Exeleon Magazine

Ken Collis: The Marketing Mastermind

Ken Collis_Cover Story_Exeleon Magazine

The phrase ‘leaders are born not made’ makes for an enjoyable philosophical debate to dabble in. However, in the modern, technological and versatile world, the debate may no longer pertain to the subject of leadership. While leaders are still valuable to the success of a business, we must acknowledge that they come in various shapes and sizes. What makes them the best is their effective approach in situations they can adopt while managing a team.

As such, there can be inherent personality characteristics that might define a leader. Despite that, some leaders are more likely to step up and take the reins than others. As if they were destined to do just that.

For Ken Collis, CEO & Founder of TLK Fusion, the latter ‘destiny’ part became true. Two successful parents nurtured Ken in an environment that fostered entrepreneurship. His eagerness and destiny led him to a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Cal State Northridge, one of the top-notch business studies programs.

Later, amid the rising digital world, Ken’s timing couldn’t be more perfect as he became one of the four original partners of Bankcard Processing. Subsequently, he was part of another excellent program where he went on in the business development of Authorize.Net, another highly visible credit card processing firm. Both experiences served to drive his talent and prepared him to be an entrepreneur.

Ken served the financial industry until 2004. Seeking more challenges, he joined Clear Channel Communications and represented some of the most well-known and largest clients in corporate America. The representation of clients such as Ford, Donate Life California, and Colgate took him to the top of the national billing chain.

This was the last step Ken would take before approaching the podium of his destiny. As the Director of Strategic Alignments at Clear Channel, Ken Collis saw and envisioned an entrepreneurial path. A vision that allowed him to engage in a vertical of business that was established to assist budding business owners and celebrities to pursue their dreams. The step also mirrored Ken’s passion for helping newcomers rise to new heights, hence, it was a natural progression for him to take the center stage.

Soon Ken came up with a fresh wave of marketing, today recognized as TLK Fusion.


As a full-service outsourced CMO, TLK Fusion takes a complete 360-degree approach to the marketing aspects for small and mid-level-sized lifestyle brands. It is a one-stop shop for all brands and functions in multiple digital functions, celebrity and influencer collaboration, PR, and product distribution.

The firm’s working methodologies successfully marry traditional marketing ideas with power digital advertising. From aligning brands with today’s Hollywood celebrities, social media dominance to PR and products, TLK Fusion has attained the epitome of marketing and retail distribution.

Ken Collis and team TLK have acted for some of the largest celebrities in the world, including the Kardashians, Jenni Rivera, Vicki Gunvalson, Mario Lopez, and Ray J and have represented brands of all sizes, such as GUCCI, NIKE, Pepsi, and Loreal.

At present, TLK Fusion remains a valuable asset to many businesses, both big and small, with a focus on cost efficiency and long-term relationships.

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Not Your Average Service Provider

The firm was initially founded as a vehicle for the branding and licensing for the Kardashian Family. Comprehending the advancing world, it later unfolded into a global marketing partner for businesses. Ken feels quite proud in claiming the firm a ‘concierge’ marketing agency. In fact, TLK is abridged for ‘TALK’, something Ken views as important, and to consider the elements desired to succeed as a business owner.

Stepping aside from the cookie-cutter mentality that checks off boxes and focuses on mundane tasks, Ken and his team establish relationships. Their focus is not only on providing just a service. Rather it focuses on setting up a long-lasting relationship that extends beyond a traditional business collaboration.

Hence, TLK’s clients have full unlimited access to every member of the team. The Vice President of the firm also talks frequently one-on-one with the clients to assure the personalized attention they deserve. Ken Collis himself remains associated with the client experience and acknowledges them to be the life-blood of what the team does every day.

Leadership Style that Nurtures Critical Thinking

Ken describes his favorite quote to be ‘Tell me who you hang with, and I will tell you your future.’ He believes that every leader is presented with many choices of leadership techniques. However, the best ones realize that they aren’t the smartest person in the room. Instead, they nurture critical thinking and encourage and empower creative thinking from the team.

The biggest factor that drives Ken’s leadership skills is his persistent fear of failure. He says that our personal success is what we are leaving for our children. He wants to leave an imprint that reflects someone that was driven to succeed.

Ken’s leadership style directly shaped the way his firm handled the pandemic. While it took time for the team to adjust to remote work, their resilience became the master key in sustaining their operations. Ken also illustrates how the pandemic affected the company’s small and mid-size brands and how inexperienced entrepreneurs had the immediate inclination to hibernate. He helped them realize that the best thing to do is to focus on what’s coming next in the pandemic’s wake.

The above example is just a glimpse of how guiding fellow entrepreneurs and business owners in tough times excites Ken. He also considers such situations as one of his favorite obstacles to overcome. He is of the opinion that many entrepreneurs deal with different cycles of growth and experience in running their business. There is a constant need to consult and guide them throughout the process. Ken also considers watching a young entrepreneur succeed with guidance to be a reward of its own.

The transformational leader also shines light on how many entrepreneurs would always talk about great ideas and never follow them through. He has made a practice to explore any idea that comes around and executes it immediately with the team. At its core, his philosophy says that an idea that does not work,is the one that never got executed.

While Ken loves helping budding entrepreneurs, he sure does have a bit of sound advice for aspiring future leaders, which also reflects the state of his favorite quote. He says, “Utilize every resource available to you to grow your organization and keep the circle around you deliberately small. Surround yourself with critical thinkers that can drive the collective goal and share in the overall long-term vision.”

On the personal side of things, Ken Collis tributes his tough life lessons that served their purpose. He stresses that he wouldn’t change a single experience that fostered the growth of the company and his advancements. However, he confesses that early in his career, he didn’t value client retention. But he returned to form the aforementioned journey of building relationships and walking with the clients and saw tremendous growth.

The Future

For the forthcoming years, TLK Fusion will look out for the economic challenges being fought by small businesses. The firm will uphold them with services that will bring these brands to see financial advancement. Ken also eyes in enlarging the firm’s 12 years legacy through new verticals. He will continue to lead the organization and expand the firm’s presence and client offerings.

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