Just saw this release that Chris Winfield, Dave Snyder, Brent Csutoras, Jordan Kasteler, Loren Baker, Tony Wang and Danielle Winfield along with their colleagues at their various companies have joined forces to form Blueglass, a full service Internet Marketing agency.
This may not mean much to my readers in the local search world, but each of these people is the equivalent of a rock star in the search marketing world. In search marketing consulting there are a few types of companies – big agencies, small/midsized agencies and individual consultants. Since the market has been growing so fast smaller and sometimes even bigger agencies often share and refer work to each other. There’s just not enough expertise/hands/hours in the day in any one shop to fulfill demand.
While there will always be a place for big agencies I have found that many clients want to work with smaller, more focused shops to get hands-on experience from people who do this stuff all day long. But I think those times are changing. By merging so much firepower into one shop Blueglass is probably formalizing what already were several informal working partnerships. Now instead of competing against each other the partners can share the wealth and provide a compelling service to larger clients who want to work with a “big” company.
I think we are going to see this kind of consolidation over the next year at all levels of the search marketing food chain. Many of us in the business are all coopetitioning with each other. These kinds of mergers are ways to get more coop and less petition out these arrangements.
And the reason I am talking about this is because I think the same thing should be happening in local search too.
Oh, and congrats to Chris, Dave, Jordan and all the rest. See you out on the circuit.
6 Response Comments
Hey Andrew –
Thanks so much for the coverage of our launch and also the great analogy to your own expertise (and the inevitable roll ups with the local search firms that get it). BTW – I can count them on one hand (and you are definitely one of them)
I agree with you. Clients wants to work on smaller ones like ours for one because of the personal touch. They can easily contact my boss for any concern they have which they won’t be able to get from bigger companies since they will talk with customer services of those companies and the likes.
And like what you said, it is possible, all of us will be competing to one another in the future. I think it is already starting 🙂
Interesting, Andrew….I’ve read blogs by some of the principals and will follow their launch too…
Congrats to Blueglass….the more the merrier, eh!
Andrew, I fully agree with your belief that consolidation (on this level) will continue to occur throughout 2010 and probably through 2011, as well. My guess is we’ll see another 2 or 3 of these at this level during this time.
With regard to local, I have a feeling that it is all still too new for any significant mergers to take place–at least outside of the “search” niche.
It will, however, be interesting to see what happens with local search advertising/marketing and local lead gen businesses. Will there be any big mergers? Probably not, but I am excited as hell about all of the opportunities in local.
The thing is anyone trying to service SMBs sooner or later needs a scale operation. So there are a number of players in all aspects of the local niche that have hit a certain point where they can’t grow with the resources/systems that they have. Those that have a strong profitable model will either continue to invest and build out while those who are on the edge of profitability or whose margins are not huge or who can’t scale for whatever reason will need to find partners.
I think Rodney King said it best, “Why can’t we all just get along”.
I see 3 challenges in this kind of consolidation:
And, then there’s the minor challenges of working style, collaboration and all that junk.
I think there’s an inherent disparity of scale which becomes an issue when taking it beyond the project level collaboration.
It’s an interesting idea, but execution is the key.