You’ve probably heard successful businesses are born out of an industry need or a problem that needs to be solved. Blue Door Consulting, a boutique marketing and digital consulting firm in Oshkosh, proves that axiom.
After working in marketing roles with previous companies, Blue Door Consulting co-owners and co-founders Heidi Strand and Brenda Haines saw a need for a business that integrated marketing and IT.
“That needed to happen in order for marketing to be a business driver versus a support function,” Strand says.
The duo opened Blue Door Consulting in 2002, offering a variety of services that encompass brand and design, content marketing (including video, photo and animation), web and digital work and even a design thinking practice.
Now, with more than 140 clients in 16 states, 30-plus employees and a coveted spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America, Blue Door has undoubtedly flourished and grown — something Haines says was intentional.
“We’ve tried to make it slow and steady growth over the last 15 and a half years,” she says.
Haines credits referrals with helping the company maintain its upward trajectory.
“Our growth strategy has centered on customer retention and doing good work that helps our clients grow,” she says. “That has enabled our clients to become our ambassadors, if you will, and deliver word-of-mouth referrals.”
Haines and Strand also feel confident their unique approach — leaning on agile processes and a strong focus on the end consumer’s desires and pain points — helps them stand out.
“I’m not sure every marketing agency has that,” Strand says. “Many times, it ends with the satisfaction of the initial client, rather than that client’s customer.”
As they look to the future, both Strand and Haines are excited to continue growing their team while maintaining their familial culture. In an industry as ever-changing as marketing, they’re also inspired by the challenge of learning more about new developments like virtual and augmented reality.
“We’re really interested to see how technologies like that can help us take a client’s story forward,” Haines says.