“Adding this extra dimension of touch, of augmented or virtual reality, just takes the experience to another level,” says CEO Jim Dalton.
The Jacksonville-based Dalton Agency announced Thursday it completed the acquisition of a Nashville digital marketing firm.
Dalton Agency, which provides advertising, public relations and interactive marketing services for local and national clients, acquired Anode, which specializes in technology-focused interactive marketing, offering clients augmented and virtual reality, touch and motion technology, and interactive web experiences.
CEO Jim Dalton said acquiring Anode’s workforce and skill set allows Dalton to provide more services to clients it previously had to outsource.
“In the past, we’ve been fairly limited on how we could tell stories with print, video and audio,” Dalton said.
“Adding this extra dimension of touch, of augmented or virtual reality, just takes the experience to another level,” he said.
The agency said through a news release that the acquisition “significantly expands the full-service agency’s capabilities by bringing new technology and resources in-house, providing clients with a single resource for all their marketing and communications needs.”
Dalton said those capabilities have contributed to campaigns for some of the agency’s existing clients.
Anode is the second Nashville firm Dalton has acquired since 2016, when it folded the Bill Hudson Agency into its operation. “We have a fairly large client based in Nashville and we wanted to have an office there,” Dalton said.
Anode landed on his radar soon after.
“When we began working there, we kept hearing about this company that was at the forefront of digital marketing,” said Dalton.
“We reached out to them, got to know them and collaborated with them on projects for some of our clients,” he said.
Dalton said the merger began in 2018 but the firm waited to make an official announcement until Anode’s operations were fully integrated into Dalton’s systems.
The acquisition was driven, in part, by the rapid changes taking place in the advertising and digital marketing industry.
“One example is an interactive touch screen we did for a client in Nashville recently,” said Dalton. “Being able to do all the design, programming and interactivity in-house was a big advantage for us.”
Dalton said the office in Nashville has 25 employees, as does another office in Atlanta.
He said the Downtown Jacksonville headquarters at 140 W. Monroe St. has about 50 employees. While his other offices continue to grow, “Downtown Jacksonville is our home.”
He said that while a lot of Dalton's clients are national or international brands, most are based in the Southeast.
Dalton founded the agency 30 years ago. He said to expect it to buy more firms.
“We’re always looking to grow, to expand our reach and capacities,” he said.
“I can’t name another agency in the Southeast that has the capabilities and reach we now have, and we hope that remains the case.”