Northstar CEO 'Tired of Apologizing' for Print Success
It's aggregation of all news, every day, that comes out on the meeting industry, and it has about 100,000 subscribers to it. It's doing extremely well, and we have great sponsorship for it. ... It's generating direct revenue for us and is also a great driver of traffic to our meetings websites.
Skodzinski: What are other significant revenue drivers?
Kemp: The one thing we haven't talked [much] about yet is our marketing solutions, and I think what's different about that as opposed to other branded online products [is that the marketing solutions initiative] is really customized for our clients that leverages our ... databases, our content and our relationships to have a broader relationship with our clients beyond traditional marketing and advertising.
The kind of things we're doing ... are things like educational platforms that are branded through the client [where you wouldn't necessarily see even the Northstar logo at all].. ... It could be a destination, cruise line or hotel and resort—all branded for their benefit.
We're doing loyalty programs, frequent traveler programs, redesigning websites for our clients—things we haven't traditionally done.
The key here isn't to move dollars from advertising to custom programs, but to have a deeper relationship with our clients and to have a stronger financial relationship with our clients in areas where they're growing, generally below-the-line marketing, developing sales promotion programs, e-commerce programs for them, and frankly tapping into budgets that we hadn't previously had access to.
This is an area where research by companies such as Outsell have demonstrated how much money is being invested into direct sales programs. These are dollars that will be taken away from traditional advertising and marketing.
It's still early; we launched the marketing solutions business late last year/early this year, and we've sold about $1 million in business this year so far, so we are optimistic that it will be a brand-new kind of a stand-alone operation.