Jun 06

Digital Marketing Sees Another Acquisition

I'm glancing through Google search results for digital marketing and I see this Wall Street Journal article on how Hearst Corp. is buying iCrossing, a digital marketing firm. I actually did not realize that iCrossing was fully a digital marketing firm as much as they've always been in the search marketing space. But hey, it's just a category right? The acquisition is valued at $325 million and supposedly could hit $400 million based on iCrossing's forecasts. There are a couple of interesting points here from my perspective:

  1. Traditional media doesn't get digital, so they simply buy it.
  2. Consolidation isn't always a good thing.
  3. Just when you thought tech startups were where the money was ... wanna sell your agency? (Didn't Hearst buy Kaboodle.com back in 2007?)
So what do you get when you join Hearst Corp?
  • Newspapers - actually 15 including Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Albany Times Union and San Antonio Express-News
  • Magazines - 14 US, 20 UK & 200 International including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, Popular Mechanics, Seventeen and more
  • Broadcasting - 29 tv and 3 radio stations
  • Entertainment & Syndication - A&E, ESPN, King Features, Lifetime and more
  • Business Media - Its B2B services division
Some potential good could come of this if Hearst looks at integrating iCrossing into the actual operational side as opposed to just playing consultants and trainers for its traditional media staff. I can tell you one thing Hearst improves immediately is it's social presence. @HearstCorp is a fairly weak, unmanaged, non-interactive account. So remember, digital is a commitment, not something you can just buy.

Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Albany Times Union and San Antonio Express-News