Seth Nichols is VP-digital media and general manager of the Design & Engineering Group at Questex Media, where he manages more than 80 Web sites worldwide. He recently shared his insights into how Questex adds new online products
Media Business: What is your philosophy for developing new digital products?
Nichols: We are audience- rather than being productcentric. The process for any job function in any b-to-b market can be mapped, so we take the editors and publishers through a proprietary methodology to get them to think in detail about the job functions of a target audience. From that, we start to drive product ideas and create a product roadmap that goes 18 to 24 months out with things we think we can deliver to help that person get his or her job done.
MB: What does this process look like?
Nichols: We've mapped out 13 distinct steps we go through internally from the moment someone has an idea of a digital product until we have the project working and we are maintaining the site every day. We have a wiki where all the steps are documented.
We always focus on three areas—audience development, engagement and retention. How are we going to get people to find this product? What are we doing on the site and with the product to ensure we're giving people information they need to get their jobs done? What do we do to make sure they keep coming back?