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ABM forum spotlights shift to data services

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The need for business publishers to develop more data-driven products and services dominated the conversation at American Business Media's Executive Forum last month in Chicago. Speakers at the two-day conference addressed different ways b-to-b media companies can use such products and services to achieve recurring revenue. Michael Friedenberg, president-CEO of IDG Enterprise, discussed his company's Premium Data Services, designed to help technology marketers more precisely target their online advertising campaigns. The program, which debuted in June, combines the advertising technology of the IDG TechNetwork—featuring more than 450 tech websites and blogs—with first- and third-party data to profile visitors to IDG Enterprise sites such as cio.com, computerworld.com and infoworld.com. “What it allows the advertiser to do is actually build a data-driven strategy throughout our organization,” Friedenberg said. “If someone comes to cio.com and they're reading a section on cloud computing, we're then able to follow that reader because we know he's not just coming to our sites but going to a lot of different places.” To participate in the retargeting program, advertisers must commit 60% of their budgets to IDG Enterprise websites, Friedenberg said. Tim Hartman, president of Government Executive Media Group, a unit of Atlantic Media Co., focused on the group's Government Business Council (GBC), which offers b-to-b marketers government research studies and statistics, forecasting, editorial guides and analytics. “Ultimately, it is supporting new sponsor opportunities, new types of marketing and lead generation at the premium level,” Hartman said. “We're showing [marketers] lift in social and earned media.” This year 70% of the group's strategic clients have purchased some type of GBC package, up from 45% in 2011. “It's really imperative that we remember, especially in ad-supported businesses, that what we're trying to do is embed ourselves into the work flow of the marketer,” Hartman said. In an earlier session, Abs Kotulski, VP-strategy and development, commodities and commercial markets at McGraw-Hill Cos., stressed that business publishers have to position their data products as springboards for additional services. “It's not just providing the data, it's being able to either build a work-flow tool on top of the information or developing analytics to provide new insight,” Kotulski said.
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