EMedia's Marketeer lives on with Blueprint

Print shop takes over business of pioneering online developer

One of the earliest New Zealand-developed content management systems, Marketeer, from Dunedin-based eMedia, is now being offered by South Island print shop Blueprint after it bought the eMedia business in June.

Blueprint’s regional manager, Mary Anderson, says Blueprint started as an offset printer in Timaru four-and-a-half years ago. In 2006 it bought Rangiora Print and then Christchurch-based web design house Innovative Media.

EMedia, traded on the Unlisted exchange, was bought 18 months later as it was seen as a good fit with the printer’s strategy to become a one-stop shop for design and print and online media, Anderson says.

In May, eMedia told shareholders its operating environment had fragmented in the eight years since the company was founded.

“Large offshore players offering hosting and e-commerce services at cut-rates have further commoditised product and prices. In order to move forward and attempt to remain competitive, the company needs investment in infrastructure and systems’ updates,” a letter from the directors said.

“The general business outlook for our sector is not positive and looming substantial writedowns in our intellectual property would see the company technically becoming insolvent, a situation that is clearly unacceptable.”

The directors offered three alternatives to shareholders, including reinvestment, liquidation and sale — recommending the latter as negotiations with Blueprint were already advanced. That recommnedation was accepted by a shareholder majority of 85%.

Anderson says Marketeer is still a very valid product for small and medium-sized businesses, but for more sophisticated requirements Blueprint offers website builds based on the open source web application framework DotNetNuke.

“We see it still has a good fit in the market,” Anderson says, “Especially as things tighten up. There’s definitely still a niche.

“It doesn’t have to be a $10k website to be professional.”

EMedia marketed the Marketeer CMS as a way for businesses to take control of their web content, and that approach hasn’t changed, says Anderson.

She says it is a nice, simple and clean interface and Blueprint provides training to get users up to speed in using it.

However, businesses are looking for more and larger solutions, she says, and that’s where DotNetNuke comes in.

Anderson says eMedia used to be, effectively, a development shop, but Blueprint has lowered the cost of delivery and is focusing on commercialisation, adding that most eMedia staff have been retained.

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