Dittus Puts Digital Focus on Track for BTB Campaign

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Dittus Communication Inc. unveiled a nationwide multimillion-dollar marketing effort this week for its latest e-commerce client, Digital Focus, an Internet consultancy start-up launched in 1995.


The integrated campaign - which includes business-to-business direct mail, online banner advertising and print ads in newspapers and magazines - uses a photograph to illustrate the importance of two of the 19th century's most important industrial foundations: bricks and mortar and the American distribution system. The headline and body copy marry the strength of that symbolism to the client's new brand identity as a strategic Internet development services company for businesses that are targeting other businesses on the Web.


Dittus officials said the idea is to communicate the benefits of Digital Focus' offerings to three directly targeted vertical markets in the BTB sector: healthcare, financial services and transportation and logistics. Separate direct mail campaigns detailing how Digital Focus can quickly and efficiently help companies in those industries to be more competitive in the online world also are planned, but officials would not say how many mailings will be distributed.


Monica Gliva, vice president at Dittus, Washington, said campaigns like the one for Digital Focus, Herndon, VA, have helped the company grow.


"We've increasingly become more of a hi-tech-oriented firm. We used to be more based in public policy, but a lot has changed for us recently, especially with the growth of the business-to-business sector," she said. "We're also seeing a lot Internet firms in the Virginia area looking to get their name out there, to increase their business or raise venture capital."


Other changes at Dittus include a new logo for its new name; a new Web site presence; new marketing materials that were implemented after the company's name change from The Dittus Group Inc. in November; and an overall more-sharpened focus on the hi-tech sector.


Digital Focus had the ads placed in numerous newspapers across the country, including The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as in Fortune, Business Week, Fast Company, and other magazines. Online advertising is primarily focused on business-oriented sites.


"We're competing in the same space as many of the e-commerce integrators out there, but there are literally hundreds of companies doing or trying to do the same kind of work," said Jim Boyle, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Digital Focus.


However, Boyle said, his company is generally competing with only three or four of them on a scale that incorporates marketing strategy, architecture and technology, and creativity and branding in a "perfectly integrated" way. The advertising campaign is designed to communicate the firm's name and its ability to deliver service solutions in the three areas on which it's focusing.


Dittus is a privately held firm with 26 employees and 40 clients.
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