This isn’t your grandfather’s marketing agency.
With businesses rushing online to tout their services and products, JB Kellogg and his father, Joe, saw an opportunity for a new venture. And MadWire Media was born.
The two were working at Traders Network in Loveland – Joe was chief financial officer and JB joined the company after he graduated from college to do Internet marketing.
“We could see there was a need for better marketing,” JB Kellogg said. “Old school marketing was no longer effective, and digital marketing was taking over. It was pretty clear to us that we could take advantage of that.”
They founded MadWire Media to offer digital marketing services to small businesses in 2009. Within a couple of months they hired their first employee. Five years later they have 150 employees and a roster of international clients.
Kellogg calls MadWire “a sort of software and service hybrid. We offer professional marketing services but we also offer website creation and management.”
MadWire’s customers are “the little guy. They range from one employee to 20 in every business – plumbers, chiropractors, roofers, attorneys.” About half the company’s clients are e-commerce businesses.
Growth has been explosive. In 2013, Madwire ranked 51st on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies in the U.S. with revenue of $6.9 million and three-year growth of 5,254 percent.
The key to success in the rapidly changing Internet world is to stay nimble. Kellogg said the company learns something new every day.
“If you’re not completely on top of it you fall behind pretty quickly,” he said. “We have to always optimize our process so we’re the most efficient. What works with 10 people doesn’t necessarily work with 100. So we’re always tweaking what we do.”
In addition, MadWire figures it knows what works for its customers because “the marketing we do for our business is the same marketing we do for our clients. We’re usually the No. 1 guinea pig. If we want to try something new, we try it on ourselves first to see what works. If it does, we roll it out to our customers.”
One of those new areas is a digital marketing platform the company plans to launch this month.
“It’s basically a digital market interface for small businesses where they can go in and manage their marketing from one dashboard,” Kellogg said.
A new area of focus is marketing and website software that MadWire has begun to offer customers.
Also on tap is a new website called topratedlocal.com that will help businesses manage their online reputations through a customer review system where only real customers can post reviews. Business owners can try to resolve a complaint with a customer, who then has the option of revising the original review.
The company doesn’t see an end in sight to its rapid climb. “We want to continue to capture more market share,” Kellogg said.
And MadWire’s growth is reflected in the success of its customers. “It’s really rewarding to see our clients get results and see their businesses grow,” Kellogg said. “We’ve had customers come in – just one person starting a business and a year later they have 30 employees. That’s pretty cool.”