April 13, 2010

Houston, [Madison Avenue] We Have a Problem.


Was there ever a real "Sea of Tranquility?" We designated it so, but in fact the impact of whatever hit the moon millions of years ago was anything but tranquil.

Now, we have a Sea of Consultancies, from the likes of IBM, McKinsey and others who've just landed on Madison Avenue to limit that shadow-like crescent that ad agencies get in their rotation. They're there to help shops keep that full moon glow!

NASA = Newly Acquired Sown-together Agencies

Altus Alliance is different. They're a startup's Ground Control. They're the talented engineers who help small companies manage the intensity of their meteoric rise. Altus helps them resist going too fast and burning out in (this) space, which for better or worse too often happens from the brilliance of their own heat.


This is a challenge our larger Starship Enterprises only wish they had. These days they're more concerned about landing on the dark side of the moon. Astro-naughts Levy, Sorrell, Wren and others definitely have a problem. Much too much moon-dust has clouded their atmosphere; now that the traditional, online, direct marketing and PR agency vendor services they've collected are stacked like a pile of moon rocks, collecting dust themselves.

Management consultancies are suiting up to help MadAve create a new station of space for innovation. The problem with this is harder than it looks. That's because the real orbiter-arbiter in this day and age is not NASA (Newly Acquired Sown-together Agencies).

"Innovation Agencies" today are the startups with the rocket fuel. Still, they need more guidance than simply looking out the window. Altus Alliance, has been one of the few venture consultants who understand that there's just as much risk with large agency atmospheres as there is for capsule-like shops who risk bouncing off it.


Mark Leslie, the Altus Alliance founder and former CEO and Chairman of Veritas states it this way, "the risk with startups has shifted over the last 10 years from a technology execution risk to primarily a go-to-market risk."

Altus believes that too often, great products and services die on the vine because they aren't able to gain revenue and market traction. Young businesses come to Altus Alliance to ensure they gain the revenue and market traction they need to reach what we call the Revenue Inflection Point (i.e., when revenue momentum will sustain a company).

As with all public companies, marketers who rely on Madison Avenue for the right stuff, the question is whether agencies who used to refer to "income streams" once commonly referred to as "clients" will help the advertisers bottom-lines? Or will the flight pattern their new tank-thinkers provide be more beneficial to NASA's Wall Street, now also commonly referred to as "the real client".

Altus is flying in the right direction. One can find insight easily by landing on their site. Once you're there, take one small step and click on to their PDF on The Enterprise Sales Learning Curve (SLC), an approach that helps companies safely maintain a stable orbit.

It's called "Why it Always Takes Longer and Costs More". It probably wouldn't be a bad idea for Anderson, McKinsey and Big Blue read it, but don't tell them. Altus certainly doesn't have all the answers. They'll tell you so. What they do have is the knowledge of how startups--what we now call "Innovation" agencies--can guide your company from becoming as mythical the man on the moon.


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