Where We Came From
When Jeff Bradford and Gina Gallup started the Bradford Group, it was a new type of marketing agency designed to do two things: 1) combine traditional and digital marketing tactics, and 2) approach marketing through public relations instead of advertising.
The Bradford Group opened for business on March 1, 2000, in a lovingly renovated school building owned by a former competitor and now occupied by the Church of Scientology. (What a long, strange journey it’s been.) Our approach to marketing was an instant hit and within a month we had a sizable client roster. After several more months of 18-hour days, we had broken even and hired our first employee. We were having fun.
And we still are.
CEO Jeff Bradford and COO Gina Gallup brought complementary talents to the agency. Jeff, a lifelong writer and incurable entrepreneur, was a former newspaperman with many years experience as a marketing agency executive. Gina, a lifelong musician who understands how to score success in any venture, was a veteran of the business side of the agency world. It was a perfect combination.
And it still is.
What We Created
Though the first tech bubble burst in 2000, it was obvious that the technology genie was out of the bottle. The speed, ubiquity and virtually unlimited access to customer information made possible by the internet heralded a new age in marketing. Our timing was perfect to create an agency that merged traditional and digital marketing services to deliver a new level of results.
Here’s how we put it in our original business plan: “Unlike typical web shops or internet boutiques, which are primarily programming/design firms, the Bradford Group integrates these technical skills with marketing planning – so that new media are used effectively to meet client objectives. Unlike traditional advertising and PR agencies, we place equal emphasis on traditional and new media, and are equally proficient in both.”
This combination of traditional and digital marketing was one of two legs in our brand of marketing. The other was approaching marketing through the lens of public relations, instead of advertising.
Because public relations professionals have to earn the consumer’s attention – versus advertising’s approach of buying it – they have to be quite resourceful and constantly alert to new tactics. For this reason, PR is strategic and holistic, requiring the orchestration of a collection of thoughtfully selected marketing tactics, one of which may be advertising. That is, we see advertising as a tool in our kit, not the entire kit.
Why We Are Here
The second law of thermodynamics says that everything in the universe naturally moves from order to chaos. Business exists to reverse this flow, to create order out of disorder. And this makes the world a better place.
From finance and technology to commercial real estate (and any other industry), every successful business makes the world a little better than it was before. Our role is to speed up this process by opening the world to better ideas.
Ideas have the power to make the world exponentially better. The idea of the tool increased the power of our muscles. The idea of the atom allowed us to refashion matter into tools that are exponentially more effective. The idea of freedom motivates us to not settle for the ways things are, to find a better way.
Better ideas are meaningless, however, if they are not put to use. We have to first understand and desire the better thing that an idea promises. We must be open to it.
That’s where we come in. We don’t create the better ideas – our clients do. We help people see the benefit of better ideas. We show them how they work. We encourage their use.
And the world becomes a better place.