Andreas Schmidt, a former VP-marketing for AOL, joined Hanley Wood in February as executive director of e-media and will oversee the magazine Web sites, b-to-b online products and e-commerce sites dreamhomesource.com and eplans.com. Alec Dann, general manager-magazines online now reports to Schmidt and is overseeing the b-to-b product search site ebuild.com as well as the magazine sites. Ward Downing, who runs ebuild as director of business media online, is reporting to Dann in an effort to maximize the synergies between ebuild and the magazine sites.
In January, ebuild unveiled a redesign that Downing said gives it a fresh look and provides easier navigation. Several new features debuted at that time, with more to be launched by midyear.
Based on research with ebuild users, the site has added new-product releases. And, after finding that construction people enjoyed paging through manufacturers' printed catalogs, "we'll be gathering them, scanning them and making them keyword searchable," Downing said.
Another big initiative for ebuild is an online directory of products and vendors. The starting point for the directory will be data gathered by Hanley Wood publications for printed annual directories.
"It's much easier to add value to these listings online," Downing said. "We offered premium listings within ebuild previously, but the new site design and our closer relationship with the magazines will enable us to enhance them much further with product videos, catalogs, new products and more."
Downing added that many smaller companies that previously might not have been able to afford to advertise in Hanley Wood publications will be able to get exposure through enhanced directory listings.