Hanley Wood, which covers the housing and construction industries, is taking its digital media efforts to another level. In August the b-to-b media company promoted Andy Reid to the newly created position of president-digital and strategic development. Reid, who was previously president of eMedia and Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, spoke with Digital Directions
about his plans to boost Hanley Wood's digital marketing efforts.
Digital Directions: What's your initial strategy to enhance the company's digital presence?
I've been running the e-media business here for a while, but it was a fairly self-contained group; there wasn't a lot of overlap into our exhibitions, agency or data businesses. What we're seeing in the marketplace is a continued fragmentation of audiences as a result of social media, mobile and continuing product profusion—even within our core Web and email product offerings. What that ultimately drives is a need to refocus our proposition for our marketers and advertisers to really be audience-centric and audience-first, as opposed to product/brand/business-line first.
DD:Will data be a key element in developing digital media services?
We've made substantial investments into our data platforms over the last few years. These investments have put us in a position to go far beyond what we have historically been able to provide to clients. We now can help clients understand their position in the marketplace, use that insight to create their marketing strategies and tactics and then help them implement those campaigns in the market. For example, we have a core subscription data business that we sell to new-home builders. The data set informs them about activity in the marketplace—sales, price points, what type of consumers are buying homes—and what we're able to do is take that data, help our clients interpret it, develop marketing campaigns based on that insight and then deliver the marketing message to their target audience. A critical benefit for a company like Hanley Wood is that an investment in data services ends up paying dividends across multiple audiences given our concentration of assets in the construction market.
DD: How will you integrate social media into the marketing equation?
I view social media as a critical medium through which our audience consumes and finds relevant content—our own, third-party and user-generated content. It's a very important facet of our audience outreach from the standpoint that we need to be where our audiences are because, ultimately, our proposition to advertisers is that we can maintain our relevance within the market and deliver the audience they're looking to reach, wherever they may be.