Austin, Texas—American Business Media's 2011 Annual Conference kicked off Sunday with two sessions on the topic that is dominating discussion on stage and off: marketing services.
In the first panel of the conference, “How Do Smaller Publishers Move Into Marketing Services,” three executives from smaller b-to-b media companies discussed their own forays into marketing services.
Dave Newcorn, VP-digital and custom media at Summit Media Group, which publishes Packaging World, leads the company's new custom media group. “We feel content marketing is the key to Internet marketing,” he said.
Summit created the centralized custom media group in part to “put a price on custom” and to generate more revenue from the custom products the company was already creating, Newcorn said. The sales staff at Summit has also been incentivized to focus on larger custom projects, because they earn double commissions on projects that meet a certain revenue threshold.
A second panelist, Gerry Ryerson, president of Edgell Communications, discussed his company's efforts in unifying its database of readers and automating lead generation. The system Edgell has installed for marketers automates the process, for instance, by stripping out vendor inquiries.
The ultimate goal of the effort is to provide marketers with higher-value leads. Ryerson recalled interviewing the person who would eventually take over the lead program at Edgell. “He said, "My goal is to turn a $100 lead into a $1,000 lead.' That rang with me,” Ryerson said.
The third panelist, Mitch Rouda, VP-e-media at Farm Journal Media, discussed a number of marketing services options offered by his company, including microsites, social media marketing programs and mobile text alerts. Rouda said b-to-b media companies possess several advantages they can leverage for marketing services, including their lists and content-creation expertise.