Chris Actis, new president and chief growth officer at Kruskopf & Co., is using his extensive digital marketing and media experience to strengthen the Minneapolis-based agency’s ability to help clients identify and pursue opportunities.
Actis brings more than two decades of experience in client and executive-leadership roles in the United States and Asia to Kruskopf & Co., an independent full-service strategy, creative and media agency that refers to itself as KC.
He most recently was Midwest regional president at Initiative, Interpublic Group’s global media agency in Chicago.
Among his goals is strengthening KC’s digital capability across the agency, which in place of a conference room has a casual work space dubbed the “Truth Bar.”
“The agency is organized around finding brand truths, category truths and audience truths,” Actis said. “I think there is opportunity to use a lot of data available, both media data and audience data, to add deeper insights into all those three components. Leveraging that to understand what audiences want and applying that to a communications strategy or a creative approach for clients is really where we’ll find some magic.”
KC wants to help clients capitalize on more sophisticated data and technology as they move forward in the digital transformation of their marketing.
“We’re working on a ‘Truth audit’ product to look at a marketer’s current state of digital readiness and tell them what they need to optimize to move along in the journey,” Actis said.
Actis gained creative and strategic experience at agencies including Messner, where he was part of one of the industry’s first digital departments, JWT and MRM/McCann. He later moved into media, including managing the Walmart and Walmart.com digital investment.
During five years in Asia, Actis was president of Mediacom’s China agency and president and managing director at Ogilvy’s performance marketing agency in Hong Kong.
Q: What do your responsibilities include?
A: I’m overseeing client relationships and our account and media departments. [CEO] Sue Kruskopf and the partners brought me in to help advance their digital product and evolve it across the agency. It’s evolving where this agency is now, which is full-service with search and programmatic media in-house and full-service creative capability and then bolting on more advanced digital media and creative solutions that work together to offer killer end-to-end solutions for our clients and hopefully new clients.
Q: Were you looking for an opportunity with an independent agency?
A: I was. Most of my career has been in large agency networks. I was maybe looking for a different dynamic where the impact was directly related to the agency. Also attractive with this independent agency was its strong culture and spirit of looking for truth. Having a process called the Truth workshops and a Truth Bar was attractive as I thought about where to go next in my career, what I wanted to do and how I wanted to work.
Q: What is a goal you’re working toward?
A: [Tying] all of our digital media capability into an integrated approach with creative, combining these things to offer a truly integrated full-service capability in more advanced ways. Having all of this in-house and ahead of the digital curve can help marketers be more efficient and effective when they’re thinking about how to communicate with their customers.
Todd Nelson is a freelance writer in Lake Elmo. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.