When An Iconic Media Brand Outlives Its Value: IDG Renames Itself Foundry

The iconic tech-media company IDG, founded by Patrick McGovern in 1964 as International Data Group, has rebranded itself as Foundry, the company said yesterday.

With equally iconic brands including Computerworld, InfoWorld, MacWorld, Network World, and PCWorld, the company has long both chronicled and enabled the transformation of the global economy and American culture into one of computer-based innovation. Along with Ziff Davis, CMP Publications and lesser tech publishers, IDG changed the face of American media.

IDG was sold to China Oceanwide Holdings Group in 2017 for nearly $700 million, and then acquired by the giant investment firm Blackstone last year for $1.3 billion.

Recently it’s been on an buying spree, with four acquisitions in the martech space in 20 months. Most recently, it acquired the “marketing-as-a-service” firm Simplified Selling earlier this month. Simplified Selling provides lead generation products, data services and analytics, allowing IDG to add contact and account level AI-powered lead-generation capabilities to its suite of intent-based marketing technologies.



In December it acquired LeadSift, a Canadian B2B sales and marketing intelligence platform. The martech acquisitions are intended to fuel both audience and marketer engagement in IDG’s brands, many of which have evolved from the decades-old blue-chip magazines into multiplatform audience-insights engines.

As Foundry, the former IDG will pair large-scale first-party data with its acquired and home-grown marketing technologies. “To pivot, to reinvent, you sometimes have to turn away from the very things that previously defined you,” Foundry President Kumaran Ramanathan said. “The long-standing equity in our name, synonymous as one of the world’s biggest media companies, ultimately limits our ambition and ability to be identified as a marketing-technology powerhouse.’’

Now, Ramanathan said, Foundry aims to deliver on a strategy that reinvents the business for a new era in technology marketing, where data and martech are engineered to work seamlessly together, powered by a global ecosystem of editorial brands.

Foundry, the company said in a press statement, is conceived as an interconnected ecosystem of media, technology and data. The company will help navigate the entire tech buyer journey — from driving awareness and understanding intent signals, to increasing engagement and conversion.

“We meet with tech companies, marketers, sellers and agencies every day in every market around the world,” said Foundry Chief Strategy Officer Jason Tenenbown. “What we’ve found is a growing disconnect between sales pipelines and marketing funnels. Our strategy has been to leverage our proprietary data with proprietary marketing technologies to bridge that gap.”

Coincidentally, The Foundry is the same name as the old Time Inc.’s content-marketing studio, created in 2015. That studio, still called The Foundry, is now part of Dotdash Meredith and still operating.

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