From Austin, TX #SxSW
AdHocnium further solidifies itself with the announcement that Doc Searls, Cathy Brooks, Mitch Ratcliffe,Thomas Vanderwal and Steve Lubetkin have ‘bonded’ with the recently formed network of consultants. The addition of these widely recognized thought leaders to the roster of “Creative Catalysts” is a huge leap forward in validating the trust network as a business model and rounds, out the core of the initial team.
While the roster of creative communications consultants, Social Media professionals, Enterprise 2.0 experts and holistic business strategists is impressive, “the best is yet to come”, according to AdHocnium founder Chris Heuer. ”Together, we won’t be running around selling our services, but we will be focused on helping companies buy them.” This principle echoes thorughout the work of the unAgency, from the publishing of rates on the AdHocnium Web site, to the type of content being collaboratively produced, the emphasis is on sharing ideas openly, improving them through exposure to the light of day and serving the needs of companies in adapting the principles to their unique situations.
Interestingly, there will be no marketing budget for increasing awareness of their services. Instead, the Catalysts will collaborate to produce media and educational content. The “master work” of AdHocnium is a book project called “Serve the Market” which will be interpreted through each Creative Catalyst’s own point of view under the editorial direction of Mitch Ratcliffe. Mitch said that “Chris Heuer and I have been discussing a collaborative book project for the past several years. This is the perfect time, the perfect topic and a great group of people to make it a reality. The importance of being of service to your customers has been re-affirmed time and time again – from Nordstroms to Burger King, the importance of this approach is clear.” Serving the market goes far beyond mere customer centricity.
According to Chris Heuer, “When you think about serving the market, you are acknowledging your role in the overall ecosystem that supports the market in which you operate. This is made clear by commercial fisherman, who not only work with competitors to ensure everyone’s safety, but who work hard to ensure they don’t overfish a given area, destroying any possibility of future revenue.” This sentiment was also reinforced in a recent statement made by President Obama who said, “We have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election.”
Other projects of AdHocnium being announed today include “Social Media Hour” and What We Would Do. Social Media Hour will use Blog Talk Radio, bringing a different set of Creative Catalysts together “in the tubes” each Thursday at 10am PST (1pm EST) starting on March 26th. The show format will be part critical analysis of emerging issues and part call in advice talk show where we can answer people’s questions about the strategic issues related to innovation, transformation and the use of social media. What We Would Do will be a chance for the Catalysts to showcase their insights and creativity. Each week a different major brand will be selected and subject to analysis, with a thorough discussion of potential creative strategies the Creative Catalysts would employ if they were in charge of that brand’s social strategies. This media-making, knowledge-marketing approach represents what is fundamentally different about marketing and communications in the era of conversation and Social Media.
AdHocnium provides services to communications agencies, venture capital firms and big brands with a diverse product portfolio. We work with startups as well as mulinational corporations in mature markets. It is unfortunate that most traditional PR and ad agencies haven’t been able to make inroads into the emerging practice areas that Web 2.0 and Social Media have created. They are not organized in a way that allows them to stay on top of emerging trends, despite having to compete with an entirely new class of agencies vying for the same client’s business. They have an even more difficult time of recruiting the best and brightest talent, who like many other professionals in this emerging space, generally prefer to be independent without having to clock in with a corporate overlord at 9am each weekday.
By focusing its attention on businesses that serve an array of other business, AdHocnium provides day long and ongoing education and creative strategy sessions, which are referenced as a “Catalytic Converter“. According to Chris Heuer, “The problem with the traditional agency model is that they are often forced to put whichever employee they have available on a project, even when that person is not the most qualified or well suited for the job at hand. Our model allows us to bring in the right people for the client’s needs.” With several of the Creative Catalysts serving on the Intel Insider advisory board, AdHocnium can facilitate and lead a one day innovation program, a multi-day organizational transformation session or serve as an ad-hoc advisory board for its clients with monthly sessions.
AdHocnium isn’t the agency of the future, it’s the agency for today.
[Personal Note: I am really excited to make this announcement today as it is something that has been in the works since the day we announced our formation during Le Web in December of 2008. For me personally, it is a validation that the idea is the right one, for the right time. Then again, only time will tell as we turn more conversations into clients, and develop more opportunities to work together. This was originally intended to be a press release, but I changed my mind and don’t have time to rewrite it since the news is already out over at ReadWriteWeb)