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Top Agencies: Traction

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Location: San Francisco URL: www.tractionco.com Key executive: Adam Kleinberg, CEO Employees: 40 2012 revenue: $6.0 million 2012 b-to-b revenue: $3.5 million Key clients: Adobe Systems, California Bank & Trust, Intuit, MasterImage 3D, Robert Half International Major 2012 campaigns: California Bank & Trust, “Content Marketing Strategy,” online video, website, social media, email, mobile; MasterImage 3D, “Fight Flat,” website, banner ads, social media, mobile; Robert Half International, “Bob From Accountemps,” banner ads, online video, microsite, social media, radio, out-of-home Comments: Grew revenue by 20%; added b-to-b clients such as First Republic Bank, Kelly Moore Paint, MasterImage 3D; b-to-b makes up 55% of total revenue Traction expanded its content marketing, social media and technology capabilities last year to develop successful campaigns for b-to-b clients. The agency grew its revenue by 20% in 2012 and added new b-to-b clients including First Republic Bank, Kelly Moore Paint and MasterImage 3D. It also grew business with existing clients such as California Bank & Trust and professional staffing firm Robert Half International. “We expanded into new areas of marketing,” said Adam Kleinberg, CEO of Traction. “As the need for content becomes as important as the need for campaigns, we have been doing robust content development and strategy work.” For Robert Half International, Traction put a new twist on its 20-year-old radio campaign featuring “Bob” from Accountemps—its temporary financial staffing service. “We explored how to take an existing idea and modernize it,” Kleinberg said. “We brought the campaign to life by creating really entertaining pre-roll video spots, which are like mini-episodes of "The Office.'” The spots are short, documentary-style clips in which office workers rave about temporary financial pro, Bob. The campaign also includes radio, out-of-home, print and online ads, with headlines such as “Nobody rocks a spreadsheet like Bob rocks a spreadsheet” and “Bob really covered our asset depreciation.” For California Bank & Trust, Traction was charged with raising awareness of the regional bank among small and midsize businesses. “When we started working with them, 90% of the traffic reaching their website was coming from people searching on their name—people who already knew them,” Kleinberg said. “A clear strategic goal was to increase organic traffic and introduce them to new customers.” Traction used a content-driven approach to develop a digital marketing program that featured infographics, blogs and online videos focused on new-product launches and other news. Content was distributed through social media channels, the corporate website and email, and supported by PR and search engine marketing. Following the campaign, the bank's search position rose to No. 1 on Google for such regional search terms as “small business bank,” and organic traffic to the website increased to 40% of total traffic. For MasterImage 3D, Traction created a campaign called “Fight Flat” to showcase the client's 3D online technology for the Web and mobile devices. “They really needed a rallying cry to reinvent their brand and bring it up to the level of innovation their products represented,” Kleinberg said. “We came up with the message "Fight Flat' to help them be the leader in the category and really drive the whole [3D] category forward.” Traction used HTML5 animation to simulate objects jumping off the screen on the company's website and in banner ads. It also developed a content management system for MasterImage 3D. “Technology has become our largest area,” Kleinberg said, noting that the agency has been hiring more technology, social media and content experts in the past year. “From a technology perspective, we have done some really innovative things.” For Adobe Systems, Traction created a mini-version of Photoshop inside a Facebook page aimed at designers and college students. The app lets users design T-shirts and order them from Café Press inside Facebook. —K.M.
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