3 Special Awards to Recognize Your Outstanding B2B Media Colleagues

Each year, as part of the Jesse H. Neal Awards competition, ABM honors outstanding business media professionals who exemplify editorial excellence with special awards. From courage and integrity to mentorship and development to overall career achievement, this year’s selected recipients will represent the very best of B2B media.

mattera_logoThe new Mattera Mentor Award has been established in honor of the long-time chief editor of RN magazine and Medical Economics and managing editor of MedPage Today. In the course of her more than 40-year career in business media, Marianne won 18 Jesse H. Neal Awards, more than any other individual editor in B2B media.

Beyond her personal achievements, Marianne, a former teacher, was a dedicated mentor to dozens of young or less experienced colleagues. It is for her lifelong devotion to educating, developing, and mentoring others that this award has been instituted in Marianne Dekker Mattera’s name.

The award will honor editors or journalists who have helped guide their B2B colleagues, resulting in the advancement of their mentees’ careers.

crain_45annual_OUTABM’s G.D. Crain, Jr. Award is given annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the development of editorial excellence in business media. The award, which was established with a grant from the G.D. Crain, Jr. Foundation, is named after the founder of Advertising Age.



PrintThe Timothy White Award recognizes exemplary leadership in the face of challenges and pressures that editors face daily. It is presented to an editor whose work displays extraordinary courage, integrity, and passion. This award is named after the longtime editor of Billboard who served as the moral compass of the music industry by tackling controversial issues.

Remember, the Early Bird Deadline for the Jesse H. Neal Awards is November 14. Nominations are free but must be submitted by 5:00PM ET on December 12, 2014. For more information, including all the categories and special awards, visit http://www.siia.net/neals/2015/.

Please contact ABM at abmnealawards@siia.net if you have questions about the Jesse H. Neal Awards.

SIIA Applauds Move to Bring Permanent Leadership to PTO with Nomination of Michelle Lee

SIIA today welcomed the nomination of Michelle Lee to be the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). SIIA Vice President of Public Policy Mark MacCarthy issued the following statement:

“We are very thankful that the PTO is now likely to get permanent leadership, which is essential to meeting the multitude of challenges facing the business community.  Intellectual property issues are increasingly vital to the software and digital content industries, and critical to making certain America continues to be the world’s leading innovator. Lee is a well-regarded IP professional who will bring intelligence and needed leadership to this important role. We look forward to her successful confirmation by the Senate and to working closely with her in her new position.”

Sabrina Eyob is the Public Policy Coordinator at SIIA. Follow the Policy team on Twitter @SIIAPolicy.

Regional Training Day Shows People the Money and More

How do I monetize thee? Let me count the ways. That was one theme from yesterday’s filled-to-the-brim, information-overloaded Regional Training Series: Edit, Pricing, Sales staged superbly by SIIA staff in Manhattan. The depth and breadth of the various models and ideas that were expounded upon make attending these kinds of events and belonging to SIIA so valuable.

Jason Clampet, co-founder and head of content at travel start-up Skift, said they monetize their 50,000 free newsletter list and 200,000 Twitter followers with native advertising, subscription reports (“research light”)—“Hilton might sponsor a report we write on extended stays that will help them be a thought leader,” Clampet said—and SkiftIQ data products they produce comparing as many as 125 travel brands on things like responding to customers on Twitter (American good, United bad). Skift also just put on their first in-person, one-day event in The New York Times Center last week. How did it go? “It will be two days next year,” said Clampet. They are also starting an in-house studio next month.

His co-panelist, Michael Lavitt, Aviation Week’s director editorial and online production, spoke of cutting back to 26 print issues (from 46) but upping their excellent, daily online output—taking stories from the magazine and “trickling them out” during the week. “We’re trying to get younger,” he said. New features will include 40 under 40 aerospace leaders. They hired a social media manager who’s so good that she’ll now head up their free website. But don’t look for breaking news there—that’s still for those who pay.

Pricing Strategies…

Paul Rowlings, SVP commercial development for the global company Wood MacKenzie, delivered an exciting case study on their “need to change” the way they do things—as part of the Pricing strand. One slide of an endless array of reports they offered told it all. “Part of the problem of implementing all this is there was a mess of a range of discounts going on,” he said. “Everyone was just doing the best deal you can—just to get them in here. It will take years to work through that legacy of discounts.”

By redesigning their portal and getting more content laid out neatly in front of their customers, Wood MacKenzie was able to get a huge increase in engagement. They also did a Product Usage Analysis showing how their reports are being used and learning how their clients are interacting with their content.

“It worked,” said Rowlings. “About 9 months into this experience, our portal usage has gone way up.” The question then became, “how do you get clients to pay for that when there isn’t a built-in price mechanism? We didn’t want clients to ration their number of users. How do we make money out of this?” Their 95-plus% retention rate obviously wasn’t the problem. Charging higher rates was.

That led to a discussion on pricing. Would customers pay more for data that they were now using more? They would. “We were pleasantly surprised by the reaction from our sales team and customers,” Rowlings said. The data from the usage reports had given [our sales people] a degree of confidence. He advised starting early in approaching price increases. “Start having those conversations now.”

Rowlings’ 3 key takeaways:
- trust that your data will get you to the right answer; don’t prejudge it;
- talk to your clients;
- don’t be afraid to take risks and make bold changes, if you feel it’s right. “We needed to change the game to get where we wanted to go.”

Digital Sales…

Another way of monetizing is through digital ads, and Leslie Laredo, president of The Laredo Group, did a full-day presentation of those fundamentals. Again, the discussion turned to data. “The #1 thing I’m hiring at my company are data analysts,” she said. “[Data is] changing how advertising works.”

She said that if you’re simply optimizing clicks, then “you’re reacting to the wrong action. Clicking is so easy. We want Calls to Action, interaction rates rather than click-through rates. If we watch a commercial on tv that we like, we don’t run to the store as soon as we see it.” It lays the groundwork. She also said something that I wrote about on Monday, that her highest click rates are on Saturday. You should test it.

“We’re all busy. People go to your website to read your content. They have to have the impulse to do it and the time to do it.” She said that search is becoming less valuable compared to social, mobile and native. “How do people know to search for you if they don’t have a trigger to find you. Search is great but not the trigger or inspiration.”

Which brings us back to data. “Maybe we also need to get away from keywords as the right way of finding our audience. I have data, I know your background.” She told of websites that will show you just how much information is being collected on you (Ghostery). Laredo and others yesterday also had optimistic words for print. “Print is a bigger driver to search than online. TV, print, conversations—those are what leads people to search.”

She encouraged more video content. “More and more content will trump a lot of things for revenue opportunities.” And she doesn’t ever want to see “learn more” as a benefit. “’Get the recipe now’—that’s a benefit. A benefit has to be strong enough to get people to want to click. Moat Ad Search is another website Laredo recommended—“it will show you all the ads of a company and the sites they appear on.

Editorial Best Practices…

A session on Raising Your Business IQ for editors brought up some actionable ideas. Editors should be highly valued in a company, but it’s a two-way street, said David Longobardi, EVP and chief content officer, SourceMedia. They should be invited to the executive table but must bring ideas with them. “We invite our lead editors of each brand to write an internal white paper,” he said.

“We ask them to redefine the market and the audience, explain the eco-system, identify trends that are changing the industry, and draw conclusions at the end. Is it a growth market? That document becomes the foundation for our strategic planning process. That’s where we start our discussions. It’s a good opportunity to set the tone. Editors have led our brands into the digital future.”

Co-presenting was Alex DeBarr, president and CEO, of Naylor, a media and event management company. He said that it’s important for any remaining walls in your company to come down. “We don’t believe in silos.” To capitalize—he used that word instead of monetize—on your brand, an editor must:
- “Understand your company’s capital structure; do you know how they make money? You gotta know.”
- “Understand the business model you live in; make sure your team understands it.”
- “Understand what [you and/or] your team does well; you have to make understanding your market a competitive advantage.”
- “Create your own definition of great content based on what your market needs.”
- “Help circulation people understand the market.”

Know how your digital products work, he added, and how they can be monetized and sold. Draw market maps that show channels of distribution and a trend sheet with the top 5 trends in the market. But most of all, speak up.


Ronn LevineRonn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering diversity, Newspaper in Education, marketing and leadership before joining SIPA in 2009 , and then SIIA in 2013.


BIMS Sessions Sparks Revenue-Generating Tips

The Business Information & Media Summit in Miami Beach starts in less than 4 weeks—plenty of time to sign up and join an all-star group of 300 peers! Here are 6 trending topics that will be covered, and interesting takes on the topic.

1. Landing pages. “We write new content and create specific landing pages for specific keywords,” said Carola York of Jellyfish Publishing. “For example, for a boating publication, if we spot that there are a lot of searches around keywords such as ‘boat design’ and ‘latest innovations in boat design,’ we will create a landing page featuring specific content all around boat design and also explain how the publication covers this in its regular content. So we offer quite a bit of free ‘editorial,’ but it’s designed as a teaser to encourage sign up.”
Design and Optimize Your Landing Pages, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 10 a.m. with Adam Goldstein from Business Management Daily, and Greg Krehbiel of Kiplinger.

2. Multi-channel Marketing. There is a risk for digital publishers to “forget that actually the future is mobile,” and to continue to produce content in the same way they would for the web, said Stephen Hull, editor-in-chief at Huffington Post UK, on the Journalism.co.uk site. “Multiplatform really means different audiences on all our different platforms. I think we’re very lucky to be digital only. We’re born on the internet and even at this stage we have our desktop audience, we have a mobile audience, we have an app audience and they’re completely different.”
Multi-Channel Marketing, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 10 a.m., with Denise Elliott of Kiplinger and Eleanor Jones of Business Management Daily.

3. Webinar Revenue. Modern Distribution Management went to sponsored-only webinars around 2009. They now do one webcast about every three weeks. The sponsors pay to co-brand and for leads ($10,000-$25,000 per webcast). Attendance has gone from 50 to 100 to over 300. This gives good leads for sponsors. They do the live webcast and then offer it on demand for up to six months after—which continues lead generation. They also retain the right to sell the webcast DVD post-event. Here’s the promo for a recent webcast. (Tom Gale and Jennifer Kern from MDM will be in attendance at BIMS.)
Webinar Success: How to Generate Significant Revenue and Leads from Free and Paid Webinars, Tuesday, Nov. 11., 11:30 a.m., with Leslie Davidson of Davidson Direct and Susan Woodard of EB Medicine.

4. Communicating with subscribers/customers/members. From Associations Now: The American Youth Circus Organization was having trouble talking to the two factions of its audience—their youth membership and the educators/organizations in the field. So earlier this year they created a new branch—the American Circus Educators Association (ACE). “Having these two different identities within this same vision means it’s so much easier to communicate with each party,” said Amy Cohen, AYCO’s executive director. “Speaking in a voice to kids and teenagers is so much more gratifying when you can speak to them directly and not wonder how is an adult going to recognize what I’m saying.”
Active Listening Approaches for More Effective Marketing, Monday, Nov. 10, 4:30 p.m., with Kevin Novak, CEO, 2040 Digital

5. Optimizing mobile to bring in revenue. “How do we get those people [who join us on mobile] to subscribe after they get on and register?” asked Neil Clark Warren, chief executive and co-founder of eHarmony. Carola York agreed: “We find the highest conversion comes from either desktop or tablet devices, with mobile still struggling behind.”
Redesigning Email Campaigns for Mobile, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2:30 p.m., with Calie Brennan and Kim Mateus of Real Magnet.

6. Lead generation. Optimize your About page. Many of us click on that page after coming to a new site. But you don’t always see a strong Call to Action there. “Your About page should be a conversion-friendly hub where your visitors are directed to shop, jump on your email bandwagon or begin a free trial—all after being informed and inspired” wrote Jen Havice. “If you’re not using your About page to convert customers, you’re losing out.”
Lead Generation for Publishers, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 1:30 p.m., with Danielle Balestra of CFO Publishing

Results to Help Find YOUR Best Send Times

“Time is on my side, yes it is,” the Rolling Stones once sang.

In the digital publishing world, it is if we use it right. In an article on the Journalism.co.uk site, John Crowley, the Wall Street Journal’s digital editor, said he is not just looking at the number of mobile users they have, but also at the times this audience comes to the WSJ. “You have to think about what content you’re offering to people at a certain time of day,” he told them.

Pinpointe posted a long, detailed article back in April on best days and times to send emails—using various studies. Their five steps for finding YOUR best times are:
1. Get to know your audience.
2. Analyze past emails.
3. Know their devices.
4. Consider your message (B2B vs. B2C)
5. Test, test, test.

Some of their research:

- According to Get Response, Tuesday emailings had the highest open and click-through rates. Thursday was close behind. Friday actually had the highest click-thru-rate—maybe people are more relaxed. A blog post on WordStream said that they find Thursdays at 8-9 a.m best—“we get over 25% open rates with this time!” they wrote. Interestingly, their Tuesday and Wednesday morning emails do significantly lower.

- In a study by Retention Science, Friday produced a 26% conversion rate—only 2% behind Tuesday, which had the highest. Their chart doesn’t show the best times on Friday, but the article includes this about a B2C client: “FundsforWriters also has pretty good luck on Fridays and sends their email newsletters on this day by 10 pm. What they have found is that most of their readers have 9-5 jobs and enjoy relaxing with the newsletter on Saturday.”

- The weekend has some good numbers. A 2012 Experian study showed that “emails deployed on Saturdays and Sundays had the highest open, unique clicks, transaction rates and revenue per email, yet had the lowest volume deployed…” Monday had the highest revenue per email for weekdays.

- Also according to Experian, emails sent from 9 p.m.–midnight comprised just 2% of all emails sent, yet had the highest percentages of opens, clicks, and transaction rates—and highest revenue per email and average order (by far). The next highest average order was for emails sent from noon-4 p.m. One can conclude that the businesses sending out emails in the late evening know their audience very well.

- According to a MarketingSherpa 2013 report, for B2B and B2C marketers, Wednesday tied with Tuesday for most effective email send day. They also reported differing views of sending on the weekend. “While 20% of marketers in retail, e-commerce or wholesale distribution rated Sunday as least effective, 40% gave the day a four or five (most effective).”

- Monday is a good day to get customer feedback. Maybe people are looking for a comforting way to ease into the week. “SurveyMonkey analyzed 100,000 surveys, sent Monday through Friday, to figure out the impact of the day they were sent versus the response rate. The conclusion—Mondays were the best day to send email surveys. On average, surveys sent out on Mondays received 10% more responses than average.” Tuesdays received 6% more than average but the other weekdays were below average.

Most agree that with all the analytics now, it’s better to go by that than any golden rules. A young, tech-obsessed audience might pay more attention to emails sent in the evening or early morning during their commute. Friday could be a good day if you are including something special for the weekend. And as cold weather approaches, weekends could work as people tend to spend more time inside. The bottom line: test for yourself.

Ronn LevineRonn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering diversity, Newspaper in Education, marketing and leadership before joining SIPA in 2009 , and then SIIA in 2013.

SIIA Signs on to USCIB Letter on Data Flow Provisions in TPP

Wednesday, SIIA joined with 40 business groups in signing on to a USCIB letter on the need for data flow provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. Sent out to TPP Ministers and negotiators, the letter stresses the necessity for businesses to be able to transmit data seamlessly, regardless of geography:

“The seamless movement of data across borders enables businesses of every size, in every sector, in every part of the world to access innovative products and services that enhance their productivity and help them reach new customers, driving growth and job creation.”

Co-signers of the letter include business groups  from 11 of the 12 TPP negotiating countries demonstrating the importance of this issue for business in all sectors in both developed and developing economies. Within the letter four factors were identified as crucial to promoting the health of the digital economy:

  1. Clear, enforceable obligations to allow the cross-border flow of data and that prohibit requirements to localize data in particular jurisdictions
  2. Exceptions and limitations to such obligations that are limited and consistent with existing international trade law
  3. Dispute settlement mechanisms on a par with all the other TPP obligations
  4. No additional reservations that undermine the effect and enforceability of such obligations

To read the letter in full, click here.

Sabrina Eyob is the Public Policy Coordinator at SIIA. Follow the Policy team on Twitter @SIIAPolicy.

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