SoftLock Takes a Hard Look at Online Marketing

SoftLock.com has un-veiled a suite of interactive marketing services and changed its name to Digital Goods to reflect its expanded focus.

The company, which gained notoriety as an online distributor of Stephen King’s electronic novel Riding the Bullet, previously specialized in digital rights management. With its expanded offering, Digital Goods hopes to assist publishers in delivering rights-protected content to more consumers.

As Digital Goods targeted publishers, affiliate e-tailers and consumers, “We found, through our experience working with all three constituencies, that making content sellable doesn’t make it sell. Tools to drive content are exactly what’s needed,” said company chairman and CEO Scott Griffith.

The Maynard, Mass., company’s new service offerings include a viral marketing system, an affiliate retailer network, a search engine registration capability, embedded offers for relevant content in news feeds and other Web site content, and customized targeted e-mail campaigns.

The publicly-held company decided to shed the name SoftLock because it “sounds like a rights protection company,” Griffith said. Digital Goods will soon begin trading under the Nasdaq symbol, DIGS.

To promote its new brand, Digital Goods has introduced a Web site, logo and the tagline, “Unleashing the value of content.”

“The repositioning and rebranding is a pretty big challenge,” said Griffith. “We want to help the market believe that our vision is the next generation of where content providers and publishers are headed.”

While its expanded focus would seem to indicate that Digital Goods might have to hire additional staffers, the 75-person company has been adding key employees throughout the summer and fall in preparation for the shift.

New staffers include Philip Summers, vice president of corporate marketing; and chief technology officer Jordan Olin.