is no summit.

“You are excited that you are going to keep going higher and higher and higher every step you take,” she said.

Holly Schroeder, chief executive of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp., called Scorpion a home-grown success story that was started by a few guys working on an idea that grew into a successful company, one that makes a great contribution to the local economy.

“Those types of grassroots success stories are always an inspiration for other entrepreneurs and the community at large,” Schroeder said. “We love seeing that.”

Another contribution the company makes is in having a significant portion of its local employees residents of the Santa Clarita Valley.

“They have worked to create that live-work balance by drawing from the local community,” Schroeder said.

Cook gives credit to the employees for helping Scorpion achieve its fast-growing status, which has also been recognized by Inc. magazine for multiple years. ‘

Big-picture training

In her experience at Scorpion, the growth at the company can be attributed to hiring the right people who believe they can succeed and then do it, Cook said.

“We have been able to grow because our people are there doing those really important things for our clients every single day,” she added. “It is every single person pulling together in the same direction.”

Along with hiring the right people, Cook said her advice to budding entrepreneurs who want to grow their companies is to show persistence.

After all, when Scorpion was a younger company, they were told it would go out of business within a year, Cook said.

“We didn’t listen to anything like that,” she added. “We just kept pushing and we kept doing what we knew was right.”

One of the decision that management felt was right was putting its new employees through a training period called incubation. This is when different executives within Scorpion talk to the new employees talk about their respective departments and what it all means in the larger picture so that the new hires understand the entire flow of the company and not just their small part in it, Cook said.