Gannett Launches Digital Marketing Unit Aimed At Small Business

For the past two years, Gannett (NYSE: GCI) has focused its local digital efforts on content, but now, the publisher is ready to show more of its marketing side. The McLean, VA.-based publisher has debuted its first GannettLocal unit in Phoenix, and has named Brad Robertson, currently publisher of Gannett’s Burlington, Vt., Free Press to run it, Jim Hopkins reports, citing a memo from Robertson.

Essentially, GannettLocal is charged with providing marketing programs for small- and medium-sized business. The services include search engine marketing, email, digital display, website, and geo-targeted print/flyers. The move is the latest among publishers who have been getting more involved in digital marketing services. Women’s magazine publisher Meredith (NYSE: MDP) has been out in front on this, having built that business through a series of small acquisitions like mobile agency TheHyperfactory.

Gannett has also done its share of notable digital acquisitions, such as rich media marketing provider PointRoll and social media builder Ripple6. Those two units became more tightly integrated last week, when Ripple6 was folded into Pointroll.

Meanwhile, Gannett still hasn’t made any announcements on who — if anyone — will be tapped to replace its former chief digital officer Chris Saridakis, exited the post last month to take on the role of CEO of GSI’s commerce marketing unit.