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Digitaria Expands to Chicago, Extending Reach in Midwest Push

Sep 14, 2012

Following a successful summer introduction to Minneapolis and the Midwest, digital marketing and technology agency Digitaria, a JWT company, has hired skilled Chicago hand Doug Ruhl to help rustle up further business in the client-rich northeast corridor of middle America.

Ruhl, 44, most recently director of marketing services for SapientNitro’s Chicago office, has been named VP of business development for Digitaria. He will be based in JWT’s downtown Chicago space in the Merchandise Mart, but split his time between the windy city and Minneapolis, where earlier this year Digitaria absorbed JWT’s digitally dedicated office.

Since the merger, Digitaria Minneapolis has won significant assignments from Best Buy and Life Time Fitness, as well as extended and expanded its assignments with the office’s largest client.

“We see opportunity throughout the Midwest for Digitaria’s broad but distinct blend of digital marketing skills and creative technology,” says Dan Khabie, Digitaria CEO. “Our first few months in Minneapolis have shown there is a hunger for what we do, and we feel the footprint can be widened. We need a local voice, an advocate that people know, trust and respect, to tell the Digitaria story. Doug Ruhl is that person.”

Ruhl has more than ten years experience in digital marketing and technology, working with companies that span both the Fortune 500 and TechCrunch’s most entrepreneurial innovators: McDonald’s, Kellogg’s, Harley-Davidson, Epson, Adobe, Dolby Labs. Before serving as director of marketing services at SapientNitro in Chicago, Ruhl was VP of Business Development for iCrossing. He was also Managing Director of Business Development for digital marketing pioneer Proxicom.  Ruhl met Digitaria CEO Dan Khabie during a short stint in San Diego in 2009 as SVP, Client Development at Geary Interactive.

Ruhl will work closely with the Minneapolis office, as well as the JWT team in Chicago, combining digital thinking with the parent company’s longstanding position in the city’s market. His immediate goal is to introduce Digitaria’s broad skill set -- digital product innovation, web strategy, interactive marketing, optimization and analytics, design, user experience, hosting and content management technology, and web development – throughout the Midwest market.

“We will look for opportunities to infuse Digitaria’s thinking into JWT’s current midwest clients through integrated business solutions, but the wider goal is to introduce fresh Chicago marketers and other regional clients to Digitaria,” says Ruhl. “There’s no one doing what Digitaria doing on their level with creative design and creative technology. The market is poised to be very receptive.”

The combination of Digitaria’s Minneapolis office and JWT’s Chicago office gives the digital company access to more than 75 digital professionals in the Midwest, Khabie says.