By maximizing available technology, companies from Oklahoma City are now serving a global marketplace. It is no longer necessary to set up a permanent presence in hubs like Menlo Park or New York City. Teams of professionals work together every day in teams distributed around the world. Oklahoma City-based company, Bridges Strategies & Digital Marketing, is one of those innovators, serving clients throughout the US and Latin America.
Bridges started doing business in 2012, created by partners Ashley Quintana and Jake Fisher. They specialize in results-based inbound marketing for primarily business-to-business clients. From the start, Bridges set out to be a leader in the world of multicultural advertising. Serving a variety of industries, including technology, Bridges is passionate about the potential for the tech industry to transform Oklahoma City’s economy. The focus is to help improve business opportunities and protect against future downturns.
Quintana and Fisher both have a background in broadcast advertising. While working together at a local media company, they began discussing their personal career goals and found a great deal of common ground. "Ashley was finishing her master's degree at OSU in media management. She had told me that she had aspirations that she had about going into business," Fisher said. "I was approaching 40, and thought, if I'm gonna jump, I'm gonna do this now. And I should do it with a really capable partner."
After selling Quintana on the idea of starting a partnership over lunch, Bridges Bridges Strategies & Digital Marketing was born. "We complement each other's strengths," Fisher added.
The Bridges team is partially-distributed, with core managers officing at StarSpace46. Fisher and his family live in Downtown OKC, which makes the commute incredibly short. “I probably put 4,000 miles a year on my car, if that.”
Meg McElheney is VP of Project Management, is also based in Oklahoma City. The rest of the Bridges team remotes lives all over, with several key employees in Latin America. "Beth in Costa Rica part of the year, and in Michigan part of the year, which is kind of fun. I really like that our team can work from here, or do it from somewhere else, too," Fisher noted. "Most of the people we serve are outside the State of Oklahoma."
Some companies within the Bridges portfolio operate primarily in Latin America, but the team also helps American brands extend their reach to the Spanish-speaking community. Specifically, the Bridges team works on Spanish-language marketing campaigns for the local NBA team, the OKC Thunder.
Much has changed in the world of inbound marketing since the Bridges team came together. "I would say that learning how to do what we do is very similar to learning the Spanish language. I found myself in a work environment where some things were foreign, and I put my mind to learning, and that was a language," Fisher explained.
Despite the challenges of keeping up with changing trends, the Bridges partners are well-known as leaders in the inbound marketing community. The company is gold-tiered HubSpot Partner Agency. Fisher founded the official Oklahoma City HubSpot User Group in 2015. Quintana is the current leader of the group, which meets regularly in the Techlahoma event space. In 2016, Quintana was also honored as one of OKCBIZ Magazine’s 40-Under-40.
I asked Fisher for his advice on collaborating with a remote team of professionals. The most important tip: "Be hyper-focused on results, and not activity. With everybody that we work with, in any capacity, we're very clear about what the criteria are and what the expectations are."
"Edgar, who's our one of our guys that he lives in Costa Rica. He's our social media guy, and really good at it. I don't know where Edgar is right now. And, you know, it's noon on Thursday, I don't care where he is. I just care that everything's delivered and high quality. We don't miss deadlines, so just get it done."