Blue Magnet Interactive is thrilled to announce our inclusion on Inc. 5000’s 2016 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies! We are truly proud of all the hard work our team put in to make this award a possibility. Ranking in the top half of the list, at #2437, is a reflection of our tremendous growth rate, 147%, over the last three years. While this honor is attributed to all of the efforts of all our team members, none of this would have been possible without our founders, Matt Bitzer and Chris Jones.
Read on to see what Co-Founders Matt and Chris have to say about Blue Magnet’s beginnings, the award, and where we are headed next.
When you started Blue Magnet, did you expect to make it to where you are now?
Matt: I think Chris and I took a big leap of faith in starting Blue Magnet, and for a while we were nervous that we’d have a company with no clients. And I’m fairly certain I never imagined we’d be awarded as one of Inc. 5000’s Fastest Growing Private Companies within our first ten years of business. When we first started, it’s amazing how many articles you’d stumble across that remind you how many businesses fail within the first five years.
Chris: At least for me, I had no idea what to expect. We’re about to hit our 10-year anniversary. I think the possibilities of what we could achieve and who we could become started to become clear in year 5.
What does it mean to Blue Magnet to be named one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies?
Matt: Chris and I have always known that Blue Magnet is a great company. I think this award is a great way to show our team, clients, and business partners that Blue Magnet is every bit as great as Chris and I always knew it was. It’s tremendous recognition of how far Blue Magnet has come.
Chris: Given that our growth has more or less been organic for our first 10 years, to place in the top half is quite an achievement.
How did it feel when you found out you had won?
Matt: We were pretty excited to have such excellent news to share with the team. Chris had been interested in making this a reality, but the most exciting part for us was announcing it to the team. It’s the team that helped us reach that goal. It’s exciting for us, but it’s more special given how far we have come as a team. It’s the outside acknowledgement and validation that we’re doing something right.
Chris: It was utter excitement to share it with all the stakeholders that are involved and have been involved with this company.
What factors contributed to the company’s rapid growth?
Matt: I would say that Blue Magnet has always held strong to its values. We don’t make compromises in our services or the type of people we want working with Blue Magnet. Because we’ve upheld our integrity, it has allowed us to grow at a more rapid pace. We know what services we’re offering, we know what we’re good at, and we’re focused on those initiatives. By sticking to our principles, Blue Magnet has grown organically for the most part.
Chris: If I reviewed all the companies on the list, I’d be curious to see what percentage grew this fast organically, with minimal direct sales investment. My guess is very few.To Matt’s point, we’ve grown as fast as we have through organic efforts because we’ve stuck to our core values. Our clients have seen that, which has allowed Blue Magnet to grow through word of mouth. They trust us.
When you started in business, what was your driving force? Where does your strong entrepreneurial spirit come from?
Matt: For me it’s family. We have a lot of entrepreneurs in my family. The joy of owning a business was infused in me at a young age. For me there is nothing better than building your own company and running it yourself. I’m motivated by the idea that this company will succeed or fail based on the decisions that Chris and I make and the people we choose to form our team. We place a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve that success, but it is exciting to have that freedom to build this company to whatever Chris and I wanted it to be.
Chris: The SEO industry had really just been born. It was an exciting time for SEO and digital marketing. There were also tremendous opportunities for hoteliers to harness the power of digital marketing. As for entrepreneurial spirit, for me it’s the competition, the feeling of winning with everything we are trying to accomplish as we grow this business year over year.
What do you see as the greatest opportunity for growth in the future?
Matt: Blue Magnet provides its clients with a strategy for marketing their business online. That strategy requires a team of talented marketers who know how to tie every digital opportunity together into a single, cohesive plan. Unfortunately, in order to fulfill that strategy, there are oftentimes very rote, repetitive tasks that still need to be done. Therefore, I believe there is a large opportunity for Blue Magnet to automate and systemize these important, but routine, tasks, freeing up our team to focus more on devising and implementing the strategy of a campaign. For example, we have recently invested in a reporting system that significantly reduces the time we spend sifting through data in each channel we service. Additionally, we also hope to develop partnerships with other relevant, complementary service providers that provide new opportunities for business for both parties.
Chris: Using technology to accomplish certain digital marketing tasks, allowing our team to focus on delivering strategic services, which has always set us apart in the industry. Our services aren’t built just to maintain a client’s digital presence, they’re infused with strategy which only the talented team at Blue Magnet can provide. So many companies are focused on building proprietary technology, but that’s not really our thing. Blue Magnet has always been focused on providing services and strategy with the human element. Technology can’t provide that level of creativity. Partnering with other relevant companies allows us to expand on those opportunities, to bring in new technologies, that will streamline our processes, leaving more time for strategy.
What’s next for Blue Magnet?
Matt: As we approach our tenth year of business, we’re just scratching the surface. As service offerings go, we’re expanding our paid media and remarketing campaigns, exploring alternative media distribution channels such as Sojern and Adara, overhauling our website build options, leveraging social media advertising, and evolving our marketing efforts into very focused goal-based targeting strategies. Operationally, we’re continuing to strengthen our marketing team verticals by investing in software tools and human resources that make us a more effective and efficient marketing team. Training and education have always been important to our company, and we plan on continuing that theme by sending our team members to learn from other leaders at industry conventions, share our knowledge at various speaking events, and engage with clients at their conferences. Additionally, we will continue to invest in our team and culture, by enhancing our benefits, expanding career opportunities, and offering new team-building events.
Chris: We will focus on a direct sales strategy to take us beyond organic sales. In addition, we need to explore other hospitality-related businesses. We’re very focused on hotels but there are many other types of businesses that are related to hotels that are opportunities waiting for us; restaurants, event planning, cruise ships, resorts, etc. Combining direct sales efforts with these new opportunities will widen the doors for what Blue Magnet can achieve.
Blue Magnet is tremendously proud to be included on the Inc 5000’s Fastest Growing Private Companies list. This honor wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our team, who are always striving to give our hotel partners the best service they can.