In order to create direct marketing at its core, you need to ask ‘how do you build relationships and ultimately get profit and performance?’ by using tactics like lead generation, sale and upsell. What’s exciting for Digitas is part of the ‘creativity drives performance’ equation is about understanding how to put together the right kind of content so people will engage. In the past people haven’t seen that as a direct discipline, but it absolutely is. Then you overlay targeting and accountability and metrics.”
— Laura Lang, CEO, Digitas
While Digitas is currently a digital agency leader, its roots are in direct marketing – it was founded in 1980 as Bronner Slosberg Humphrey, which became a leading DM firm with offerings ranging from DRTV and direct mail to print and alternative media. As digital grew and the Internet became an incredible reach vehicle, the company realized brands must engage consumers in conversation online. The agency prides itself in its ability to bring together the best qualities of its traditional direct heritage and its understanding of the digital world.
Year founded: Founded 1980; acquired by Publicis Groupe in 2007
Headquarters: Boston, MA
Holding company: Publicis Groupe
Web site: www.digitas.com
Number of offices: Six in the US, as well as 19 other locations for its other brands – Digitas Health, Prodigious, Solutions and Tribal.
Major disciplines/capabilities: Content creation, creative design and execution, digital and direct marketing, interactive and integrated marketing strategy, analytics and measurement, media research, planning and buying, planning (consumer insight), promotions and branded entertainment, search marketing and optimization, technology enablement and video production.
Key accounts: American Express, AOL, AstraZeneca, AT&T, Delta Airlines, GM, IBM, Kraft. MARS, MillerCoors, Pfizer, P&G, Samsung and Whirlpool.
Current agency challenges: Digitas says its greatest challenge is to continue to identify the diverse talent that has been so critical to its success.
Biggest 2009 industry trends: Digitas expects to see fewer credit card mailings, saying more digital print fulfillment will be offered directly through banners. In digital, the agency expects to see an increase in live casting and plinking, feels Twitter will peak and that long-format video consumption will go through the roof. In terms of data, the agency sees cookie sharing and trading fast becoming a trend.
Top executives: Laura Lang, CEO; Alan Rutherford, CEO, Digitas Global; Mark Beeching, chief creative officer; Seth Solomons, CMO; Joe Tomasulo, CFO; David Kramer, CEO Digitas Health; Phil DeZutter, President, Prodigious Worldwide