Foundry, formerly IDG Communications, took off in a new direction in February to combine first-party data with technology after the publisher of nearly 60 years — home to brands like PCWorld and Macworld — rebranded amidst an acquisition spree of marketing tech companies.
The company — which has transitioned from a media company with services to a martech, data and media firm — built a technology engine to capture intent-to-purchase signals and provide them to marketers. Intent data not just gathered from across its network of publications and sites, but also across the web like on LinkedIn, Twitter, hundreds of industry blogs, and more.
In a world where people no longer fill out registration forms or click on ads as much as they once did, being able to identify early buying signs is key.
“We’re creating a new category in the world of B2B,” said Andre Yee, chief product officer at Foundry.
The name-change combines media technology and data. Media publications are the source of first-party and intent data, he said.
Foundry, one of two subsidiaries of IDG Inc, in the past 18 months acquired four data and technology companies including Triblio, a martech platform; KickFire, a data intelligence company; LeadSift, a marketing intelligence firm that can scan the web and pick up intent signals; and most recently, Selling Simplified, a global lead-generation company that is particularly strong in Asia-Pacific.
The second IDG subsidiary, IDC (International Data Corporation), a data-driven research and intelligence business did not change its name.
LeadSift and KickFire are being integrated into Foundry’s intent data product, Neon.
Each acquired company is contributing to building Foundry’s marketing software stack to help marketers achieve a positive outcome they want in campaigns.
Deep-pocketed Blackstone, a global investment business that invests capital on behalf of large institutions and individuals, bought IDG for $1.3 billion in November.
“The name change is just catching up to the reality of what we are now,” Yee said. “We think platforms with first-party audiences will become more influential to B2B marketers” as cookies in browsers and identifiers in IP addresses to identify and target buyers disappear.
Foundry grew revenue in 2021. About 10% of its 2021 revenue came from traditional display ads on its websites, with about 55% coming from outside the United States.
The company supports a database of more than “44 million B2B decision makers,” he said. “Our goal is not simply to be the biggest supplier. Our goal is to be the trusted supplier of B2B data. The future economy is about trust.
When Yee was asked about the company’s biggest challenge this year, he said it was finding employees to work as they build “this marketing cloud that has many components, from software to data.”