IDG Enterprise's Knowledge Vault provides new model for Web broadcasting

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When IDG Enterprise looked into the value of webinars, the publisher discovered that audiences were starting to tune out because of the longer format of traditional webcasts, said Charles Lee, VP-custom solutions group at IDG Enterprise. “What they really like is the ability for a publisher or a vendor to boil down in real, salient and clear points "What are the top things I need to understand or know when it comes to [XYZ] subject' and present it in a very easy-to-digest manner,” Lee said. IDG Enterprise, whose brands include Computerworld, InfoWorld and Network World, can now provide its audiences with that kind of content, thanks to Knowledge Vault. The program, rolled out in early September, is an interactive multimedia platform that ties together videos, research tools and other relevant links. IDG Enterprise has also introduced a mobile version of the program, Knowledge Vault Express. “It's the hottest discussion with our sales reps right now,” Lee said. “With the early trials that we had with KV [Knowledge Vault], we found that our ability to generate high volumes of demand is significantly greater than with any of those standalone platforms: webcast, video, resource centers.” Knowledge Vault, a browser-based technology, homes in on a single business topic that is supported by a series of subtopic “episodes” which augment the main topic. Each episode is three to five minutes long. Customers can integrate interactive tools, such as benchmarking tools and self-assessment tools, as well as case studies. From an ROI standpoint, the KV platform provides tracking and reporting of aggregate session and usage data (downloads, session duration, presentations and resources accessed/viewed). A basic package for a Knowledge Vault series costs between $35,000 and $52,000, and runs online for approximately three months, Lee said. “What clients really like about it is that it leverages and ties together their resources,” Lee said. “We optimize the formats and the presentations, and we allow the user to dictate what they want and when they want it.” Major b-to-b brands such as Dell Inc., Intel Corp. and Hewlett Packard Co. have signed on. “Hopefully it allows us to target a broader reach of the market than we have targeted before,” said Anne Faullin, security marketing manager for Dell, adding that Knowledge Vault has been an effective way to generate new leads. “There may be customers who don't normally go to Dell but work in security markets, and are reading white papers and searching for specific sites in which Dell is not normally visible in.” Dell has produced 17 episodes for Knowledge Vault that focus on different facets of computer security, such as how small and midsize businesses can develop a security policy and mobile security in the cloud. John McClurg, CSO at Dell, is on hand to discuss many of the topics, while IDG Enterprise's editors provide commentary for some of the other series. IDG Enterprise's packaging of a Knowledge Vault series is able to cut clients' media production time between 30% and 50%, Lee said. “It's indicative of what the users are finding or getting in terms of value,” he added. “So we are looking at programs where, on a quarterly basis, we're generating thousands of leads rather than hundreds.”
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