High-growth Marketing Agency Works with Interim CFO to build Foundation for Success

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The Challenge

Though it had been recognized as one of the fastest-growing marketing companies in Canada and ranked in the top 10 of the PROFIT 500 list, Kognitive Marketing was also experiencing significant growing pains. Payroll was still being processed manually, and commissions and core operations were managed using spreadsheets, which no longer made sense given they had grown to a 500-employee business.

The Kognitive team realized that it needed senior financial guidance to help match systems and processes to the new scale of operations, but hiring a full-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO) wasn’t in the budget.

The Recommendation

The agency’s advisory board suggested hiring an interim CFO to tackle some of the more strategic work. Kognitive turned to two search firms before hiring Odgers Interim. 

The Odgers Interim team steered a focused selection process to present a few top-quality interim finance candidates that fit the bill and budget. The marketing agency ultimately chose Joe Prodan, a seasoned interim finance consultant who had been one of the driving forces behind three high-profile and rapidly expanding start-ups.

High-growth Marketing Agency Works with Interim CFO to build Foundation for Success

“Odgers Interim delivers great candidates in an extremely short time period. Any position we need senior expertise, but don’t have the budget to hire a full-time executive, that’s when we reach out to them. I’ve been recommending Odgers Interim since we started working with them.”

--Josh Singer, President and CEO, Kognitive Marketing

The Solution

Joe’s experience in helping to transition other companies through the growing pains to success gave him the insight to guide Kognitive Marketing along a similar path. Early on, the interim CFO assessed and understood what was causing the agency to have ongoing operational challenges. Based on those insights, he created a roadmap that would guide the company into the next year. This involved identifying new technology solutions that would allow the business to grow further, such as a new payroll system and a redesigned commission engine. 

Coming into a relatively flat organization without directors or VPs, Joe also brought a wealth of executive experience and insight through much-appreciated mentorship with more junior team members.

The Results

From management reporting, to organizational structure and payroll processes, the agency president credits Joe for helping Kognitive significantly increase its revenues and profitability. Joe continues to act as an advisor, so the Kognitive team can tap into his senior-level expertise as needed. 

Key results included:

  • Customized company roadmap to scale business in coming years.
  • Improved operational infrastructure and processes to support business growth.
  • Shortlist of strong candidates sourced for long-term CFO role.
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