As Blue Compass reaches another exciting milestone, we are reflecting on our journey over the last 13 years. What started out as a two-man team in a basement with a Motorola Razor for an office phone has expanded into a team of digital experts who love what they do each day. Discover how Blue Compass sets ourselves apart from the rest by staying true to our roots.
We Do Digital Because It’s What We Do Best
Even when we started out 13 years ago, Blue Compass set itself apart by helping businesses stand out from their competition online. Our co-founders bought their passions for the web and creative design together, focusing on building exciting websites for clients. While innovative web designs and online campaigns weren’t as common back in 2007 as they are today, Drew and Cary knew this was the future of marketing.
In the early years of Blue Compass, building websites was our primary service. Impressive clients, like Spaulding, Ruan Transportation and UnityPoint Health helped us showcase our award-winning work to large scale audiences and gain momentum. After a few years of proving our digital capabilities, the Blue Compass team established ourselves as industry experts.
While we were thriving on website design and development, Drew and Cary knew the digital world was (and still is) continuously evolving, so we were on the lookout for new industry trends. One of the major trends the Blue Compass team capitalized on was executing search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing services. We realized one way to keep our websites performing well online was to make regular updates to the content with SEO strategies and best practices in mind. Google had already established themselves as a search engine giant, and our digital team worked to stay on top of any new information released.
The addition of digital marketing complimented our existing services and put our clients and company on impressive growth trajectories. In 2013, Blue Compass doubled in size to 18 team members. As the digital marketing industry changes, we continue to alter our SEO best practices and digital service options. Today, we have close to 30 team members, and we’re always on the lookout for talented individuals who are enthusiastic about web design, development or digital marketing.
Adapting to change is always necessary in the world of technology and all things digital, but some things will never change. The passion and drive to achieve remains strong among Blue Compass employees. There have been changes and new additions to our growing team over the last 13 years, but our values are always at the core of what we do. These are the pillars that Blue Compass believes in, and they’ve helped us develop into the team we are today.
Blue Compass is proud of the unique company culture we’ve built over the last 13 years. Each member of our work family adds their own dynamic and personality to the mix, and the ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality in the office inspires silly and spontaneous outbursts among our dedicated individuals. We believe laughter is a key sign of a positive culture and work environment, and at some point every day our team members are laughing together. Even though 2020 has been challenging for everyone, the Blue Compass team remains positive. Our company culture while working from home looks a little different, but our silly and supportive habits persist because we already have a strong foundation in place.
While a lot of our culture is influenced by our fun-loving team members, Blue Compass has found ways to encourage a great company culture by organizing activities and small gestures for our team. Some of the most notable are:
- Team Lunches - Each month, Blue Compass team members gather together for lunch to celebrate the work anniversaries and birthdays of the month. Whether it’s a virtual lunch, potluck or we’ve ordered catering, it’s always a great opportunity to take a break and chat in the Compass Cafe. At the end of each lunch, our team members can also expect an exciting game or activity created by our president - a few of our favorites include hide-and-seek, Blue Compass trivia and scavenger hunts around the office.
- Volunteer Work - The Blue Compass crew enjoys giving back to our local community. A few times a year, we leave the office to volunteer for local causes in Des Moines. For the last several years, our team has worked together with Rebuilding Together, Meals From the Heartland and we hold an annual DMARC can drive competition within the office.
- Shout Outs & Thank Yous - We believe the little things can matter most, so we encourage everyone to give praise to well-deserving team members. Sometimes this is a spontaneous coffee or note of appreciation, but we also set aside a special time in our monthly team meetings to recognize and applaud hard working individuals in front of the entire group.
- Fun Fridays & Team Outings - Every once in a while we need a little break from the usual routine or a mini celebration for a job well done. On designated Fun Fridays, we close our laptops for happy hour to enjoy snacks, drinks and office activities together. A few of our favorite events include cheese and wine time, cornhole and lawn game tournaments, waffle breakfasts and employees stepping in as a guest bartender.
Blue Compass has established ourselves as industry experts by staying on top of trends and encouraging employees to research and test new strategies. We promote opportunities for personal growth & exploration as we know these skills make our team better as a whole.
Team members also attend large industry-related conferences each year to discover what trends and tactics well-known professionals are utilizing. These inspiring events recharge our passion for digital marketing and oftentimes lead to exceptional strategies and results.
Our team members are also given quarterly goals that enhance our skills and allow us to test new theories and strategies. Some goals are intentionally meant to give a team member time to improve their expertise, while others are set to research the latest industry techniques or build new tools. Each of our internal teams also holds a monthly meeting or training that revolves around industry updates and new execution methods and how to apply them to benefit our clients or improve our processes. Our digital marketing team even sends a weekly internal email update to share what’s new in the digital world. Having timely aspirations and updates encourages our team members to always work towards self-improvement.
Over the past 13 years, we’ve learned that when the Blue Compass team collaborates and combines all of our web design, custom development and digital marketing expertise into one powerhouse, there’s nothing we can’t tackle. Blue Compass thrives on our incredible team-oriented mentality, and our team members do everything they can to help each other out. We’ll help brainstorm new projects and make runs to Starbucks or Confluence for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Using our diverse knowledge, we create custom solutions that assist all team members and clients. For example, our content management system (CMS) was built to be easy-to-use for all people so marketers and businesses can make frequent updates to the website. The newest version of our SEO-friendly CMS, which launched in 2016, was created with a lot of influence from our digital marketing leaders to ensure it pleases search engines by following SEO best practices.
Building long-term relationships with clients sets Blue Compass apart, and is one of our biggest strengths. In fact, some of the first clients we acquired continue to trust Blue Compass to keep their websites up-to-date and provide advanced digital marketing advice.
Our team is invested in learning as much as we can about new and existing clients because when we know the ins-and-outs of your business, we can be a useful extension of your marketing team and a better representative for your brand. Blue Compass is a partnership, not a platform. We work alongside our clients’ teams and use our specialized skills to create a website or a digital marketing presence that aligns with their goals and helps them reach more consumers online.
We’re most successful when our clients are successful. This is why Blue Compass provides personalized classes and training opportunities to keep others up-to-date. Digital marketing trends are always changing, and we understand it takes a lot of time and effort to stay in-the-know on the latest SEO or UX best practices. By hosting presentations, we hope that our clients will have a better understanding of what we do and how to enhance their online performance.
Finally, Blue Compass offers ongoing guidance and will be there when our partners need us. Our Client Support Team, which originated in 2013, assists with responding to any troubleshooting or questions clients may have about their digital goals and best practices.
Our team members truly enjoy coming into the office and tackling difficult projects because we are passionate about what we do and we cheer on others’ successes. Blue Compass maintains this tight-knit and productive culture by seeking out professionals we believe will be the best fit for our team. This means hiring ambitious workers and exceptional personalities over applicants who may have more industry experience but won’t mesh well with our daily office routines. We know many skills can be trained, so when our team is hiring it’s essential to find the best potential team player. Blue Compass believes the people in our organization make all the difference!