In news from Tampa, Florida, the world of Internet marketing may have just changed. A business mashup, BlueGlass Interactive, headed by seven of the world’s leading online marketing experts, was announced yesterday. The news is significant for a number of reasons, but primarily because of the fragmented nature of marketing approaches and services out there. The formation of BlueGlass could alter the way companies engage the social web, let me explain why.
Online Marketing Metaphors and Six Shooters
If we think of business on the Internet as the wild west, and marketing as Tombstone, then it is feasible to say the Earps just rode into town. Excuse the metaphor, but given all the players, this is not a bad visual to sustain. This new BlugGlass company is comprised of maybe the best “gunslingers” in the online marketing and strategy consultants in the world. Basically, players who never got gunned down by their individual competitors, with skill sets and connections across the spectrum of the space. Without getting into more metaphoric and nebulous characterizations, let’s take a look at the partners.
At the head of BlueGlass sits Chris Winfield, founder and visionary behind 10e20, one of the most successful search engine and social media firms in the business. If Winfield is Wyatt Earp, then Dave Snyder is the veritable Virgil for organic search strategy, a deadly online linking strategy expert. Walking down the boardwalk of managing partners, the Morgan Earp of this team is Brent Csutoras, one of the most respected viral marketing names out there – the metaphoric “scattergun toter” of the bunch. Just like the Earps needed Doc Holiday’s skills, so too BlueGlass has their Loren Baker – another of search’s pioneers who will head their PR and media aspects. And “oh the connections.”
Moving on, BlueGlass brings a supportive cast of “Young Guns” to the shootout. Jordan Kasteler for gripping marketing content, Danielle Winfield an operations and design guru, Jake Matthews for business development across the spectrum, and last but not least Tony Wang, CTO and “sure shot” for all things software and technical. A formidable team, to say the least if you know anything about the Web past the “2.0” frenzy.
BlueGlass Interactive’s coverage extends far afield from our European and international niche here in Germany, but no one has really grasped the significance so far. The New York Times posted a blurb comparing this collective to the “rollups” of the Dot Com era, which shows why companies like BlueGlass are imminently necessary these days. The NYT wouldn’t understand social media or SEM if it blasted the editors in the face. Sorry, but it’s true. For an accurate (if somewhat overstated) analysis of this move, Neal Rodriguez of the Huff Post nails this new conglomerate down sufficiently. Save one key are of course, “in the trenches” experience. Let me clarify.
When the Competition is Weak
We needn’t talk about the ongoing corporate struggle to come to grips with online engagement. Suffice it to say the vast majority of large corporations know peanuts about the online game still – let along the thousands of smaller entities. The reason BlueGlass Interactive offers up an edge is the people and experiences behind them. Let’s hammer down on some players with a foot in this space. Taking Inc.’s top marketing and advertising list as a gauge, it does not take long to find Tombstone’s “Cowboys” lacking in key areas. Starting with Glispa, the top dog, just ambling past a flash site that won’t load cuts them out of the herd as one I would not use.
Running down the list, RedVentures has been considered one of the best these past few years. No doubt they have a fantastic team too, but their claim to Internet marketing fame is small time comparatively, they are simply not nearly as engaged. A Twitter following of 800, for a super rich company supposedly “linked” is fairly mundane. Loren Baker alone has over 5,000 without trying. Sure this is trivial, but remember we are in the same business – it’s indicative – a sign. We won’t even go into how AdBright needn’t be in the space, they just cover the poverty level advertising niche for me.
Likewise, Trace Communications doesn’t play the game, nor does Pepperjam for similar reason – except they try to master everything, which is impossible. Bouncing down the list of the world’s top online marketing firms, only MediaWhiz enters the fray with similar strategies to those of BlueGass Interactive – but a dead Twitter profile and a hand full of Facebook pals is a red flag in branding – a virtual empty revolver if the O.K. Corral is imminent.
Branding Issues – O.K. Corral Indicators
Don’t take this “quick draw” analysis of top marketing firms wrong, these are extraordinary companies. However, to illustrate the importance of this new “conglomerate, ” as some term it, BlueGlass has more going for truly engaging social and search marketing than any firm out there. How do we know? How do I know? We play the game at the grass roots level too. It is not often one has the opportunity to objectively access in such a way, looking at a virtual competitor.
At the end of the day, such speculations can of course be rendered invalid. However, the tale of the tape here is a little down the road. It ends where your company, in competition with a rival, watches rather helplessly a social media or SEM campaign go successful because the “gunfighters” of your opponent were actually on the street – expertly gunning down your own efforts. Another metaphor, sorry, but it so applies to this latest news.
Call it a tip from someone with horse poop and gunpowder all over them, who walks the streets of Tombstone.