ABM Spring Meeting Touts Transformation
But Harris Poll presented at conference suggests major changes still to come from advertisers.
American Business Media’s Spring Meeting this week drew more than 300 attendees and offered a slightly different conference format than in the past. While the tagline was "Transformation Now" and featured topics ranging from social networking to the need to include IT executives in the C-suite, some of the best advise came from speakers (including advertisers) who advised publishers to develop intelligent, step-by-step strategies around change, rather than chase each new trend. "Something that is hot today may not be hot tomorrow;a few years ago message boards were supposed to be THE thing," said Philip Juliano, vice president of global brand management and corporate communications at Novell. "Be careful. These are tools in the toolbox and you need to know how they fit. The CEO of Lufthansa doesn’t have a lot of time to watch Webinars."
Others questioned just how serious publishers are about the transformation. Aaron Kahlow, managing partner at BusinessOnLine, offered five steps for how publishers should precede but said they need to understand why they’re doing it first. "Publishers are looking for the quick fix on the digital side," he said. "We need to step back and define the problem."
The Real Wave is Yet To Come
While every publisher is experiencing advertisers clamoring for online solutions, a Harris Interactive poll presented at the conference suggested that the real transformation is still looming on the advertisers side too, as those companies continue to be led by more traditional-thinking executives. The poll found that an even number of executives responded at almost the same level to print and online advertising. However, the poll also found that 73 percent of executives took action based on their experience at a trade show or conference.
Those results could change drastically over the next five years as younger, more online-savvy managers move up. "I think the Harris study looked at a lot of older executives," said J Glasnapp, vice president of marketing and business unit team development, at Anderson Corp. Others cite wanting more specified content, rather than wading through a general product. "I want publications targeted to my interests," said Howell Melton, Jr., managing partner with Holland & Knight.
ABM Announces 67 New Members; Establishes Krakoff Award
Meanwhile, ABM announced 67 new members for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, bringing its membership up to 330 companies. New members include Generate Inc., Tesoro Communications, Truman Company and BMO Capital Markets.
ABM also announced the Robert L. Krakoff Industry Leader of the Year Award, which will be presented at the 2008 Spring Meeting, as well as the Robert L. Krakoff Memorial Scholarship Fund, which will provide scholarship to a school chosen by Krakoff’s family.