What I’ve Learned While Working At Blue Magnet



Put on your party hats and crank up the jams! Blue Magnet Interactive just turned eight! We’re super excited about our birthday, and like any eight year old, we can’t wait to celebrate (we really hope there’s cake). We are extremely proud of our team and of our accomplishments over the years.

bmi-birthday

…Come to think of it, Blue Magnet pretty much is an eight year old – a big, weird eight year old. Consider it. The company is experiencing a growth spurt, adding team members and clients on a regular basis. Internal improvements display heightened awareness, organization, and maturity. Blue Magnet’s commitment to ongoing training and education fosters the skills and knowledge to achieve excellence every day. And, as always, Blue Magnet plays well with others. Baller’s Ballers tee-ball league, anyone?

Look at me. I’m rambling again.

To commemorate our eighth birthday, our amazingly talented Executive Team has composed a series of reflections on why Blue Magnet Interactive is such a truly special place. We hope you enjoy.

Sharing Knowledge Fosters Better Teams & Stronger Partnerships ~ Matt Bitzer, CEO

There is a lot of darkness across the web. Unscrupulous marketers peddle snake-oil SEO solutions, digital deceptions, marketing myths, and pipe dreams of first place Google rankings, hoping to cloak the world of digital marketing in their debilitating haze of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. In my 8 years with Blue Magnet I’ve learned that education is a powerful guiding light against this sort of ignorance and misinformation, and I believe it’s one of the most important tools we currently provide to both our team and our client partners. We’ve always found that the more educated our partners are about our services and about the web in general, the better questions they ask, the more open they are to experimenting with new digital opportunities, the more engaged they are in their own success, and the better their campaigns perform overall. It doesn’t help anyone to lock this information away. In fact, we often share our knowledge freely across the web–as we do in this very blog–with the understanding that by cultivating a more knowledgeable community everyone wins. Not every client partner wants to know the intricate details of how we optimize a title tag, but understanding why we do it goes a long way in deciphering our efforts behind the scenes, thereby fostering the strong partnerships for which we have always strived.

That Blue Magnet Burning…No Need to See a Doctor, That’s Just Our Passion ~ Chris Jones, CMO

I’ve come to realize that passion can breed greatness in every facet of what we do at Blue Magnet. The amazing team members of Blue Magnet Interactive have a unique spark which shines throughout all aspects of the company. Team members not only have passion for their individual accountabilities, but also for our company as a whole. Each day, our team members embody our mission statement, vision statement, and our company values. They have passion for this great industry, which is easily identified through their contributions to the Blue Magnet blog. They exhibit passion for our clients, which I see daily when I overhear monthly status calls. I express my passion every time I speak to a hotel interested in Blue Magnet services. I always make an effort to avoid coming across to a potential clients as “that sales guy.” Just last week I met with a hotel partner to discuss our company and how we can help achieve their marketing goals. I stopped at one point, and flat out asked if my excitement for Blue Magnet was perceived as salesy. His response: “No, what you just expressed was beautiful!”

You’re Only As Good As The Team Around You ~ Kim Amour, Executive Director of Services

I literally cannot say enough about the incredibly talented team I am lucky to surround myself with at Blue Magnet Interactive. In my near four years with the company, I have realized that all my successes and the successes of others have been accomplished with the support of fellow teammates. Our office is a collaborative workspace where everyone on the team is happy to join a last-minute brainstorming session, pitch in on a project to meet a deadline, or help find the answer to a client’s question asked on the spot. Our training program is on-going and constantly evolving, as our team is hungry to learn and become the most knowledgeable digital marketers in the industry. That being said, no one withholds their knowledge, but rather shares all findings, interesting articles, creative ideas, and constructive feedback so that everyone on the team is able to improve and do the best at their jobs. All of our successful campaign performances and superb client satisfaction are attributed to a collaborative team, each person accountable for his or her own responsibilities. Each month, we recognize the accomplishments of our team members and select a winner of the Blue Magneteer Award. It’s no secret that behind every victory is a supporting cast of remarkable, collaborative, brilliant team members.

It’s Nice to be Nice ~ Patrick McCarthy, Director of SEO

A drunk old Irishman named Gerry once told me, “It’s nice to be nice.” At the time, I thought he was just being a drunk old Irishman (which he most certainly was), but after working at Blue Magnet Interactive for over 3 years, I have realized that Gerry was not just drunk (although he was drunk…so drunk) – he was also right. I love what I do at Blue Magnet, but for me the single most important facet of the company is the simple and genuine niceness of everybody who works here. Our team members get along, treat each other with kindness and respect, and are always happy to help each other. The pure niceness of everybody at Blue Magnet is arguably our secret to success and is something that I believe every company could benefit from regardless of the industry. So the next time a drunk old Irishman gives you some words of wisdom, don’t immediately discount them; he might be right (but he probably won’t be. You should have heard the other stuff Gerry told me…).

Just Say No ~ Katharyn Vera, Director of Design & Development

As someone who loves a challenge and strives to accommodate the most unpredictable of requests, saying “yes” often has created many new, exciting opportunities. While this has certainly been the case in working at Blue Magnet Interactive over the past three years, I have also learned that carefully saying “no” is crucial in setting your company and team up for success. If the partnership isn’t the right one or if the additional business will be burdensome to an already-busy team, then it may be time to gracefully say “no.” No business is worth sacrificing excellence and balance, and when the right opportunities come along, you will know that they are right for your company. Best of all, you won’t have to say “no.”

My Eyes or Your Eyes – Sometimes You Just Need a Fresh Pair ~ Abby Heft, Director of Hospitality eMarketing

I love brainstorming. I love bouncing ideas back and forth. I love teamwork as much as the next gal, but at Blue Magnet Interactive I’ve learned to take it to a whole new level. What I’ve discovered over the past 3+ years is that better ideas come with an extra set of eyes. Every once in a while, a client gets so involved in providing excellent hospitality and maintaining his/her property that he/she overlooks unique perks that make the hotel truly special. The same goes for us Blue Magneteers. We may be looking at an idea through the lens of a technical SEO magician on any given day, but when sending it to our more creative workspace neighbor, the idea can really blossom.

Oh, You Have a Plan? Throw It in the Trash. ~ Stephanie Hilger, Director of Social Media

In the online marketing industry, things change as much as I change my clothes before I leave the house (read: a lot). While it is great to have a game plan, it is important to understand that it is okay to stray from that. Google routinely updates its algorithm, causing us to revise our SEO strategies accordingly. When new technology comes out, our websites must adapt. Do not even get me started on social media… Odds are, once you are used to Facebook’s layout, they will change it again. As soon as you are comfortable in Facebook’s Ads Manager interface, another update is made. New channels pop up out of the woodwork. Twitter incorporates new technology, and Pinterest adds analytics. The list of changes and updates to social media in 2014 alone was miles long. Working at Blue Magnet, I have learned that being able to adapt to clients’ needs–as well as whatever the internet throws my way on any given day–is an important skill to have. Our plans and processes are just a guideline for success, but welcoming change is what keeps our marketing efforts flexible and effective, and it’s what keeps things fun and exciting for our team.

We’re Not Perfect, and That’s Okay! ~ Kelsey Nupnau, Assistant Director of Accounts

One of the best parts about working at Blue Magnet Interactive is the fact that our team is not afraid to try new things. Whether we succeed or fail, we always build off of our experiences. The Blue Magnet environment is built for brainstorming sessions (we have a lot of them!) and encourages team members to test out new ideas; whether we’re creating a fun and crazy Facebook promotion or playing with a website to find new ways to enhance user experience, our team is full of creativity and ready to take on new challenges. There are a lot of online marketing companies that get stuck in the same day-to-day services, and often are afraid of thinking outside the box, fearing failure. Our team would not be as successful as it is today if we operated in that way, which is why we continue to challenge ourselves, try new things, and embrace failure as a new opportunity!

In Conclusion…

It’s only natural to step back and think, “Wow. Eight years. I can’t believe it.” Eight years is a long time, and Blue Magnet has come a long, long way, but really we’re just getting warmed up. Our company has grown up from two fresh-faced youths with a vision – instant messaging each other from the comfort of their apartments while crunching on Doritos – into one of the most trusted names in online hospitality marketing. Blue Magnet’s services have expanded and matured, even earning the company a cherished Outstanding Website Award in 2014. The company has moved, moved again, and expanded its offices. While faces have come and gone, our team continues to elevate our strategies and standards. Our portfolio of hospitality partners is ever-growing. Sometimes it’s hard to fathom how far we’ve come.

So it’s easy to think, “Eight years, I can’t believe it.” Well, buddy, you better believe it. When you consider the dedication, passion, comradery, talent, and quality of our team, there is no reason for disbelief. Blue Magnet’s collaborative, genuinely supportive, and deeply knowledgeable team embodies Blue Magnet’s core values and pushes the company forward every day. Eight years is no fluke. When you surround yourself with great people who really care, adjust with an ever-growing knowledge base, and have fun while doing it, you can get a whole lot done in eight years. Here’s to many more.

Happy Birthday Blue Magnet Interactive! Boom.