Online adaptations: ROI, registration

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Jenn Markey is CMO of TechInsights, a United Business Media company with a stake in the electronics industry that includes not only such media brands as EE Times but also marketing and professional services. She recently shared her online marketing insight. BtoB: How comfortable is the market with measuring return on investment? Markey: Everybody wants to do it, and nobody knows how to do it. Part of that starts right upfront with definition. What is a lead? There's not a lot of clarity on that. It depends how much time [a company] wants to spend in terms of nurturing. There's almost an overflow of systems and technologies, but how do you integrate one? Part of the biggest challenge is starting the dialogue between marketing and sales. Especially in this economic climate, there's a lot of pointing—sales at marketing, marketing at sales. Until you start to have those discussions, it can really work against the success of the organization. BtoB: Where do you see growth opportunity? Markey: The economic climate is hitting the marketing communications community hard. Content is funded by the sponsor, and the engineer gets it free. There are some challenges and limitations with that. We're looking for opportunities where we can deliver fundamentals where the sponsor bears some of the cost and the engineer pays in terms of registration. BtoB: This is a group that values anonymity. Will they register? Markey: Engineers reserve giving out their data. They don't want to be harassed. The challenge comes down to the content and the quality of the content. If you're providing them with something that they can't find easily and of significant value, they will give up that information. Part of the challenge is not to abuse that trust once it's in place. BtoB: What other trends are emerging? Markey: I think we're starting to see the emergence of, from an engineering perspective, the importance of brand. If you don't have a strong brand that you support in the online world, you've got a thin value proposition. If nobody remembers you, how are they going to search for you? I think that's been overlooked a lot in the past 12 months to 24 months. —C.W.
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