Thursday, October 25, 2007

Having a Blast in E-Marketing

Congrats to seven great Canadian entrepreneurs.

Blast Radius, one of the most successful young growth firms in Canada (as measured by the very first PROFIT Hot 50 list of Emerging Growth Companies, away back in 2000) has just been sold to an international direct-marketing firm.

Why should you care? Because it’s a key indicator of the digital marketing revolution, which you should be part of (as I've written here, here and here).

Founded in 1996 by seven Vancouver film schol grads, Blast Radius specializes in digital marketing and social networking. It has 400 employees, offices in the U.S. and Europe, and clients such as Nike and Starbucks. (Click on the pic at right to see more clients.) The buyer is New York-based Wunderman, which calls itself “the most diverse digital relationship marketing network in the world.”

What’s interesting to me (and to you, if you care about marketing trends) is the explanation from Wunderman CEO Daniel Morel. According to marketing news service ClickZ, the increasing migration of ad budgets into Internet channels (especially search engine marketing) is pushing Wunderman to ramp up its digital services. "I'm surprised at the speed at which clients are moving real communication dollars into the [digital] channel," said Morel. In fact, he expects that one day the history of advertising will be divided into "Before Search" and "After Search."

Blast Radius CEO Gurval Caer gave ClickZ an example of what this means. "We have some built-in tools to identify how best you can tap into social networks in a way that is sustainable and truly meaningful to the brand and its community," he said. Helping companies share content and experiences with customers with “is core to our brand."

Caer contrasts this with Wunderman's experience in data-driven relationship marketing. "Wunderman has a modern operating system with data and results at the core -- not storytelling," he says. "It's having to redeploy those core competencies from traditional direct marketing and direct mail to the new environment." (Click here for the full story.)

The marketing world may be in a huge state of flux, but it’s clear that things are advancing fast. Is your firm keeping up to date?

(Thurday afternoon update: If you're interested in more info on social media/digital marketing, I have just updated my "tags." You can read my past posts on search, Internet marketing, blogs, etc. , by clicking on the "digital marketnig" tag below. See, this is the power of interactive media!)

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