New direction for marketing at Penton

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Earlier this month, Penton Media tapped Kate Spellman to be senior VP-marketing, bringing her into the fold as the company moves forward under CEO David Kieselstein. Spellman built her marketing career at United Business Media, where she most recently served as president of UBM Studios, a business unit devoted to the development of digital environments. “I had a wonderful career at UBM, and that enabled me to take this next step,” she said. Spellman will work to establish new strategic partnerships with marketers focused on Penton's audience of small and midsize businesses. She will lead a new marketing group centered on analytics, marketing automation, digital solutions and e-learning. She will also oversee corporate communications. Spellman spoke to Media Business about her new role at Penton. Media Business: What will be your early initiatives? Spellman: At this point, I'll be auditing what does and what does not make sense. We really are looking at things across the company rather than division by division to see what makes sense from a best-practices, centralized area; and (we'll) then understand what can be leveraged across the separate divisions. I'll be looking at analytics, marketing automation, digital solutions, e-learning. I'm getting to know the people who run the groups and gathering information; and then (I will be) looking at the strategy that David has set out. A lot of that strategy matches my background. Virtual events being one and small-business and corporate marketing being another [one]. MB: How will you approach the task of coordinating cross-company initiatives? Spellman: Our audiences are so different, we've got to make sure that the audience remains engaged; and the divisions are the ones that have those relationships. So we're looking at leveraging best practices across the groups where it makes sense. It's not a mandate. Penton has a lot of talented people, not just in digital but (also) across analytics in general. It makes sense to leverage some of that thinking across the company. MB: You'll be heading up a new digital marketing group. What will that entail? Spellman: We have a great group here that has experts in marketing automation, analytics and corporate communications—and an expert who ran an agency. So you can see the talent; we have a very senior team. We'll be figuring out how we can support the company and where we can drive revenue. It really is about establishing strategic partnerships, creating new marketing capabilities and helping direct and facilitate Penton's overall strategy.
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