By Julie Thompson (News Senior Reporter)
One of the Dayton”s oldest advertising agencies is launching a new division to stay ahead of its younger competitors.
Penny Ohlmann Neiman Inc. has created pon.com to answer clients’ needs for the technical and creative development of Web sites. The division – expected to bring in half of the agency’s annual billings in five years – is crucial for the agency to remain viable in the new century, said agency executives.
“Agencies have to embrace it and embrace it in a big way”, said Paul Lindamood, executive vice president and creative director for the agency. “Otherwise, they are going to see an erosion of their client base.”
PON is one of several local ad agencies that have added electronic marketing and e-commerce to their traditional business of advertising and public relations. The shift has swelled in recent years as agencies have watched their clients go elsewhere for Web development.
PON has helped clients with their Web sites for the past five years, but it has been sporadic and based more on design. When the client needed technical help, however, they were referred to another agency or Web development firm.
PON has hired two seasoned Web technicians to get the division running. Dayton natives Rodney Martin and Dee Dee Shade were hired to offer custom programming such as HTML, Java Script, VP Script and Shell Script.
The agency’s newest project is redesigning the Web site of Alcoa Building Products, a Sidney-based company that sells building products for homes. The $500 million company hired an East Coast firm five years ago to design its Web site and it has not been updated since. Pon.com is designing a more up-to-date site that allows customers to design a virtual home with Alcoa products.
PON is expecting the division, http://www.pon.com, to make up about 8 percent of its $27 million in annual billings this year.
But it expects that to grow to 40 to 50 percent of its annual billings by 2005.
That’s the kind of growth that some of PON’s competitors have experienced since they added similar services. Centerville-based David K. Burnap Agency added electronic marketing and Web hosting services about five years ago.
The division, David K. Burnap Electronic Marketing, since has grown from two employees to a staff of 10, including tech people, copywriters and account managers. The division is expected to make up 30 percent of the agency’s $33 million in annual billings this year.