MB: Which recent SourceMedia marketing initiative do you think is interesting and innovative?
O'Brien: We established a site separate from the SourceMedia home page to show marketers the full breadth of our offerings beyond the individual brands they know. We call it the Solutions Center and it has its own URL: http://solutions.sourcemedia.com.
MB: Why is it separate?
O'Brien: It was a practical solution for speed to market. We wanted to avoid having to redesign the corporate site, and we outsourced the Web development to get the functionality and design we wanted.
We started the process by surveying advertisers across our brands to find out what they would find useful. We also surveyed our sales teams. Then we established a cross-functional team representing sales, marketing, audience development, IT and custom media. We started the process the first week of January 2007 and launched the site near the end of March.
MB: How do your salespeople use it?
O'Brien: Most of them have it appended to their e-mails, and it is printed on any new business cards they order. While in theory they know all the capabilities we offer within SourceMedia, they can use elements that are on the site to prepare for a sales call. In early '08, we will launch a password-protected area that salespeople can use as a workflow tool, including a proposal builder with templates, graphics and the latest case studies and statistics.