Penton Media announced today its first "marketing services" acquisition with the purchase of Washington, DC-based EyeTraffic Media, an online marketing firm.

EyeTraffic serves clients such as DuPont, Mazda and Georgetown University. Founder and CEO George Assimakopoulos will join Penton as vice president of digital media services, reporting to Kim Paulsen, senior vice president of marketing services at Penton.

The agency will be offering "SEO and social media" clients to Penton’s vertical customers, according to Paulsen, who says that one of the biggest attractions is EyeTraffic’s EListening product, which tracks brands across social media (including customer opinion, trending conversations about the brand and what customers think about the brand’s competition).

"If you look at Outsell, they say 60 percent of a marketer’s internal spend is going to their Web site and that it’s the biggest pain point," says Paulsen. "We want to help companies do a much better job of utilizing their Web sites with great content and understanding social media. Companies all say they need a facebook page or a Twitter feed, but they’re not sure what to do with it."

EyeTraffic will continue to operate as an agency with its existing consumer clients, but will also be "enaged across Penton thoughout all our sales teams," says Paulsen. "One of the reasons we did an acqusition rather than trying to grow this organcially is that to become an agency, we need to be one. We will continue to service our customers from a custom standpoint and an advertising standpoint, but our mission is to help them from start to finish, from product concept to sale, not just focusing on helping them brand and create leads. We want to be part of the entire chain of events, not just coming in at the middle." 

In December, Penton CEO Sharon Rowlands told FOLIO: that the company’s purchase of Lebhar-Friedman flagship Nation’s Restaurant News would be the start of several new acquisitions across print, event, digital and data assets.

Last month, Penton launched an auction site to facilitate the sale of heavy machinery.