Takeaway: Utility and frequency are paramount as Penton transforms from a traditional b-to-b media company into a professional information services unit.
Less than a year into his tenure, new CEO David Kieselstein is turning Penton Media from a traditional b-to-b media player into what he calls a “professional information services company.”
Data and software solutions, user communities, decision-making products, virtual education and extending the life of events are at the core of the transition—all designed to make Penton increasingly relevant to its users on a daily basis. That means news, traditionally a staple of most b-to-b media companies, is less important, he acknowledges.
“We view news as somewhat commoditized now,” Kieselstein says. “In the five sectors and 17 submarkets we claim, they’re fairly specific so you can’t always get news. But we don’t necessarily look to break news. Our value is in adding insight beyond the news.”
Kieselstein says the content mix for most Penton titles now combines proprietary insight with aggregation and curation from outside sources.
And in a model that’s becoming more popular with b-to-b publishers in technical industries, they’re giving the audience a more central role in the conversation. User-generated content is seen as a valuable resource that they try to leverage wherever possible.
With those tenets as a backdrop, Kieselstein says Penton intends to launch eight new products before year’s end.