Last night, I caught wind of some exciting news which has me jazzed for two reasons. First, I believe is the start of a larger trend i.e. the beginning of consolidation in the world of social. This morning, Jake McKee and Sean O’Driscoll of Ants Eye View announced this morning that they have acquired talented authors, Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell of Wabash & Lake to expand their professional services portfolio. This announcement comes on the heels of Altimeter Group’s organic additions of three heavy hitters and Dachis Groups’ announcement of their acquisition of HeadShift.
Second, I happen to know Sean, Jake, Jackie and Ben and I can vouch for the fact that not only are they good people, they are smart and possess some serious social chops. To that end, it sounds like in addition to expanding the Ant’s Eye View professional services portfolio, McConnell and Huba’s initial focus will be the creation of programs and services that help companies improve the customer experience and create customer evangelists. McConnell and Huba will serve as public representatives of Ant’s Eye View in their work as business bloggers and keynote speakers, as well as consulting with the firm’s clients. To me, this is smart business.
In Sean’s words (he’s the CEO of Ant’s Eye View), by “adding two of the world’s foremost experts in building word of mouth and customer loyalty programs, Ant’s Eye View has built the industry’s strongest lineup of proven social media and customer experience practitioners who have led customer-focused changes at large brands.”
Bottom line, seeing friends join forces to create something valuable is always exciting. Seeing an emerging trend of smart companies like Altimeter, Dachis Group and now Ant’s Eye View grow and consolidate is equally exciting. To me, it means that the market is starting to demand a higher level of strategy and service from their partners.
The big question is who will be next?