What’s Right and Wrong in B2B Media?
We’re in a mature stage of the information age and media is evolving with incredible crowd-forced sophistication. The $187 billion business-to-business media market is the core of companies’ ability to communicate with people who might buy their products or services and the main source of information for professionals trying to perform well in their jobs; it matters a lot and it’s hugely inefficient.
Professionals want information that helps them make informed decisions about a project they’re currently working on or that tells them about upcoming trends, peer activity and ideas that keep them at the forefront of their profession. Who creates it, how they find it and where they find it matters less than how useful and relevant it is.
The best media companies are focusing on building sustainable digital experiences that allow content creation in multiple formats and present that content to the right people based on who they trust, who they work with and what they care about.
The formats of the moment are video, documents, presentations, and ads, and targeting is based on what you search for and look at or what you do and who you know. You can see Google and LinkedIn working hard to understand who you know and trust (circles, connections) and what you look at (news, channels) while demand for content creation and distribution platforms is increasing (Google bought YouTube, LinkedIn bought SlideShare, Yahoo! bought Tumblr, Facebook bought Instagram).
Less centralized media companies like UBM and Penton are working hard to combine disparate offline and online media properties into more sustainable online communities so they can continue to leverage the size and segmentation of their databases. And, like other content-centric media companies, they’re combining content with native advertising to get closer to the publishers they aspire to be. In this innovative media landscape, companies that emphasize cost-per-impression (CPM) and cost-per-click (CPC) ad reporting, serve up third-party banner ads and build custom micro-sites for sponsors will need to play catch-up.
Media companies that aren’t integrating reporting with marketing automation platforms (Eloqua, Marketo, HubSpot, ExactTarget) and CRM solutions (Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft) are also falling behind since they don’t provide visibility or real-time reporting to their clients. Get your systems and media platforms integrated and allow yourself to drop the spreadsheets and stop wondering whether your sales team ever sees the leads you generate.
Transparency and efficiency are scary, though! As a marketer you now know exactly what works and what doesn’t, and so does your boss. But would you rather be presenting results that show screenshots of micro-sites and banner impressions from last quarter or real-time campaign ROI numbers showing how much money your company made and how many new clients you brought on board?
Watch while the most sophisticated ad networks figure out how to go native and the best media companies build or acquire content creation and distribution platforms and integrate their reporting with the top CRM, marketing automation and campaign management tools.
And watch while we develop our own technology based on these principles. We’ve launched 50 job role based community pages and new native ad capabilities. Every publisher on BrightTALK chooses which community their content targets so we can ensure that the right people see the right content. This is another step toward an increasingly relevant and insightful experience on BrightTALK for both audiences and publishers. The hot topic or product of the day will always be changing, but as long as the professionals on BrightTALK remain engaged and active, our website will stay relevant. Whether the content is viewed on phones, tablets, watches or glasses or in a 3-D augmented reality environment, we’ll continue attracting the right audience to the right information in a way that makes marketers successful.