B-to-b media future: Clients, agencies look for more

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At a time of transformation, which was the theme of this week’s ABM Spring Meeting, what do b-to-b advertisers and their agencies want from their media partners? This was the question tackled in a session titled “Transformation: What the new customer relationship will look like.”

Rick Segal, CEO of HSR Business to Business, said b-to-b publishers have underplayed two specific assets. “First, in a world that is becoming increasingly virtual and every blogger is a publisher, there’s an increasing demand for something to be genuine,” he said. “You have this authenticity on the editorial side of your operation, and it’s more important than ever.”

Second, Segal said, b-to-b publishers should see circulation as more than names on lists. “You are some of the original aggregators of social networks, and you have a tremendous opportunity to bring those assets into play for the benefit of the marketer.”

Phil Juliano, VP-global brand management and corporate communications for Novell, said the IT company is becoming very aggressive in online video advertising, but he discouraged publishers from “hooking your wagon to just one tool. Something that seems hot today may not be hot tomorrow. You have to hedge your bets because you never know what’s around the next curve.”

Greg Salah, VP-marketing for construction giant USG Corp., said clients are becoming more reliant on publishers to help them stand out in a cluttered marketplace. “We are interested in you bringing us new ideas because we don’t have all the answers,” he said.

The panel was moderated by Bob Felsenthal, publisher of BtoB and Media Business.

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