Why I Joined Bridgeline Digital

by Matt Sullivan on April 20, 2012

If you happen to follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, you may have noticed that I recently changed companies. This was a shock to some people, including myself. So, this post will explain why I made the change.

First of all, I loved Direct Capital. It’s a great company, the marketing team was second-to-none, and I really loved the way that the executive team was always willing to push the envelope, both with marketing & technology adoption. I believe that they are truly on the cutting edge of business financing, which is really an industry dominated by boring marketing.

Bridgline Digital - iAPPS CMSBut, then Bridgeline Digital came calling. At first I declined invitations to interview, but my resistance was worn down and I agreed to a meeting. Like any good relationship, one thing led to another, there was a spark, and suddenly we were jumping in bed together.

Here’s what really caught my attention:

  1. Bridgeline Digital originally started as an interactive services (web development) firm – design & delivery is part of their DNA.
  2. In order to grow, Bridgeline invested heavily in creating their own suite of tools for site management, and iAPPS was born.
  3. The iAPPS product suite integrates the tools that all modern marketers need to use (CMS, eCommerce, email marketing, & analytics), but often causes frustration trying to get them to work together.
  4. The combination of a CMS and a true eCommerce solution is long overdue.

One of the difficulties of my job as senior marketing manager at Direct Capital was connecting all the dots between our various systems: our marketing automation system didn’t talk to our CRM, our website was still hand coded, our CRM didn’t play well with anyone, and Google Analytics didn’t provide the data we needed (or we didn’t know how to get the data we wanted).

Making Lives Easy for Marketers

I know it’s going to sound like I’m drinking the Kool-Aid, but what really got my blood flowing with iAPPS was the way it made suggestions about how to better achieve your marketing goals. Say you have a goal of increasing form submissions – did you realize that the marketing email you sent as part of the campaign didn’t include a link to a page with that form?

Easy & actionable suggestions. Because digital strategy and services is part of Bridgeline’s heritage, it has the internal expertise to put together a system that helps you identify the speed bumps in your marketing campaigns. This is HUGE! It reminded me a bit of HubSpot’s tools, where you would receive step-by-step instructions about how to better optimize a page for search. But, now Bridgeline is taking it to a new level.

Plus, as my role director of channel development, I get to interact with some awesome interactive agencies throughout the country (and world). While I really have no part of designing or building sites for some of these brands, I get to play a part in helping them achieve their business goals. I guess I’m basking in reflected glory, plus I get to help these agencies grow their own businesses, which I really love.

So, that’s the story. Let me know if you have any questions about Bridgeline or iAPPS.

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