Chicago—One of the final sessions of the Business Marketing Association 2011 Annual Conference, which ended Friday, discussed the move of business media companies into marketing services—a development that places those businesses in direct competition with advertising agencies.
One panelist, Kim Paulsen, senior VP-Penton Marketing Services, said, “For publishers, moving into marketing services is a natural evolution. We are being forced, so to speak, by our customers.”
Paulsen said Penton Media's research showed that the company's advertising customers were dissatisfied with their marketing and websites. “Their websites stink,” Paulsen said. “They don't get enough traffic. They don't get enough leads. They don't know how to nurture leads.”
A second panelist, Dean Horowitz, VP-e-media and market intelligence at Vance Publishing Corp., said that audience delivery and engagement were critical in delivering marketing services. He said that Vance now charges more for products delivering a higher level of engagement—pricing, for instance, a webcast rather than a print ad.
Athird panelist was Mitch Rouda, president-e-media at Farm Journal Media, which is developing microsites and performing other marketing services for advertisers. He acknowledged that the move to marketing services has placed media companies and agencies into more direct competition, but there is room for the two to work together. “We are on each [others] toes, for sure,” Rouda said. “We [publishers] are never going to be as creative as agencies. And you guys are never going to be as good at content creation as we are.”