Publisher follows the likes of Gannett and Hearst into digital marketing services arena.
Following in the footsteps of fellow newspaper publishers Gannett and Hearst, Tribune Co. is launching its own marketing services operation. The unit will be geared towards small and medium businesses, offering social media strategy, search engine optimization, and digital marketing consulting.
Bill Adee, the Chicago Tribune's VP for digital will head up the unit, named 435 Digital Services after Tribune's Chicago street address. The operation will launch with around 8 to 10 staff, many of which will be plucked from the company's existing teams.
Speaking with ClickZ, Adee said the operation will build upon Tribune's experiences running its own range of online properties, as well as its blog site ChicagoNow. "We learned talking to some of our advertisers that they wanted to know more about social media, and it dawned on us that an opportunity existed," he said. "We already have relationships with a range of smaller and local advertisers through our print properties. Some aren't as well versed in digital as others, and we hope to help them move to digital," he added.
In terms of services, it will start out on a consultancy basis focusing on SEO and social media strategy. Acknowledging the link between SEO and web development, however, Adee suggested the agency may move into development if it sees demand. "We have the ability to scale as we grow. Right now we're still in learning, and we need to listen to what our clients are asking for," he said.
Though the operation will be relatively modest at launch, it follows a trend of publishers branching out into marketing services, partly in an attempt to further offset declining print advertising revenues.
Hearst acquired search-focused digital agency iCrossing last month, which will form the basis for its new Hearst Marketing Services unit. Gannett has also been building up its digital marketing capabilities with acquisitions of companies such as Pointroll and social media services company Ripple6, which it merged in May.
Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, August 29 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!
Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.
The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.