ABM leadership program offers future execs crash course in the new b-to-b
Engagement. Recurring revenue. DITLOC. These were just a few of the themes explored by attendees of American Business Media’s sold-out B-to-B Advanced Leadership Program, hosted last week at Northwestern University’s Medill Media Management Center. The program offered future media leaders a crash course in the financials of the business (courtesy of Access Intelligence CEO Don Pazour, Veronis Suhler Stevenson co-founder John Suhler, DeSilva & Phillips managing partner Reed Phillips and Apprise Media CEO Charlie McCurdy), as well as a look at cutting edge advancements in disciplines ranging from edit to sales to audience development and marketing services.
While a publisher’s brand used to be the magazine it published, today it’s something much different. Future success will rely not only on a digital transformation, but a transformation of the entire business. “Investors want to hear about digital generating 40 percent to 50 percent of overall revenue, but they also want to know what percentage of revenue came from new products over the last year,” said Bill Pollak, CEO of ALM. “That’s how they gauge how innovative you are.”
Strategies focused on moving away from the old “push” approach to more targeted, flexible solutions (with renewable revenue streams), such as ALM’s Smart Litigator service. “We like site licenses,” said Pollak. “Right now it’s a license for one product, but the real game for us will be getting licenses for multiple products.”
|American Business Media’s sold-out B-to-B Advanced Leadership Program offered future media leaders a crash course in the financials of the business, as well as a look at cutting edge advancements in disciplines ranging from edit to sales to audience development and marketing services.|
While publishers have historically created a product, then tried to find an audience to sell to, the Leadership Program offered a look at audience engagement and listening, including the process of DITLOC (Day in the Life of the Customer) in which publishers actually observe clients through the course of their workday. “DITLOC drives our process relentlessly,” said Miller. “Hiring someone from your customer base to interact with your audience is huge.”
As part of the exercise, attendees were asked to put the lessons into practice by splitting into work groups charged with creating a new business strategy for a fictional b-to-b company called Connaissance and presenting their solutions at the end of the program. Attendees had to consider company financials while making the case for paid content, event or integrated solutions.
2012 marked a return of the ABM Leadership Program after a hiatus of several years. “Wonderful event! The program in 2006 was great but it was nowhere near as informative and energetic as this one,” said attendee Joe Monahan, group publisher at Meister Media Worldwide. “The speakers/content was spot on, and the interaction from the entire group was extremely valuable. It's important to keep that energy alive, so I look forward to communicating with the entire group in the future.”
“I felt a bit different this morning as I geared up for the week,” wrote Antony D’Avino, executive vice president of print and digital media at Questex Media, after the program. “A bit smarter—with a significant confidence boost in our ability to play an important role in our client’s business. Absolutely a result of the program content, speakers and the collective wisdom of the participants in Evanston last week.”