How Madwire brings family into the fold

Father-son business booms

Madwire, a digital marketing firm in Loveland, started as a father-son team. JB Kellogg was working with his father, Joe Kellogg, in the elder Kellogg’s futures brokerage firm, Traders Network. JB came up with an idea to use digital marketing that involved Google and other online media.

“We developed software applications and content management,” says Joe Kellogg, who is co-chief executive officer and chief financial officer of Madwire. “We saw opportunity in how small business is able to continue to reach people in the digital world. A lot of things we were doing in the commodities world we were translating to this business.”

The two launched Madwire in 2009. “Mad” stands for marketing and design, and the firm provides small- and medium-sized businesses with what it calls “a service and software hybrid,” or SaSH, instead of the more typical software as a service (SaaS) model. Madwire offers Marketing 360, a marketing and Web platform that combines digital marketing software and dedicated marketing services. Clients use Marketing 360 to earn higher keyword rankings, drive digital visitors to their sites, monitor their brand listings, and perform other tasks to help build sales using the Internet. A Madwire marketing executive manages the client’s campaign and website.

The digital marketing industry has undoubtedly changed over the years. When Madwire started, social media was not a major revenue generator. Today, Joe Kellogg says clients can market to different demographics with Facebook, much like they can with Google, Instagram and YouTube. “The digital world has shifted tremendously and it continues to evolve every six months,” he says. “You are constantly having to integrate new products and features.”

Madwire has grown, too. The company has more than 250 employees, and about 10 are family members. Samson Jagoras, Joe’s son-in-law, is CLO, or chief learning officer and hiring director. Luke Barnes, Joe’s nephew, is CSO, or chief sales officer. Jon Mills, Joe’s niece’s husband, is a senior marketing executive.

Kellogg says that does not mean Madwire is an easy road for family members. “We expect more of those people,” he says. “We expect a high level of achievement. We have some family members who have come and worked for us and it didn’t work out as well, but for the most part it’s been a positive thing.”

JB Kellogg, who is co-chief executive officer and chief operating officer, says the company prides itself on maintaining a culture that feels like family. “We treat family members like everyone else on our team, like family,” he says. “We require a lot of them and expect execution excellence in everything they do.”

The company grew so quickly it had to build an additional building a few years ago. Now Madwire’s three buildings are full, so the firm is looking for more space. Joe Kellogg hopes future employees and owners include more family. “I think we certainly have a talented third generation coming up and some smart kids,” he says. “Hopefully they will be able to have an interest and step in.”

(Editor's note: This content was sponsored by Madwire.)

Categories: Company Perspectives, Sponsored Content