Ten CEOs lay out their plans and expectations for the final months of 2015
CEO, Sovereign/Homestead Magazine Publishing
Sovereign/Homestead is an enthusiast media company with widely disparate brands serving a variety of markets, from log homes to history and sci fi, and anime and manga. Our overriding goal across is to shore up traditional magazine revenue streams, while looking for growth in brand extensions, one shots, portal websites and digital media.
We’re using individual store-by-store draw and sales data to more intelligently manage the newsstand distribution chain, which is still an important channel for us. We’re also purchasing carefully targeted retailer promotional programs in our best-selling chains, to shore up that distribution.
Our top priority through the end of the year is to grow the subscription communities for each of our portal websites, and the daily free newsletters associated with those websites, through SEO, social media, and enhanced content. These communities represent huge growth opportunities for enthusiast media, both print and digital. While growth targets for our subscriber communities are different (our WarfareHistoryNetwork.com portal, for instance, is only a year old, while OtakuUSAMagazine.com has been around for several years), we are looking at online incentives and giveaways to “throw gas on the flames” and drastically increase these subscriber communities by year’s end.
CEO, Tech Target
TechTarget is forecasting US$27m in EBITDA in 2015, up from $21m last year. The foundation of our business continues to be our targeted independent content model. Ninety-six per cent of our traffic is organic and we grew organic traffic by more than 30 per cent last quarter. We show up in the top 10 on Google search results for over 85,000 IT-related searches. Over the past few years, we have developed a $25 million-a-year data business that is growing at 50 per cent per year. This is a huge long-term opportunity as all of our customers are trying to become data-driven sales and marketing organisations. Customers use our data to identify which of their prospects are currently in the market for their solutions, so they can efficiently deploy their sales and marketing resources against the prospects most likely to buy – the ROI for customers is off the charts. Our solution is simple to use, so there is no need to purchase software or hire data scientists. We believe that eventually our data business will be bigger than our media business. On top of that, we are launching a research business with the lofty of goal of finally introducing real-time market share and pricing transparency for the enterprise IT market. We are using the strength of our core media business to drive two new large hyper-growth opportunities, data and research.
CEO, Northstar Travel Media
In addition to the ever-present yearly goal of “hitting our numbers,” our priorities for the balance of the year are to ramp up sales and the pipeline for our Marketing Solutions operations, which produce custom content, digital and custom events for our clients. We have enjoyed success since introducing Marketing Solutions to our clients in 2012.
However, we realise the significant differences between selling, servicing and delivering custom programs to our customers and our more traditional media business. Earlier this year, we have made significant investments in customer service, project management and technology solutions resources dedicated to Marketing Solutions. Peter Goldstone, CEO of Hanley Wood, provided us with some excellent guidance and ideas from HW’s experience building their marketing services team.As we have invested in our Marketing Solutions team, we need to ramp up our sales pacing to support the dedicated resources of this business. The sales cycles for these large, mostly six-figure projects are significantly longer than media and event sales. We are very confident about our ability to continue to grow this business and we have a good track record of success with major projects for clients like Hawaii, Mexico and Universal Studios.
We have had a very good year in 2015 but we need to sign new projects and new clients to continue strong growth in 2016.
The other specific goal we have is growing our sales for our Asia and China businesses. We just announced our first event in China, CruiseWorld China, and we are launching M&C Asia in Singapore for Southeast Asia in October. We are investing significant effort and resources in building the team, audience, digital platforms and products in Asia and China. This new global expansion and sales pacing is very important as we ramp up for 2016.
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