SIPA 2018 Speakers Weigh in on Digital Revenue and Growth

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The SIPA Annual 2018 Conference, which begins three weeks and a day from today on Tuesday, June 5, is designed to elaborate on the digital opportunities and to encourage innovation to help publishers monetize and grow. The list of industry people who are attending is impressive, and there will be plenty of time for networking and picking some knowledgeable brains.

Here are valuable takeaways from six speakers on digital revenue and growth, showing that there will be lots more to come:

You have to support your sales people in new ways. "They are pushing very strategic proposals. They can't be the expert on everything—digital, conferences, expos, using a program with all the components. Equipping sales people with the tools to do all that" is vital.
Tim Hartman, CEO, Government Executive Media Group, will deliver the opening keynote presentation on Wednesday, June 6.

"Make it clear [to your customers] that these are professional services you're offering. We are taking our professional data and our understanding of the marketplace and providing... services back to the client... It sets us in a different light as a B2B industry. We have professional content, professional data, and know more about this industry than you. And we think you should pay for that."
James Capo, chief revenue officer for Omeda, will appear on a panel with Greg Hart, director of marketing, PSMJ Resources, Inc., and Linda Vassily, VP of marketing, Cabot Investing Advice, in the session, Data-Driven Marketing Essentials: The KPIs You Can't (and Sometimes Can) Live Without.

"We see editorial staffs that are great at knocking out articles, tapping into readers' concerns, but then they're also expected to be social media experts. It doesn't work that way. They get judged by KPIs on skill sets they don't possess. We had a meeting recently with a publisher who's good at keeping their social media site up-to-date. But they weren't getting any engagement. We helped them to figure it out, build reader personas, a content calendar, and let their journalists focus on what they do best."
Charity Huff, CEO, January Spring, will deliver the session, Optimizing Your Social Media Marketing Efforts

"Focus was a key word for us. It took a long time for us to let go of some of the legacy products we had grown up with. So we took a hard look where the real value laid in our businesses and customers. We delayed tough decisions."
Robin Crumby, co-founder and managing director of Novatum Group (and formerly Melcrum), will appear with Joe McEntee, associate director at IOP Publishing, to present the session, Reinventing Your Customer Relationship Through New Product Strategy, Embedded Learning and User Design.

Editors need to ask themselves which group the content is being produced for. "Aim at exactly who you want. You can't satisfy everyone, and that's okay. A magazine is a mix—one-third for Persona A, one-third for Persona B, and one-third for Persona C. Not everyone will like everything, but there's a chance that everyone likes something."
Gerrit Klein, CEO, Ebner Publishing Group, speaking in an interview conducted by Rob Ristagno of Sterling Woods Group. Klein will lead the session, Adaptable, Practical, Profitable - Media Technology Transformation; and Ristagno will appear on a panel with Brian Cuthbert and Megan Hall from Diversified Communications for the session, Membership Models: The Five Forces to Success. (Click here to read Ristagno's full interview with Klein.)

"People pay for what they want, not necessarily what they need. People really need to understand this. People may need it but don't want it. Do they want People Magazine or The New Yorker, chewing gum or vitamins? Don't use valuable real estate [or] webinars to sell something people don't want and don't want to pay for."
Lynn Freer, president, Spidell Publishing Inc., will present the session, What Publishers Need to Know About U.S. Tax Reform.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…