Laura van Galen, founder, former president and CEO of Bleu Marketing Solutions, Inc. and Bleu Properties, Inc., is an authoritative direct marketer that understands the woven fabrics of customer acquisition and customer retention marketing with over 22 years of domestic and international success in this field. Ms. van Galen is also considered an expert in the technology and financial arenas, specifically as these relate to customer data marketing.
Since the founding of the Bleu businesses, she has engaged as a speaker to audiences at MacWorld 2002, Northern California Direct Marketing Association, Women in Leadership at Santa Clara University, San Francisco State University MBA Marketing Department, San Jose State University Professional Development, Connect Direct 2007, Apple Specialist Marketing Coop in San Diego and Atlanta 2007, and more. Ms. van Galen was a finalist for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Rising Star Award 2006, and a winner in 2008, and an American Marketing Association Finalist for the Change Master Award 2006. She resided on the NAWBO Board as VP of Marketing. Bleu Marketing Solutions, Inc. was also honored annually as one of the fastest growing companies in the Management Consulting Services industry by Inc. Magazine 2007-2017 as well as in the San Francisco Business Times in 2008-2017.
Her newest venture is to support Small Businesses by helping them find the pulse in the market through her consuling arm, AreaBeats, LLC.
WBENC (Women Business Enterprise Northern California) Certified, 2003-2017
Marketing Board Member, NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners), 2009
In 1986, Ms. van Galen received her first taste of marketing direct to consumers in the international retail channel running marketing for a cosmetics firm in The United Arab Emirates. With tight constraints on how to market to consumers in this foreign marketplace, she was tasked with building and executing a strategy that would effectively navigate the restraints of culture and media controls. The challenge of determining how to market direct to consumers and build brand in a marketplace where no mail or solicitations could be sent without government approval gave rise to Ms. van Galen’s creativity. She orchestrated an “Avon-Calling” type channel program that became an exemplary method for selling product direct to housebound females in a closed society. The local newspaper, Al Jazeera, recognized her efforts as cutting edge.
In 1994, after returning to the United States, Ms. van Galen joined the marketing services group of Broderbund Software with one main goal in mind; to learn all that she had missed while out of the country – computers and the Internet – which had quintessentially changed the lives of millions of Americans. She gained an invaluable knowledge of the home computer software marketplace, and learned much about building databases, cataloging, and crafting rebate and sweepstake programs, as well as data mining both in-house and third-party customer databases for over 147 titles and versioning. Her claim to fame was the 1997 Spring Catalog and the in-box collateral for the Myst games.
In 2001, after 4 years heading up a list management division of a leading Bay Area list management firm and a year of heading a solid team at a leading online list brokerage firm, Ms. van Galen founded Bleu Marketing Solutions, Inc., a for-profit agency focused on supporting large businesses to acquire new customers through offline and online list marketing. The company has enjoyed monthly profitability and annual growth since its inception in over 26 countries and 6 regions.
At The Heart
A love for the work
As one of the country’s prominent female direct marketing executives, Ms. van Galen has been recognized by numerous business and professional organizations. Omaha Steaks, a long-time client and business partner, has recognized her as an “ambassador” who “has not only ferreted some of our most successful programs, she’s really taken the time to learn our business and function as an extension of our desks. Her tenacity, industry knowledge and direct marketing acumen have earned her a role as a critical member of the Omaha Steaks new business team.” Her high tech client list includes, but is not limited to,
Apple Inc.®, Autodesk.®, Cisco Systems, Inc. .®, Dell.®, Desktop Engineering.®, EMC.®, Facebook.®, Hewlett-Packard.®, Salesforce.com.®, SAP®, VMware.®, and much more.
In 2010, Laura van Galen created an innovative concept by developing Fenix (Fenix Entertainment Group, LLC), a livestream theater and restaurant. In 2016, the venue boasted 4.6 million minutes of live video viewership, 407,000 views, 85,000 unique viewers in 132 countries. This innovation may very well be the footprint for the local live music scene of the future where venues can monetize their businesses to profitability; which has been a struggle in past years.
An active mother of an extended family of five children, Ms. van Galen also spends time mentoring young people and those of other countries through an extended internship program. In 2015, she fostered and adopted a surviving premature twin that is now a healthy 3-1/2 year boy. Community is important to Laura as well as a thirst and curiosity for innovation, a love for positive, strategic ideation and change.