Are Your Priorities Straight?
Analytics and Research Are Key
“We’re out there trying as many things as we can,” Cappelletti says of Putman’s multimedia strategy. “It’s not a hard business to figure out. What is hard is the discipline to actually measure, refine, repeat. With so much data available, it’s hard to be disciplined, to take time to understand and act on it.”
“Analytics helps us identify which brands [will be well-received] ... and which markets are most amenable,” Lannon says. “We make a pretty serious effort to train salespeople and editors [to] make sure everybody is focused on the metrics. Metrics are a great window on the world in some ways.”
At Penton, editors at Registered Rep benefit from monthly studies of user preferences and habits. “That is to make sure the content in our magazines is exactly what our readers are interested in, and that there is no disconnect between what the editors think they want and what [the readers] do want,” says Bimblick.
Penton leverages a list of 6 million names to do proprietary research for clients, helping them to determine whether they should enter a market, or if a white paper or webinar is best for a desired audience.
According to Barsam, such research should be central to a company’s media and marketing strategy, and is an essential function of any effective data management system.
“TechTarget generates millions of IT leads a year,” she notes. “Think of that as inventory. Publishers need to be able to offer behind-the-scenes analytics and insights as to who they are [servicing]. We need to have a lot of analytics in terms of who the audience is … [in order to] advise clients as to what they could be developing content around.”
The ROI Factor
Penton does “soft testing” of Web sites and other products, showing them to potential customers and users to make sure each product meets their needs. Introducing a new product without research to suggest a viable ROI is a risky proposition, Bimblick says.