Steve Sieck, Managing Partner of EPS-USA, reports in EPS INSIGHTS from last week’s American Business Media Spring Conference and sees
Digital - in the Driver's Seat of B2B Media
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The plenitude of financial intermediaries at last week’s American Business Media Spring Conference testified to the renewed vitality of the sector. Another notable theme, related to the apparent deal-making momentum, was the extent to which the industry leaders have integrated internet media with their core operations.
The conference took place against a backdrop of Hanley Wood’s imminent sale, Primedia’s sizeable B2B group in play, and a good number of other active and recent privately-handled, middle-market deals. And the movement toward increasingly internet-focused strategies was striking.
During the dot-com era, internet operations rarely achieved anything like integration with the core publishing business; now, the leading “traditional” B2B publishers describe a generational shift in which valued, long-serving editorial and sales talent in many cases has opted out of the internet revolution, to be succeeded by a new, net-savvy managerial cohort.
While most of the still-plentiful independent, family-owned B2B publishers are committing to digitally-led business models, not all have the skills required for cultural change. And, as one speaker remarked, to build great network communities for your customers you need great network communities of your own.
The ABM program abounded in examples of the new digital B2B business models, and the cultural challenges they often present. ... McGraw-Hill’s Aviation Week Intelligence Network, ... PennWell, ... Penton’s, ... Reed Business Information, ... VNU Billboard ....