Three Conferences Join to Form One Signature Event

Business Information & Media Summit (BIMS) – Bringing together three signature events to form the largest gathering of information and media leaders.

In November the Business Information & Media Summit (BIMS) will bring together three long-standing SIIA conferences: The SIPA Marketing Conference;The ABM Executive Forum; and InfoCommerce’s Data Content.All three will be part of this exciting new event at the historic Fontainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach.

Why are these three signature events coming together? The lines that separated business models are fading away. Advertising based media companies are becoming data companies; subscription-based businesses are entering the events business; media marketing strategies and tactics are shifting constantly, and every media company needs to understand how new advertising networks are disrupting traditional business relationships. The lines between industry segments have become blurred – so it only makes sense that all of the key industry players come together to address challenges and opportunities, and to help plan the future.  Join us November 10-12 in Miami as we kick off this inaugural event.


BIMS features five distinct learning tracks and over 45 sessions for you to choose from. Tracks include:


Lead by Russell Perkins, Founder & Managing Director, InfoCommerce Group Inc., will address everything you need to know to stay on top in the Data Business.


Focusing on topics from The SIPA Marketing Conference We have two unique marketing tracks at BIMS to cover your specific marketing needs:

  1. Marketing Tactics that Work – This track is focused on the how to’s of marketing. Hear what works and what doesn’t, and what you need to know to be as effective as possible in your marketing strategy.
  2. Marketing & Subscription Sales - This track is fully focused on best practices and strategies for leaders and teams responsible for driving the sales and marketing of subscription-focused businesses.

Media Sales

The media sales track features topics from The ABM Executive Forum that focus on sales strategies for B2B media companies. Sessions cover everything you need to be focusing on when selling advertising and marketing solutions.


This track is designed for leaders of B2B media, publishing and information services organizations to help them identify and evaluate the key things they need to focus on today to put their organizations in a position for success in the future.

For more information visit our complete schedule:

Learn more about BIMS:

Understanding Content Marketing and Making Money from It

Content marketing is one of the hottest opportunities for both marketers and media, but how is this really any different from “custom content” or “branded content” strategies that have existed for years? The difference today is what content marketing can accomplish, thanks to digital delivery and social media, customer understanding via audience data and modeling, and the fulfillment of lead generation.

SIIA/ABM/SIPA have teamed up with digital media intelligence firm StrategyEye to offer a seminar March 27, in NYC that gets past the buzzwords to understand what content marketing really is and how to execute it profitably. This seminar puts brands, b-to-b publishers, b-to-b agencies and cutting edge content and analytics specialists in the in the same room to share their stories and best practices. Understand the opportunity and the go-to-market solutions behind content marketing.

During this unique event, we’re pleased to bring you the “best of the best” in terms of speakers, companies and topics — to help you understand today’s opportunities and the go-to-market solutions behind content marketing. View the exciting line up and register using the links below:

Register | Schedule

For more information:

About this event contact Petrina Hicks at or 212-661-6360.

About the registration process contact James Gerald at or 202-789-4478.

About sponsoring this event contact Heather Cejovic at or 212-784-6363.

Iyana Moore is the Marketing and Membership Content Intern at SIIA. She is a recent graduate of Stevenson University, where she studied Business Communication.

ABM Announces 2014 Jesse H. Neal Award Finalists

ABM, the association of business information and media companies, is proud to announce the official finalist selections for the 60th Annual Jesse H. Neal Awards, the B2B industry’s most prestigious and sought-after editorial honors.

Of 612 entries, 173 have made it to the final round. Award recipients, including the Grand Neal winner, will be unveiled and celebrated on March 14 during ABM’s annual Neal Awards ceremony at Pier Sixty in New York City. Reserve your tickets now! www.ABMEvents.ccom

Click here to view the online gallery of 2014 Neal Award finalists. 

Established in 1955, the Jesse H. Neal Awards recognize and reward editorial excellence in business-to-business media. They are named after ABM’s first managing director, who remained active in promoting the industry throughout his life.

Laura Greenback is Communications Director at SIIA.

IIS Recap: Grey Areas. Silver Linings

Written by Peter Bowley

As the keynote IIS 2014 speaker, Jack Griffin (CEO of Empirical Media) had a lot of insights to share on managing disruption and the unknown. Jack emphasized the importance of a continuous process (not a static solution) to understanding “what is out in the open, but still hiding.” Like how women entering the workforce was predictable, but unexpectedly changed the magazine industry. Like how the Sony Walkman’s impact on the mobility of music was predictable, but unexpectedly the single song would become the organizing principle as opposed to the album. Jack believes TV is at the same place music was 10 years ago. There are too many cable channels and viewers only watch a handful. Younger demographics never bought cable and never will. To manage disruption, Jack cited the both need to consider cannibalizing your own business before someone else does, as well as the courage required to do so. If something can be done, it will – by you or to you.

Jack concluded with a powerful thought. The best managers figure out great outcomes by setting the appropriate context, rather than trying to control their people. The right people with a culture of freedom and responsibility wins out over a culture of process.

Peter Bowley is currently an MBA student at Columbia Business School. Prior to business school, he started NEBSA, an educational company to help international students prepare to study in the U.S. Previously he worked in a Latin American farmland investment fund.

IIS Recap: Optimize your Pricing and Maximize your Value Capture

Written by Peter Bowley

A sub-optimal pricing strategy is like leaving money on the table, so I was very interested to hear what advice Christine Durman, a Partner at Abbey Road Associates, would share at IIS 2014 on how to unlock the power of pricing.

Christine emphasized understanding contextual variables about the customer’s willingness to pay. What is the purchase preference – bundled or a la carte? Do they need the item now or later? How brand conscious is the buyer? By knowing the answers to these questions, you can segment the customer and define price framing and tactics. Christine cited “big data” – demographics, purchasing history, CRM data and usage stats – as a key resource firms can leverage to identify and optimize behavior and price drivers. Christine discussed an example of Abbey Road Associates helping a client put pricing strategy into practice, using an algorithm to process customer data inputs about needs, to generate a client history, suggested purchase combinations and recommended price.

With so much emphasis on new product development and innovation, it is interesting that simply pricing smarter on existing products is often overlooked, despite being a great opportunity to improve profits and customer relationships.

Peter Bowley is currently an MBA student at Columbia Business School. Prior to business school, he started NEBSA, an educational company to help international students prepare to study in the U.S. Previously he worked in a Latin American farmland investment fund.

IIS Recap: Challenges of Recruiting, Building and Retaining a High Performance Team

Written by Peter Bowley

How do media and business information companies build teams that can not only execute, but build a Christen Clayton-like innovative organization? Will the Chief Digital Officer role exist in 10 years? What strategies and tools are the pros using to find and attract “A players”? At IIS 2014, Cormac Cullinane (Time Wartner), David Lord (ESIX) and Judy Chin Wong (Gartner) had the answers.

David Lord cited a number of practical tips. Firms that have fewer than 20 HR searches/year would benefit from using a retained search consultant, over an internal search group. However, firms can still become a sophisticated buyer of HR search services. It can take months to years to recover from a wrong hire, which is an important reminder that if no one is really managing the search process they fail.

All speakers discussed the imperative to hire executives to “drive change”. David advised a good search takes at least 3 months, and companies need to understand if you don’t give the process a chance to work, you reduce your chances of getting an “A” player. Cormac, Time Warner’s VP of Worldwide Executive Search discussed that technology has permanently changed the talent acquisition game. While LinkedIn may become “the world’s largest recruiting firm”, Judy also uses texting which candidates often respond to more quickly, especially Millennials. David said referrals have higher success rates, usually outperforming non-referred hires. Cormac and Judy reminded the audience great talent is usually comfortably employed, not looking for a job. To find “A players”, they recommended generating referrals by pooling employee contacts – in brainstorming sessions and utilizing existing employees who attend industry conferences.

Peter Bowley is currently an MBA student at Columbia Business School. Prior to business school, he started NEBSA, an educational company to help international students prepare to study in the U.S. Previously he worked in a Latin American farmland investment fund.

IIS Recap: Navigating Radical Business Transformation

Written by Michael Davis

Interviewed by Allen Schoer, Founder & Chairman, The TAI Group.

Consider your top business priorities: Maintaining profitability, engaging customers, managing talent, building loyalty, innovating for the future, building high performance teams, and many more.

For Michael Hansen, CEO of Cengage, they all resonate. In fact, if you put them together, they sometimes conflict. So what’s most important to the CEO of a $2B organization with 5,500 employees in more than 20 countries that is pushing its way through a restructuring?

Organizational culture. According to Hansen, he can only move Cengage forward – and transform the company – if he creates a culture where people feel empowered to make decisions.

In a wide ranging conversation led by Allen Schoer, Founder & Chairman, The TAI Group, Hansen stressed the importance of shared values, transparency and alignment.

Beginning with the end in mind, Hansen shared his belief that alignment is linked to productivity. When individuals feel connected to each other and the organization’s purpose, they start to feel like they can have impact. With impact comes a willingness to make decisions. People and teams feel empowered and momentum starts to build.

To help achieve alignment, Hansen focuses on exposing connections between people. He asks team members: “Why are you here? What connects you to our organization?” The answers are often multi-layered. By digging deep, Hansen has been able to uncover shared values, which encourages dialogue and understanding, and leads to better functioning teams.

A business school professor of mine once quipped “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” and Hansen agrees. When business is good, it can be hard to change. Cengage’s business realities, while difficult, present a real opportunity to precipitate change.

In sharing his insights about how to innovate when people are uncomfortable and motivate during uncertain times, Hansen came back to culture. Culture produces organic change efforts. With teams working together, their joint efforts led to structural changes and new approaches at Cengage. For example:

● Using a “two in a box” management technique where two individuals are jointly responsible for a project, a product and technology team agreed to be measured by the same criteria.
● As the two teams focused their attention on serving customers, the group realized they needed someone to assemble their collective intelligence. Together, they created and funded a new VP of Research position.

As another example, to help drive cultural change in the trenches, Cengage has strengthened and empowered its district sales managers. They are now able to act as “CEOs” of their territory and have broad authority over product discounts, customer service level agreements and resource allocation.

When asked about what’s working to promote change and key learnings, Hansen shared the following:

● Promote visible examples that reflect the change you are preaching.
● Individuals who say they support change and then behave differently are the hardest to turn around. People who are important and productive, but not on board, may have to be let go.
● Incentives are over-estimated as a motivator. Individuals and teams are far more motivated if they feel listened to and believe they can have an impact.
● Successes and failures both contribute to positive culture change as long as people feel listened to.
● Business leaders can kill culture by behaving differently than the values and changes they espouse. Leaders have to be very careful to not undermine the culture.

At Cengage, revamping the culture is a work in process. Focus is shifting to become more user centric. Product development is happening faster. Hansen estimates he and his team are about 30% of the way through the change they are trying to achieve. As the culture and focus take hold, attrition rates are coming down and a new optimism is emerging.

Mike Davis is a sales and marketing professional in the software and information industry. Most recently he served as Commercial Director at Digital Science, a business unit of Macmillan Science and Education. Follow Mike on Twitter at @mdavisri and connect on LinkedIn.