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How KEO Marketing leveraged AZTC’s 401(k) plan to more competitively hire talent

In today’s job market, small businesses are experiencing difficulty hiring and retaining top technology talent, especially since their larger and more resourced competitors can offer more robust compensation and benefits packages. So, how can small businesses, the backbone of our economy, gain the upper hand when it comes to offering comprehensive benefits?

KEO Marketing is an award-winning, full-service B2B marketing agency whose 29 employees serve technology companies across the United States. They help companies fill their sales pipelines with highly qualified leads by creating compelling messaging and creative imagery, user-friendly websites and customized inbound and outbound marketing strategies. In fact, many of their clients outsource their entire marketing department to KEO Marketing because of KEO’s fractional chief marketing officer (CMO) services.

Despite their success, KEO Marketing was unable to offer their employees a 401(k) plan for the first 15 of the 22 years they have been in business because of how difficult it was to qualify. When Sheila Kloefkorn, president and CEO of KEO Marketing, found out that the Arizona Technology Council partnered with Empower Retirement (formerly MassMutual) and UBS Institutional Consulting Group to offer a 401(k) Multiple Employer Plan (MEP), took advantage of this exclusive member perk to stand out in a crowded hiring market.

Although the transition to a new provider was a bit rocky at first, Sheila is glad she made the switch because of the transparent and responsive customer service, great investment options, decreased fiduciary liabilities and “unheard of” six percent match. She even believes it has given KEO Marketing a new competitive advantage as a service provider looking to hire highly qualified marketing talent.

“For service providers in the technology industry, it’s a very competitive hiring environment. Many people have the option to work in-house at a large company where they can receive higher compensation and a much better benefits package. For a long time, KEO was able to compete with in-house offers because of our flexible work-from-home policy, but in a post-COVID world, a lot more companies now offer remote work options. Adding a 401(k) plan to our list of benefits has now enabled us to better access a highly skilled workforce that is eager to dive in, wear many hats and learn all of the skills that working for a full-service marketing agency can provide.”

By opting into the Council’s MEP, you too can enjoy all the advantages and flexibility of a stand-alone plan while avoiding the expenses, fiduciary liabilities and administrative headaches of sponsoring your own plan. The process is as simple as setting up an IRA, but with the added benefits of low-cost investments, no tedious paperwork or reporting, minimal plan maintenance, flexible plan features and customizable plan design options. In fact, SIMPLE IRAs only allow a maximum contribution of $14,000, whereas the MEP allows employees to contribute $20,500 of their salary on a pre-tax or post-tax basis. In sum, taking advantage of the MEP allows business owners like you to do what they do best – operate and grow their businesses.

Eager to get started? Visit to learn more and set up a consultation with Michael DiGrazia, the Council’s dedicated financial advisor.


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