President, IDG Global Solutions
Yorke has pioneered the integration of social media strategies into IDGâ€™s broader marketing services operation.
Marketing services has become the newest buzz phrase among publishers looking to tap new revenue streams, but itâ€™s essentially an outgrowth of traditional custom publishing divisions.
IDGâ€™s Global Solutions group, helmed by president Matt Yorke, accommodates the companyâ€™s global sales and marketing servicesâ€”predominantly focusing on IDGâ€™s top six U.S. accounts. Within that group resides the more strategic marketing services operation that has gained notoriety for Yorkeâ€™s championing of merging social media functionality with advertising.
The group created the Amplify service, which initially offered three or four types of ad units that pulled in the social Web. A unit for Intel, for example, included a real-time feed of tweets referencing the brand.
That strategy quickly expanded beyond the confines of an ad unit and the groupâ€™s focus on corporate sales. â€śWe rebranded the group as more of a strategic marketing services platform,â€ť says Yorke. â€śThe clear intent is not just about corporate sales, itâ€™s a declaration that weâ€™re moving into the marketing services business.â€ť
Ad units gave way to a broader array of services, including the construction of a â€śsocial listeningâ€ť platform that allows Yorkeâ€™s team to monitor what is being said about a brand and map that data against a competitorâ€™s brand. From there, a client could contract with IDG to build a custom content platform specifically designed to incorporate a high level social media interaction.
The strategy decidedly takes marketing services from within IDGâ€™s stable of media brands and brings the campaigns out to the wider Web. Custom â€śnano-sites,â€ť contracting with industry influencers and early adopters to campaign for a client, and seeding forums with custom content are other services.
Now, social media-related tactics drive 35-40 percent of overall revenues for the group, says Yorke.
Whatâ€™s the next big thing? Mobile. iPad units, SMS campaigns, QR code whitepaper downloads and mobile lead-gen are all gaining speed. â€śThis is a break-out year for mobile,â€ť says Yorke. â€śItâ€™s not just mobile in isolation, itâ€™s being integrated into bigger programs. These worlds are colliding.â€ť
VITAL STATS: Social media-related elements in IDGâ€™s marketing services projects account for 35-40 percent of the groupâ€™s revenues.