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Beam takes on all TechTarget groups

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On the same day last month that TechTarget confirmed it would pursue an initial public offering in 2006, the Needham, Mass.-based trade publisher handed responsibility for all seven of its media groups to Kevin Beam.

But Beam, who joined the company five years ago and continues to serve as an exec VP, refuses to feel like he's on the hot seat.

"[An IPO] perhaps adds some drama to the announcement of this role and the potential payoff," Beam said. "Yeah, there's some immediacy because there is the potential for a payoff for our investors. But immediacy is a commonplace for me. I'm fairly restless."

Beam, a 20-year veteran of magazine publishing, production, technology sales and marketing, went to work for TechTarget just as the company was getting on its feet and beginning to grow. Initially, his role was to develop a market strategy for the company's IT Web sites. He quickly became the point man for the Storage, Security and Windows media groups, TechTarget's largest and most successful units.

He labels himself as a "go-to market guy," pointing to his work with the Storage Group as an example of what he likes to do. Just two weeks after the September 2001 terrorist attacks, he launched the first Storage Decisions conference, and shortly thereafter a new magazine, Storage. "A lot of people would have looked at that as the wrong thing at the wrong time," Beam said. "What made it work was understanding the technology and how people used it to do their jobs, and understanding where that market was at a given time. Our feeling is a uniform approach to markets doesn't work."

Beam also launched the invitation-only conference division in 2001 and oversaw the purchase of Information Security magazine.

Now, he also will run the CIO Decisions, Networking, Application Development and Enterprise Applications groups. Clearly, the expectation is that Beam can apply the same touch to those four groups as TechTarget readies its financials for Wall Street's investment community.

For the first nine months of the year, TechTarget reported a 51% revenue gain, fueled by increases of 61% in online revenue, 44% in its print operations and 37% in events.

"It's not a question of any of these markets needing triage," he said. "All these markets are rich in opportunities."

His first order will be to develop more seminars and custom events at the four units. But he also has specific messages to spread to the four distinct audiences. Beam wants to establish CIO Decisions as the dominant midmarket player following its magazine launch earlier this year. At Networking, he wants to get across the message that the product is not trying to be all things to all people. And at the other two properties, Beam wants to push harder to reach big-ticket buyers. 

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