Multimedia products generate opportunities

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The advent of new media channels is changing the list marketing landscape. Deb Goldstein, president of IDG List Services, spoke with Media Business about some of those changes and what she sees as the biggest challenge in the list business for b-to-b publishers.

MB: How have media channels like webcasts, podcasts and mobile devices changed the list business?

Goldstein: A lot of companies are doing webcasts and they are advertised through direct response—through e-mail marketing—and we benefit from it. It's a list rental. If they advertise the webcast through e-mail, it's a targeted rental where they want to drive interest to our very focused audience. A good percentage of our rentals are now from promoting webcasts. It has increased from a share perspective because a lot of research shows webcasts and white papers are great lead-generation tools to get companies interested in your products.

The flipside is [online products] take away from direct response and list rental. [For example], the budget allocation for a traditional direct mail piece goes to other media.

Some new media channels benefit us, while other times we're competing for budget dollars. The pie can be sliced 20 different ways now—it's a different budget allocation environment. In new media, direct mail can be perceived as cumbersome, but what's shortsighted about that is qresponse rates from traditional direct mail are very good.

MB: What is the biggest challenge for b-to-b publishers today in terms of the list business?

Goldstein: It's audience development. My job as a list and data gatherer at a publishing company is to look at every aspect of the names, the data and any technology and find a way to monetize it. That's the bottom line. Publications are driving audience development through every point of engagement with their readers, which creates different database characteristics—whether it is through e-mail or postal addresses or through more data or less data. My job then is to find ways to make money from all these different approaches. Network World developed a voice-enabled e-mail where you can embed a voice message in an e-mail. Here's a great way to lift response and engage the recipient better. That's a technology I can take advantage of. I have to continue to look at both the online and the circulation side so I can find ways to create revenue from that.

They're building databases, and it's just a matter of me knowing what information they are gathering and it's up to me to figure out how to take advantage of it.

We're doing [things like] co-branded e-mails and we're selling lead generation through IDG Connect. I'm not a list company anymore. I'm a data services company and I'm a data intelligence company and my purpose is to help my mailers facilitate what I have available from a data product perspective to reach their goal. For example, if IBM comes to me or Oracle comes to me and says 'okay, this is my objective,' I have a variation of lists and data products that I can make available to them.

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