BtoB Media Business - November 2011 - (Page 6)

Upfront ABM meeting focuses on content and its discontents tent. “Once content is created, your goal “Content Matters”—that was the title of should be to maximize its use,” McKean said. American Business Media’s Executive Forum, Ultimately, McKean recommended what which took place last month in Chicago. And he called a “porous” paywall, similar to what content apparently does matter to every play- Consumer Reports uses or the metered model er in the b-to-b ecosystem: publishers, mar- pioneered by the Financial Times, both of keters (see sidebar) and ad agencies. which mix free and paid content. In a keynote address, Judy Franks, presiPeter Hoyt, CEO of the Path to Purchase dent of Marketing Democracy, offered an ad Institute, a for-profit association for consumer agency perspective on content’s evolution. marketers trying to reach shoppers online and She said the primary direction of media’s shift offline, described how his organization is to convergence, as tablets evolved from what used to bring the experiences of onbe Hoyt Publishing, a b-to-b line, print, radio and televimedia company. With the assion to a single screen. sociation model, companies In this climate, Franks that were once just readers of said, “the most powerful mehis publications are now dia brands are evolving into paying members of the Path ‘transmedia’ brands.” She asto Purchase Institute. serted that social networking Sheila Rice, Northstar sites, such as Facebook, have Travel Media’s VP-business made it easier than ever to development and licensing, pass along content from othdescribed how her compaer media. In the end, she said, ny’s central travel database the most effective content is includes 70,000 geographic the content “we love to Kevin McKean addresses the places, 160,000 hotels, 31,000 ABM Executive Forum last share.” points of interest and other In other sessions, publish- month in Chicago. travel-oriented information. ing executives shared a variety of approaches Northstar has bundled this information and lito creating paid content. Kevin McKean, VP- censes it for use by other companies, such as editorial director of Consumers Union, which American Express Co., AOL Inc., Dow Jones publishes Consumer Reports, said in the con- & Co. and Yahoo. ference’s opening session, “You do not get Near the end of the conference, a panel of good content without investment.” b-to-b editorial leaders addressed content Consumer Reports, which generates about creation. David Berlind, chief content officer$225 million from users annually, charges for editor in chief of UBM TechWeb, said he its ratings and test reports, but it places some wants editorial staffers to become recognized basic content in front of its paywall, mainly for authorities in their coverage areas. “They search engine optimization purposes to attract have to step up and become ‘brandividuals,’ new paying subscribers. The company had ” he said, “producing text, video, still images previously relied on paid search to attract new and in the audio realm.” subscribers, but the cost became prohibitive. Berlind also noted how difficult it can be to McKean cautioned against offering sub- use the many metrics, such as page views, ofscription packages that bundle print and the fered by the Web to judge the worth of editors Web. Many users have specific channel pref- and the content they produce, particularly in erences, he said. Tossing in print when a read- b-to-b, where the audiences are so narrow and er only wants Web access adds unnecessary specialized. “The 100,000 people who viewed production and delivery costs. He also argued a Steve Jobs story may have had a collective that micropayments are a problematic content budget of a dollar,” he said. “But the 100 peostrategy, because the publisher has to sell the ple who viewed another story about IBM, reader again and again on paying for the con- their budget was about $5 billion.” BY SEAN CALLAHAN Everyone’s a publisher, even marketers The ABM Executive Forum delved into what’s become a growing trend: b-to-b marketers as publishers. Bridget Fletcher, director-suite marketing at Adobe Systems, discussed her company’s, which publishes information on digital marketing aimed at CMOs. About 90% of the site’s content is aggregated from around the Web, Editor in Chief Tim Moran said, although the site plans to boost original content creation. Fletcher said the focus of the site is helping marketers, not promoting Adobe’s products. “I respect the importance of neutrality,” she said. Speaking on the same panel, Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, cautioned the audience of b-to-b media executives that marketers are beginning to hire business journalists to aid in content creation. Moran is a former United Business Media editor. Speaking in a later session, Gary Slack, chairman of marketing communications agency Slack & Co., reassured the audience that corporations often have trouble creating compelling, useful content. “The PR department allows [the content] to be sanitized six times before it reaches the —S.C. Web,” he said AGENDA NOV. 10 ‘BtoB’s’ Best Awards BtoB Edison Ballroom, New York JAN. 27-29 AABP Winter Conference Alliance of Area Business Publications Casa Magna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Hotel Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Corrections ■ EE Times Confidential debuted in October 2010. An incorrect date was given in the profile of UBM Electronics CEO Paul Miller in “Who’s Who in Business Publishing” (October 2011, page 11). ■ The figures in the Tech Sector charts in Benchmarks (October, page 23) were for August 2011. 6 | Media Business | November 2011 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BtoB Media Business - November 2011

BtoB Media Business - November 2011
Cover Story
Resource Guide
Sales & Marketing
Audience Development

BtoB Media Business - November 2011