Mark Soares – Founder and CMO, Blokhaus.io
Hi! I'm Mark. I have a Swiss Bernese named Satoshi. That should tell you everything you need to know about me.
Okay, there’s more.
My background is in art, photography, and agency marketing. I’ve worked in-house, out-of-house, and even briefly as a butcher. All of those experiences fed into the creation of Blokhaus, in 2021.
When it came to starting my own agency, I knew what I wanted it to be, but I also knew what I didn’t want it to be. Having recently left a 'client-side' role at the time, my feelings were fresh. All too often, from a client’s perspective, dealing with a big agency feels like playing a game of telephone – a lot of bureaucracy, a lot of back and forth, and too much process getting in the way of execution. In the relatively slow-moving landscape of traditional consumer marketing, this is merely frustrating, but in the world of Web3 and emerging tech, it really doesn’t fly.
I felt that this new category needed a marketing agency that was focused on the needs of the space; one that could bypass the usual learning curve, quickly immerse itself into the culture and technology of Web3 and take the burden off of the client. A no-bullshit agency that should be great at ideating, great at creative, but above all really, really obsessed with execution. An agency that could move quickly, and make clients’ lives easier by removing a lot of the process that typically slows down the experience of working with traditional agencies and marketing teams.
This new category needed a marketing agency that was focused on the needs of the space; one that could bypass the usual learning curve, quickly immerse itself into the culture and technology of Web3, and take the burden off of the client
The emerging tech space is very new, and naturally, in such a new segment, execution and speed to market is critical. But because it’s so new, there’s a steep learning curve on the part of marketing teams. The biggest challenge facing any marketing team in the Web3 category is understanding the technology. Only once you’ve reached a deep understanding of the tech and all of its nuances, can you start to market it. But Web3 developers and entrepreneurs don’t want to waste time educating their marketing people (even assuming they have any) – they need to get their product launched, by yesterday.
If you’re a newly-minted marketer looking for ideas on how to advertise (say) a new brand of soda, you have a fairly easy job. Consumers already know what soda is, and if you’re struggling to find an angle, there are 100+ years of advertising history to reference for inspiration. That's not the case in Web3.
If you’re reading this and imagining that Blokhaus is a team made up solely of Web3 developers and blockchain nerds though, you’d be wrong. When I was building our team, the most important thing to me was to bring people in from a range of different backgrounds. I wanted talent from many different industries, not only because a diversity of experience is healthy for any creative team, but also because I knew that Blokhaus would end up working with and alongside a massively diverse list of clients, developing solutions for everything from fine art to decentralized finance. The Blokhaus team is as diverse as the Web3 space itself: We have some folks who came to us from the world of politics, others from the traditional art world, yet others from consumer electronics and gaming, some who were early investors in cryptocurrencies, and of course several who started out in other marketing agencies.
We want our clients to know that from day one of working with us, our team is already onboarded, and understands their products and their audience
Blokhaus exists to serve global-facing startups (and organizations that want to operate like startups) in the emerging tech category, by adding skills to their teams that they might not have in-house. Startups in the emerging tech space are usually set up by technologists and engineers. They’re energetic and structured around growth, and of course they’re also in stiff competition with multiple other teams. As such, their marketing efforts are usually tactical, and focused on short-term sprints and executions, with the technology driving the narrative. Often, tech startups lack the kind of organizational structure that you’ll find in more mature companies, and that’s by design. They move fast and they break things, which is fine until it comes to bigger-picture and longer-term requirements like brand positioning and messaging hierarchy – functions that in larger, more traditional companies, would be the responsibility of an internal marketing team.
Blokhaus fills in those gaps. We’re an unusual marketing agency – we have a head of marketing, a creative director, a team of designers and content creators, specialist project managers, and even an events team on staff. We’re set up this way precisely because many of our clients in the Web3 category aren’t – and shouldn’t have to be.
Practical skills aren’t the only value that we bring to the table. In order to help a Web3 brand stand out from the competition, a marketing agency needs to truly understand the technology. And, arguably more importantly, be passionate about it, and immersed in the culture of Web3 and the communities that exist within it. That, more than anything else, is the ethos of Blokhaus.
I want our clients to see Blokhaus as an extension of their brand. For us, that means listening to what their community is saying as well as their product managers; listening to their ideas, their frustrations, what they’re struggling with, and learning from those things in order to nurture that community, help shape new products that meet their needs, and craft a brand message that makes sense to them.
It’s our passion, combined with our execution skills, which makes Blokhaus uniquely effective, despite the relatively small size of our team
There are no shortcuts to this process - it requires total immersion, and that’s what Blokhaus offers. We want our clients to know that from day one of working with us, our team is already onboarded, and understands their products and their audience. We know that they can’t afford to waste weeks or months educating us.
The common thread that binds us together is a passion for emerging tech, in all its forms. You can’t buy that, and you can’t fake it. It’s our passion, combined with our execution skills, which makes Blokhaus uniquely effective, despite the relatively small size of our team.
Most people in high-level marketing positions in the Web3 category are completely overwhelmed, and that’s totally understandable – it is overwhelming. I’ve been there. You have a thousand stakeholders, each making a thousand demands. Your inbox is lighting up every day with new requests. In this kind of hyper-competitive, global environment, it’s extremely hard for marketers to get out of a reactionary mode and be proactive. You want to be in control – that’s your entire job – but in the Web3 category, it’s a rare feeling. Blokhaus exists to solve this problem.
Welcome to Blokhaus.
Blokhaus is a marketing and communications agency with a focus on Web3 and emerging tech. Since we were founded in 2021, Blokhaus has supported numerous high-profile projects and activations around the globe, working in partnership with some of the biggest brands in the world. To learn more about our work, check out our Case Studies. To get in touch, visit our Contact Us page.