Peter Kim Returns to Dachis Group After Five Months at R/GA

Says Agency Environment Didn't Suit Him

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Peter Kim, Chief Solutions Architect, Dachis Group
Peter Kim, Chief Solutions Architect, Dachis Group

Peter Kim has left R/GA and is back at Dachis Group, the social analytics company, after only five months.

Mr. Kim was Dachis Group's first employee, hired in July 2008. After his brief sting at the Interpublic Group of Cos. agency, he has rejoined the Austin firm in the newly-created role of chief solutions architect.

Mr. Kim said nothing went wrong per se, but he found the agency environment was slower-moving than startups and didn't suit him. R/GA hired him in a strategic role it dubbed "managing director of business transformation." The idea was for Mr. Kim to help the agency in its mission to organize social media programs for clients. He reported to Barry Wacksman, EVP, chief growth officer at R/GA.

"We still have a deep expertise in social," said an agency spokeswoman.

R/GA --which started as a film production firm in 1977, and is now a top digital agency-- is in the midst of what it refers to as a reinvention, something the company's founder Bob Greenberg says takes nine years to gestate.

Mr. Kim, who has also clocked time at Forrester Research and at Puma as a head of global digital marketing, told Ad Age those nine years were "a long lead time."

"Once you move out of the startup environment, it's really easy to forget how quickly things are going," he said, noting that he reconnected with Dachis Group co-founder Jeff Dachis during the holiday season and was "surprised in a good way" at the progress the firm had made since his departure in the fall. The company now has brought products to market that were not ready when Mr. Kim left for R/GA.

Dachis Group has around 160 people on staff and has raised "about $51 million" in venture funding over the last five years, according to Mr. Dachis, who co-founded early digital agency Razorfish. The social analytics firm has 25 job openings, he said. The company aims to convince marketers to move beyond social listening to glean data-driven insights from social information and act on it. Its technologies track brand engagement across hundreds of social media platforms.

Ultimately, Mr. Dachis wants brands to start seeing social media as a portion of the media budget, and is developing a means of measurement that's readily comparable to other media channels.

"You can't put meaningful money to work in social unless you're measuring the performance of the activities that you're, one, engaging with, and two, that you're able to amplify what's working," said Mr. Dachis.

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