Digital marketing and ad agency Didit has acquired branding and marketing shop The Halo Group, as it continues to build out a full-service agency.
Terms were not disclosed, but the company will remain a subsidiary under its new parent company. Co-Founder Linda Passante will stay to lead the agency.
The Halo Group provides creative advertising, PR, content marketing, search and social media services for companies such as ShopRite, ItsLearning, Empire State College, New York University, Speyburn, Hess Express, and Mount Airey Lodge.
Didit Executive Chairman Kevin Lee said that for now, Halo will become "a Didit Company" and its resources, including a dozen full-time employees and freelancers, will share their expertise across all its companies and clients.
"The 'digital silo' is counterproductive," Lee said, adding that Didit remains focused on search marketing, and that each of the 11 acquisitions gave Didit a new expertise.
"We've always understood something causes people to search and that something is another marketing touchpoint or a water-cooler conversation," he said. "Sometimes it's serendipity, but it's usually a catalyst to get the person to search."
Lee said marketers cannot depend on the demand that other brands create. They must create their own demand through digital media like search or product listing ads. It's limiting for marketers to think they can harvest business in search from other media and consumers who type in a few hundred keyword phrases, he said.
For Didit, the idea to build out services and become a full-service agency began with an alternative mindset. Most executives look for the synergies between the two companies, but not Lee.
"Rather than acquire companies just like us, we wanted to acquire companies that were a little different," Lee said.
When Didit's executive decided to become a full-service agency, the company began with social media. "We couldn't add a social media expert until we have a client to pay for it; we can't pitch the clients on social media until someone in the company can do it," he said. "So we acquired Inceptor, our first acquisition."
Each time the company decided it wanted to offer a service outside of its expertise, it acquired another company. Mergers and acquisitions was the most realistic channel to solve the Catch-22, Lee said.