Treffiletti, Durham Partner On Catalyst
Durham, Catalyst's CEO and managing partner, is a professor of Marketing at the University of San Francisco, most recently serving as president of sales and marketing at Jumpstart Automotive Media.
Meanwhile, long-time MediaPost contributor Treffiletti--formerly senior vice president, engagement architect at Carat Fusion--will be the company's president and managing partner. Together, the two are part of a staff of six that includes researchers, strategists and a technologist housed in San Francisco's downtown financial district.
The firm has already nabbed seven accounts--including social media startups Jitter Fingers and Zude--and offers clients a number of options, from payment on a per-project basis, to 6- and 12-month retainers, and even a combination retainer/equity deal for startups.
As for venture capital or angel investments--there are none. "We're a bootstrap operation that's already started turning a profit," said Treffiletti.
Beyond the numbers, Treffiletti says that Catalyst's non-buying status makes the firm an objective that third-party companies can call on to help create, refine and overhaul a digital media strategy that crosses channels like IPTV, social networking, mobile, OOH and of course, online video.
"We're not buying any specific type of media, so we're not incentivized to work with any one over the other," said Treffiletti. "A company comes to us when they want to figure out how to build or expand their business using all kinds of digital media or the digital extensions of traditional channels."
Treffiletti added that the plans to launch Catalyst stemmed from a number of industry-wide trends, including user adoption and brand interest in mobile media and social networking, and the uptick in agencies shifting toward communications or strategic planning.
"It's about layering a digital strategy over existing relationships that clients and agencies already have," said Treffiletti.
One trend that Treffiletti says isn't influencing Catalyst is the mortgage meltdown and its possible impact on online advertising. "We're not positive that we'll see a recession happen in advertising," said Treffiletti. "But if there is, Catalyst's business is not dependent on media dollars being spent online. We can develop a strategic solution that emphasizes non-paid, and other emerging media as a platform to reach the audience."