In this series, eMarketer interviews CMOs and other top marketing executives who are leaders in the digital space.
eMarketer: As the publisher of PCWorld and Macworld, and parent of IDC Research, IDG began its digital transformation in the mid-1990s.
What aspects of your early digital strategy have survived and why?
Matthew Yorke: One is our culture. We are extremely decentralized. Everyone is encouraged to stay close to their customers, adapt their business and create products and services that their customers want. Obviously some things fail, but plenty succeed. Another part of our culture is sharing. We come together once a year at global product meetings to collaborate and share successes and failures. There’s constant innovation going on at a micro level. But, eventually, if something is really successful, it will make its way to the macro level. Also, we still talk today about managing to profit. It’s a great mantra, and it captures how we think about digital versus print. Over time we knew that print was going to continue to decline,and its relevance to us would be diluted, even if it was hard to accept. Managing to profit means you should be putting greater focus on your resources for your digital business.