Powerhouse Publisher Perfects the High-Wire Act
Access Intelligence, a business-to-business information and marketing solutions provider, is wrestling with issues familiar to most b-to-b publishers. The Rockville, Md.-based company, home to 16 magazines, nearly three dozen newsletters, 10 events and 27 Web sites, got its start as a division of Phillips Publishing International in 1977 and has slowly evolved into the information powerhouse it is today. Don Pazour, the company’s president and CEO, talked with Publishing Executive about his focus on generating revenue from paid products and devising a savvy e-media strategy.
What areas of your business are growing at the most rapid rate these days?
Don Pazour: Our most rapid growth in percentage is in e-media revenue. Within that broad definition, I think webinars and [e-newsletters] are big builders of our business. But as a company, we have been much more focused on selling content, and over 50 percent of our revenue now derives from some sort of subscription payment. Our primary focus is on increasing the sales of information and content whether it be paid webinars, conferences, subscriptions, etc.
How has Access Intelligence responded to an advertising economy that for many publishers has been somewhat stagnant in recent years?
Pazour: It’s been kind of spotty. The aviation market, particularly, has held up pretty well. I’d say the last couple of years we’ve been at least flat, and last year we actually had some growth in the aviation market. The chemical industry has come back with a bang this year—double-digit growth. … So we’re seeing some areas of growth, but I think that with the amount of advertising revenue and print advertising space that was lost in the 2001–2003 period, we are a long way from recovering much of that.
What strategies are you using to drive traffic to your Web sites?
Pazour: Our big focus right now is really working across all the sites to make sure we have excellent links in and out. [We look for] cooperative linkages among similar-type products, because that tends to drive you up the [rankings] in the algorithms that the search engines use. Links in and out are more important than keyword-buying. [But] we are experimenting now with keyword purchasing. … 80 percent of our traffic comes from Google or Yahoo. So we’re focusing on that.