Focal Points: Marketing Execs Share Their Top Priorities for 2017
Tech, data, and flexibility remain front and center when it comes to growing and monetizing audiences.
Chief Revenue Officer, Omeda
Folio: As an advisor and service provider to publishers, what’s your main area of focus for the new year?
James Capo: Over the next year, a key area of focus for Omeda will be helping our clients drive revenue across their entire product mix. From events to lead gen to digital revenue, we are striving to help our clients create new products and derive deeper insights from their audience data. Omeda currently manages over 75 million B2B media records and we will continue to help our clients combine offline and online data to develop richer customer profiles. We capture deep demographic data, deep behavioral data, and provide a single view of the customer. We have products, services, and partners that can then activate and drive value from the audience data we manage on behalf of our clients. But it all starts with that single view of the customer.
Folio: What should your clients’ main focus be?
Capo: Our clients’ focus should be in creating relevant and unique content and experiences for their audience. They are media companies and that is what they do better than anyone else in the world. Whether that is engaging online content, an amazing live event that brings an industry together, or a new magazine that targets a profession that didn’t exist 10 years ago, media companies should focus on what they do best. When you focus on great content that engages an audience and creates a community, then the revenue follows. That should be our clients’ main focus.
The technology and the service providers that support those efforts should be a secondary focus. Media companies should expect that the technologies just work. Make technology issues (upkeep, maintenance, feature development) someone else’s problem. If your teams are spending most of their time and resources maintaining technologies and figuring out how to make the systems work instead of focusing on using them to create new products and content for your audience (as well as new ways for your advertisers and sponsors to reach that audience), then driving value from your internal technology investments will be a challenge.
Folio: What tactics do you counsel clients top adopt to meet their objectives?
Capo: Our clients should be hyper-focused on how their audience data is organized. Who has access to the data? Who needs access to it but doesn’t have it? How many systems are capturing data and is that data accessible?
Tactically, ask your teams questions about their audience. For example, how many CEO titles do we have? How many individuals do we have from a certain company? How many people have attended our event last year but also subscribe to our newsletter and magazine? Who are the most active individuals on our website and did they attend our event? Once you ask these questions (or similar ones) measure how long it takes to get the answers and ask your teams how many different systems they had to use to get to the data. Use the rule of two—if it takes more than two hours and more than two systems you probably have a data problem.
Audience data is the life blood of any media organization. As traditional advertising methods continue to be challenged, having a clear view of your audience will help you create new products and target customers more effectively. For example, imagine launching a new event or webinar based on analyzing what topics are most popular online and then combining that with the individuals who are consuming that content in order to find high value attendees. Having quick and easy access to your audience data also helps you defend against advertisers who believe that they already have “your audience.”
Folio: Which channel do you see as most productive, both as a source of revenue and for its value in supporting clients’ marketing efforts?
Capo: The issue with this question is that it assumes one marketing channel is more valuable than the other. Specifically, in today’s marketing world it is about multi-channel, multi-touch engagement. Media companies need to use audience data to drive multiple touchpoints for their advertisers across multiple channels, whether that be online or offline. That said, we still have clients in certain markets who are driving 70 percent of their revenue from print (which is also very profitable), so we think about how we can help them transition as that revenue begins to shift to other channels.
Media companies need to think and talk (both externally and internally) about “4D Marketing”—Demos, Discovery, Destination, and Delivery. First, what demographics/behaviors do you have on the target audience? This leads to what discovery or insight can you develop from those demographics/behaviors. Next, what destination/platform is most engaging for that audience? Finally, how can you deliver that audience to drive revenue for both your company and your advertisers (e.g. lead generation, event registration, product sales, etc).
In terms of pure revenue growth in the b2b media space, live events, as well as more advanced digital products and services, are the clear revenue drivers. The ability for our clients to use online data and behaviors to better support their “offline” products such as live events is incredibly valuable. By combing your online audience data with your “offline” properties you can provide your advertisers and sponsors with true “4D” marketing.
Folio: How much does technology play a role in media-company marketing? How much should it?
Capo: Technology plays an incredibly important role in media-company marketing and the technology provider should be acting as a strategic partner. But, we believe, it is a strategic understanding of how to use that technology that is the critical component. Clearly, media executives need to understand the time and cost associated with supporting and maintaining technology platforms. However, more importantly, they need to have a solid understanding of how the various technology platforms are driving or supporting revenue and value creating initiatives. When evaluating technology, here are some key things for media executives to consider: Does the technology provider have a clear understanding of how your company makes money? Do they understand the critical needs of your teams? More than just the technology, are they providing you with new ideas or additional features that are aligned with your goals? In today’s world, you need technology partners that are not only providing a service but helping you see what’s coming around the corner.
Folio: Will you be further investing in technology to support your work in 2017? What should media companies invest in on their own, and what should they leave to their service providers?
Capo: Yes, as a 35-year-old technology and software company that is dedicated to the media industry, we are constantly investing in our technology and people. We know media and we know technology.
Media companies need to evaluate what resources they have that other companies do not, what those resources do best, and then focus/invest in those areas of their business. This creates barriers to entry and keeps competitors (other media companies and even advertisers) out. Everything else should be outsourced. Unless the media company believes their internal technology is so unique (and scalable) that it can be sold or licensed to other companies (inside and outside of media) then they should consider using outside technology partners.
Folio: Are you supporting marketing automation or account-based marketing?
Capo: Yes, we support both marketing automation and account-based marketing. We support high-level marketing automation through integrating our email platform with the audience database. Emails can be triggered based on the audience’s website content consumption, email engagement (unopened/opened, unclicked/clicked), as well as demographic data (title, company, location).
As for account-based marketing, that is the key aspect of our platform. Through our central unified audience database, you can quickly create and activate audience segments based on company affiliations (accounts), job positions within that company (demos), as well as content and channel affinity and preference (engagement and behaviors).