By Alan Van Ormer
Bulldog Media Group’s online marketing expansion is a big reason why the Madison-based company received the 2010 Growth & Achievement Award presented by the Lake Area Improvement Corporation.
However, the culture built in the office and just having Dakota State University in town, has also helped the company expand to 26 people in 2010.
Camelyn Sims, operations manager for Bulldog Media Group, said there are many DSU graduates and student interns working in the company. “We’re also able to get involved in our community,” she said. “Family is very important to all of us. It is the culture in the office.”
Dustin Williams, President, Lake Area Improvement Corporation Board of Directors said the growth that is occurring at Bulldog Media Group is important because it continues a pattern of continual growth that has started since the company was founded. “The growth is important to the growth of Madison and helps to fulfill the mission of the LAIC, which is targeting the information technology field for its growth potential and because it fits in strategically with Dakota State University and the types of graduates it produces,” he said. “Their field is growing rapidly and is forecast to sustain impressive levels of growth well into the future.”
In addition, Williams said it is companies like this that the LAIC loves to see grow because it is growth that can be sustained into the future. “One of the significant assets of the community is the college, and by helping their graduates find jobs locally, we help to grow the University as well,” he said. “Bulldog Media Group is an example of the types of businesses that the Heartland Technology Center had envisioned being able to attract and to help grow into the community. The kinds of jobs that Bulldog Media Group creates are also sought after and help to provide a nice distribution of the population between the service, manufacturing, and medical fields that are prominent in the city of Madison.”
What started as CreditSoup, Inc. in 2000 has developed into Bulldog Media Group 10 years later. Bulldog Media Group provides online marketing services to help marketers reach targeted consumers and better monetize their online audience. In addition, there are three different divisions with three different focuses.
The CommissionSoup Affiliate Network, established in 2001, is a transparent CPA-based network that provides marketing solutions by providing high rewards for affiliates, enhancing marketing efforts with leading programs and creating mutually beneficial partnerships by providing top-level exclusive offers.
Then came Infusion Strategies, the company’s data management and lead generation division that provides tools to market and cross-market products or services. This division handles all phases of lead generation including development, management and monetization.
The final piece, RewardsRunner, is a cash back shopping site connecting customers to merchant’s products and services. Merchants use the program to push more traffic to their online sites and build brand awareness for themselves and their products.
While the support of the Madison community and DSU has been instrumental in the growth of the company, trade shows have also helped Bulldog Media Group increase its workforce. “Trade shows give us a chance to meet with clients we work with as well as develop new partnerships,” Sims said. “Every time you go there is something different that you are potentially focusing on or working with. It continues to enhance the relationships because you can meet face to face.”
Heading into 2010 will be both challenging and exciting for Bulldog Media Group. “Now that we have our divisions defined, it will be exciting having each of them step out and identify themselves and make their own names,” Sims said.
Williams said when new businesses like Bulldog Media Group prosper it becomes a catalyst for growth and prosperity for existing Madison businesses. “The service and medical industries in Madison rely on the growth of the population to ensure future revenue growth,” he said. “As has been well documented, the manufacturing sector in the United States is facing an uphill battle with global competition and is contracting at a rate of about 0.4% each year. So the phenomenon that has happened in Madison with contraction is occurring throughout the country."
“Therefore, as much as we will continue to push for growth in this segment, the largest areas of growth potential exist in areas that Bulldog Media Group serves,” he added. “For Madison to thrive long term, we need companies like Bulldog Media Group to start, grow, and prosper if we wish to see any growth in population, local sales tax revenue or increasi