EVP of Meredith Interactive Marketing on Recent Acquisition of The Hyperfactory and the Promise of Mobile
Media and marketing firm Meredith Corp. announced last month that it had taken a strategic stake in The Hyperfactory, a privately-owned mobile agency based in New Zealand. Its clients include Coca-Cola, BlackBerry, L'Oreal, Vodafone, Disney and Kraft. The investment is designed to enhance the services and capabilities of Meredith Integrated Marketing, the company's business-to-business unit that provides corporations and brands with custom print and online communications for their customers. It also accelerates Meredith's consumer brand efforts in the mobile space. Publishing Executive Inbox spoke with Wendy Riches, executive vice president of Meredith Group's national media group, about its recent acquisition.
INBOX: What kinds of services do Meredith Integrated Marketing offer? What types of clients do you work with?
WENDY RICHES: Meredith Integrated Marketing used to be the custom publishing division of Meredith, but four years ago we became a full marketing services business that offers all types of relationship media—custom magazines, other print materials, Web sites and other media—to our clients. Over the last few years, we've acquired several agencies [O’Grady Meyers, Directive, Genex, New Media Strategies and BIG Communications], and currently have more than 200 clients, including Carnival Cruise Lines, Century 21 and DIRECTV. Our goal is to take whatever our clients' aspirations are for their brands and deliver on all of those areas, whether it be to acquire more customers, retain customers, or sell more to their clients.
INBOX: Why did you decide to invest in a mobile agency? How will it improve your services for your clients?
RICHES: We've found mobile to be a very hot trend with our clients right now. Our agency Genex, for example, has achieved great success with the Kraft Food iAssistant it developed for Kraft. It is an iPhone [and iPod touch] application that allows users to access food and meal plans. The application has been very successful. It's been written about in many publications and all over the Web. Before this, we had not made a major foray into mobile for our brands. When we realized there was more interest, however, we went our looking for an agency.