Key executive: Laura Lang, CEO
2008 revenue: N/A
2008 b2b revenue: N/A
Key clients: Delta Air Lines, Ericsson, IBM Corp., Samsung, Shell
Major 2008 campaigns: IBM, "Smart Market," online marketplace for SMBs; Shell, Dialogues, online community focusing on energy debate; Samsung, "Solid State Drives," Web site featuring real stories of IT pros
Comments: Total revenue doubled in 2008; added new b2b clients including Shell and Samsung printer and solid state drives businesses; expanded work with clients including Delta Air Lines and IBM; formed b2b unit and content creation and distribution arm; won Gold MIXX and Gold Effie awards.
Despite the sliding economy, Digitas had its best year on record in 2008, boosting revenue 100% and adding dozens of new clients.
“A lot of people began to recognize that to really make inroads in the b2b space, you have to have a much deeper understanding of how to reach people with interactive media and social media,” CEO Laura Lang said. “We have really made this a priority, and the marketplace was very responsive.”
Digitas picked up new b2b clients including Shell and Samsung's printer and solid state drives businesses. It also expanded relationships with clients including Delta Air Lines and IBM.
For IBM, it created a global online marketplace for small and midsize businesses called Smart Market. The site is a collaborative Web environment that helps IT professionals buy, set up and manage different technologies to help run their businesses. It features online comparison tools, product information, user-generated reviews and expert advice from independent sources.
Digitas created an online community for Shell called Dialogues. The site is aimed at government officials, customers, lobbyists and the media, and fosters conversation around energy policy and solutions using webcasts, podcasts, blogs, videos, forums and live chat.
“We saw a big leap on behalf of some of our clients to use digital as a social medium but also as a connector to community,”
“For Shell, it was a huge risk-openness barometer to allow their brand to be open to this type of conversation,” said Seth Solomons, CMO of Digitas. “Energy is such a hotbed of debate for lobbyists and journalists.”
So far, the site has been successful in encouraging conversation and debate: More than 150 external sites now link to Shell Dialogues.
To keep up with its b2b clients' demand for innovative digital solutions, Digitas last year launched Digitas B2B, a specialized unit within the agency. It also created Third Act, a content creation and distribution arm.
“Given the spectacular growth in video, one thing we've realized is that marketers going forward will have to understand not only how to leverage content created by other folks but how to create custom content,” Lang said.
TOP B-to-B ADVERTISING AGENCIES
Runner-up - DDB
Honorable Mention - BBDO
Business to Business
Runner-Up - Eric Mower & Associates
Honorable Mention - Doremus
Rogan + Partners
Runner-up - Koroberi
Honorable Mention - Sullivan
Runner-up - Digitas
Honorable Mention - BusinessOnLine
What Recession? Top b2b agencies find opportunities to grow business, add services.