This year, the performance marketing agency, Bloom, celebrates its 15th anniversary. Founded in Montréal in 2007, Bloom is one of Canada’s Top Growing companies. For the past 15 years, the independent agency has helped companies flourish through proven digital marketing initiatives.
In early January 2007, co-founders Martin Perron and Xurxo Vidal left their marketing jobs at Luxury Retreats (now AirBNB), and united forces to launch Bloom, an agency that would offer paid search services. Bootstrapped from day one, they started with two laptops, a door that served as a table, and two chairs from Craigslist.
“I always wanted to start my own thing. Martin and I had no formal business plan, just a drive to help as many businesses as we could, to grow using the proven skills in paid search that we had. The first two years were challenging, but we kept our heads down and kept pushing to deliver business-expanding performance to our handful of clients. Through a mix of strategic partnerships, early social media exposure and rudimentary sales initiatives, the business started to take off in year three which was when we hired our first employee,” says Xurxo Vidal, Bloom’s COO.
Jeff Johnson, Bloom’s very first employee and VP Media, explains: “I have been working at Bloom for over 11 years now. I’ve seen the agency go from 3 people to now over 75 employees and face all the challenges and opportunities that come with scaling. I think our agility, our resourcefulness and our willingness to apply our A/B testing mindset to the agency itself are some of the reasons the agency is still going strong, 15 years later.”
In their early years, they managed digital media campaigns for small businesses that went on to become pioneers in their industries such as Frank and Oak, Lightspeed, Smart Reno, etc. Bloom’s portfolio of clients still includes a wide variety of businesses such as Polysleep, Cook it, Dynamite Group, Tricolore Sport, J2 Global, Canderel and Pelican, to name a few.
The Agency’s Growth Over The Years
In 2014, Nick Lebrun, now Bloom’s CFO, joined Bloom as a business development executive.
“I had worked with Bloom as a client in the past and liked their approach and culture. Bloom’s business development efforts, at the time, were mostly focused on word-of-mouth. I saw their potential and I knew I could help them get to the next level. I joined as a business development executive, treated the agency as my own, and eventually invested in Bloom and became the third partner,” says Nick Lebrun.
In the following years, Bloom’s growth accelerated. The agency ranked on Canadian Business’ Growth List and the Globe and Mail’s ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies for 4 consecutive years.
In addition to their headquarters in Montréal, Bloom opened an office in the vibrant city of Toronto. “As we scale, we don’t want to lose sight of what makes us one of Canada’s Great Places to Work. Creating a fun, flexible, welcoming and healthy workplace has always been a priority because our people are the main reason behind our success,” explains Martin Perron, Bloom’s CEO.
Growing in a Constantly Changing Industry
The digital landscape has changed tremendously in the past 15 years. Consumer behaviours and digital platforms have changed significantly. Keeping up with the times, Bloom’s service offering expanded, but its mission remained the same: accelerating brands with performance marketing while maintaining a dedication to the highest quality work regardless of the service being delivered.
Search advertising is still part of Bloom’s core strength but other services complete its 360 offerings: programmatic, SEO, CRO, creative performance design, marketing analytics, digital strategy, email marketing, social media management to name a few.
“Because we’re an independent agency without a heavy hierarchical structure, we’re able to stay on our toes and adapt our approach. We’re lucky to work with businesses that trust us and are willing to experiment with us,” says Martin Perron.
The agency isn’t looking to slow down anytime soon. “We are aiming to reach the 100 employee milestone in the next year and are already working on developing new markets in the U.S. There is no shortage of projects and ideas for Bloom. Here’s to another great 15 years!” concludes Martin Perron.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marie-Joelle works at Bloom, a digital marketing agency, as the Director of Marketing. She's passionate about digital marketing tactics (from social media to web design) for B2B businesses looking to grow online.