B-to-B Media Industry Revenue Up 2.5% Year Over Year; Tops $13 Billion for First Half of 2014

The results of the Business Information Network (BIN) Report for the first half of 2014 were released by ABM , a division of the SIIA. ABM’s report finds that overall business-to-business media revenue rose to nearly 13.4 billion for the first half of 2014, up 2.5 percent compared with industry revenue for the same period in 2013.

ABM’s report finds that, for the second quarter alone, industry revenue is up just 0.4 percent year over year – the lowest overall growth rate posted since 2010. ABM attributes the lower quarterly growth rate to weak exhibition performance, which yielded a sluggish quarter for trade shows and conferences, and sharper declines in print advertising revenue.

“The b-to-b media industry continues to grow this year, thanks to strong gains in digital advertising and persistent demand for data-driven business intelligence,” said ABM Managing Director Mike Marchesano. “Data for the second quarter of 2014 demonstrates how essential mobile, video and big data have become for the future of our industry.”

The ABM BIN Report measures four general sources of revenue: trade shows and conferences (events); print advertising; digital advertising; and business information products and database services (data). According to the quarterly report released today for the three months ending June 30, digital advertising rose 12.6 percent, and data revenue rose 3.3 percent. Meanwhile, event revenue rose just 1.4 percent year-over-year, while print advertising revenue was down nearly 10 percent compared with the second quarter of 2013.

To compile its BIN Reports, ABM tracks business media revenue for print, digital, event and data channels on a quarterly basis. To access BIN data for 2014 and subsequent years, visit http://www.abmassociation.com/abm/Business_Information_Network.asp.

SIIA Launches Online Platforms to Connect High Tech Companies & Provide Resources on Latest News and Trends

SIIA today announced the launch of SIIA Communities. Created by the SIIA Software Division, these online forums serve as an innovative new platform for connecting and informing companies involved in the software and digital content industries.

Open to companies that are members of SIIA, these seven separate communities focus on big data, Internet of things, finance and more, while a specially-designed CEO Network community provides tools and resources to help chief executives improve effectiveness and gain competitive advantage in the marketplace.

In addition to delivering news, event information and industry updates, each SIIA Community features an ISV Connect form – which allows participating companies to request introductions to other members – as well as a resource section featuring market research and other assets submitted by SIIA or the member community. SIIA is also creating advisory boards to help develop and guide each community.

Even in this time of pervasive social platforms, many high tech leaders told us there’s no effective digital platform for staying up to date, learning, and meeting others in their fields. SIIA Communities fill this void by providing unique online sources for education, networking and news. Participants will have access to nontraditional networking opportunities, along with highly-focused, issue-specific platforms for news, research and other resources.

The following SIIA Communities were launched today:


  • Rhianna Collier is VP for the Software Division at SIIA. Follow the Software team on Twitter at @SIIASoftware.

SIPA 2014 Speakers Offer Tips and Preview June Sessions

The beauty of conferences – like SIPA 2014, Strategies for Growth, June 4-6 here in Washington, D.C. – is that you hear from experts who have seen both sides and emerged better from it. They’ve done the hard work, perhaps changed, perhaps came back to an idea; now it’s our privilege to hear what worked. Take a look at the schedule posted online. Meanwhile, here are 3 sessions and 1 keynote where the speakers offer a tip and a preview:

Lead Generation: The Art and Science of Finding, Nurturing and Selling to New NamesRobin Crumby (pictured), founder and director of Melcrum, will lead this session. Direct online marketing channels work well for subscriptions up to a certain amount, but for higher B2B subs, the role of online marketing shifts to lead generation.
His tip: Crumby uses web content, SEO, pay per click and social to create a large pool of prospects, then captures emails via webinars, e-letters and report downloads. Then those who complete a form are followed up by sales people. Analytics will allow you to track back to see which traffic-driving activities ultimately deliver quality leads. It helps to provide prospects with documents to help them convince the boss. On the corporate level, sell to your champions; find out what they need to convince others.

New Rules for Product Development and Time to Market – Consultant Molly Lindblom (pictured) delivered an excellent webinar for us last year on Lean Start-up, and David Foster, CEO of BVR, delivered an equally actionable webinar on growing new products. Their teaming up makes it highly anticipated.
Her tip: Asked about concern for competition and giving away ideas (through Lean Start-up), Lindblom replied: “The goal is to learn about your customers. Your competition is just as smart, so the key here is speed. This is a quick way to vet your ideas so you can get [a new product] to market earlier.”
His tip: “The sales and marketing resources needed to succeed should be clear, identifiable and sensible to an objective outsider,” Foster said. “i.e. ‘We’ll just give these 1000 leads to our best sales person and they can add them to their daily call list’ is not a successful strategy.”
(Members can check here for the audio of those webinars.)

Pricing Strategies to Increase RevenueChristine Durman, partner, Abbey Road Associates, will discuss how to maximize your revenue by thinking differently about your customer’s value drivers, and your price positioning.
Her tip: “Sometimes, you need to change the conversation. [On one particular product], the problem wasn’t that the price was too high, it was that the product was too bloated—too much packaging. The key thing here is don’t jump straight to your pricing; think about your presentation, your packaging, your structure. Thinking through those elements will give you more confidence in your pricing.”

From Print to Provider: The Nexzuspub and Home Depot Story – Keynote speaker Andrew Waite, president and publisher, NEXZUS Publishing Group, will share his story of how he partnered with Home Depot to create a fully integrated app for the contracting industry that is delivering double digit returns for his business as well as for his partners.
His tip (from an interview on flipnerd.com): “What you find with technology…most people are brought up in just one niche. When you say to them, and this is what happened at Home Depot, ‘Okay, we want you to interface with the mainframe which, oh by the way, is running on a 30 year old BMS, A.G. Edwards technology or databases.’ They go, ‘We don’t do that. We don’t understand it.’ …what we’ve found is that there’s a huge opportunity for going back into system integration. That’s what we’re doing with some of this mobile technology. If you’re a national account for Home Depot, like Homevestors is, you’ve got those technologies coming to you at no charge because they want to capture the revenue.”

To subscribe to the SIPAlert Daily, go to the SIIA website.

Ronn LevineRonn 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 diversity, Newspaper in Education, marketing and leadership before joining SIPA in 2009

SIPA 2014 Speakers Offer Diverse Areas of Knowledge

The SIPA 2014 session schedule highlights prominent speakers who work for or have started innovative companies. Here is key information from 5 of those speakers/companies and the topic they will address June 4-6 in Washington, D.C.

1. On the excellent Newstex blog a couple days ago, Susan Gunelius wrote about comScore research that analyzed the top eight social media platforms in the U.S. Only two are accessed more on the desktop than mobile devices:
LinkedIn: 74% desktop vs. 26% mobile
Tumblr: 54% desktop vs. 46% mobile
Facebook: 32% desktop vs. 68% mobile
Twitter: 14% desktop vs. 86% mobile
Pinterest: 8% desktop vs. 92% mobile
Instagram: 2% desktop vs. 98% mobile
Vine: 1% desktop vs. 99% mobile
Snapchat: 0% desktop vs. 100% mobile
Larry Schwartz, president of Newstex, will speak at SIPA 2014 on licensing and distributing content.

2. Season Crawford, associate publisher and vice president of marketing for Modern Markets Intelligence, spoke to me today on a range of subjects. Here is her take on managing remotely for a small company. “What makes it work for us is having the right technology to communicate with each other—Google Sites, Google Hangouts, Basecamp—and having immediate access to one another. Even though we don’t see each other all day, we are comfortable communicating 9-5 and even outside of that when necessary. Also important is that everybody knows their role and what’s expected from them. To make it clear we have policies and procedures on our Google site. If there’s a new idea about the way things should run, then that is added. So it evolves. Another really important element—and I’m still learning on this—is communicating clearly and concisely, always taking into consideration the technology you’re using. If there’s a problem, I jump on the phone. It helps to hear the inflection in your voice.”
Crawford will speak on managing remotely at SIPA 2014.

3. Pro Farmer marketing director Joe May mentioned something to me last year that made an impact, farmers on tablets. “We use email quite extensively, tying it together with the call center, which is a big driver for sales. As for the time to send, we look at analytics and know our opens spike from 6 -7:30 in the morning, lunch, and then early evening. We’ve also found more and more farmers using tablets, taking their iPads with them on their tractors and combines, as our tablet web traffic has grown exponentially this year.”
May will speak on mobile strategies at the SIPA 2014 Conference.

4. When I first talked to Robin Crumby a few years ago, he presented two concepts that helped him succeed: “First, keep it simple: Information businesses get complicated very quickly, so stick to the formats that work best. Second, squeeze the lemon: It is always tempting to diversify into other topic areas, but focusing on your core market yields the best returns.”
Crumby, managing director of Melcrum, will give a session at SIPA 2014 on lead generation.

5. On the infocommerce blog recently, Russell Perkins wrote eloquently about good enough and very good data. “There still seems to be a large and active value segment of the market, those who will be happy with “good enough” data in exchange for a reasonable price. At the same time, there are customers who will pay remarkably high prices for data they can depend on, because it’s driving some critical business activity. And to the extent you differentiate your data through your user interface and data manipulation tools, you can often define still another market that wants to powerfully interact with your data. My take-away is that the data business is increasingly not about winners and losers. Multiple companies with largely similar data can exist and succeed by having differing price points, levels of coverage and degrees of accuracy. The front-end you provide to your data can be customized to appeal to specific market segments as well.”
Perkins, founder and managing director of infocommerce, will speak on your data business at SIPA 2014.

To subscribe to the SIPAlert Daily, go to the SIIA website.

Ronn LevineRonn 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 diversity, Newspaper in Education, marketing and leadership before joining SIPA in 2009 as managing editor. Follow Ronn on Twitter at @SIPAOnline

2014 NextGen Most Disruptive and Overall Mobile Award Winner Fishtree

The SIIA announced the winners for the 2014 NextGen Awards in Mobile. I had the opportunity to sit down with Fishtree to discuss what makes them unique in the market. Read the full interview below:

Tell us a little about Fishtree and what makes you unique.

Fishtree is a next generation learning management platform that combines learning management, collaboration, curation  and personalization to empower every teacher and engage with every student.   The purpose of the platform is to adapt instruction and resources for every learner, allowing the teacher to access millions of resources, build engaging lesson plans and to adapt lesson for every student, in minutes.  Unlike other adaptive platforms, fishtree makes it easy to individualize instruction for every learner, whilst still allowing students to learn at their own pace.

The company insists that our learning environment should be delivered to any device, with mobile technology playing a key role in reaching students, collaborating and a more dynamic, interactive  experience.

Fishtree allows teacher to access automatically aligned content to any standard such as the common core and adapt these to every learner, and also remediate for every learner with a click of a button.  No other platform offers such ease of use.

Typically, what do your clients look for in terms of your product, and how are you responding to that?

As we focus on student achievement by empowering teachers, we also look to serve the needs of parents and the administration.  Typically our clients are looking for a next generation learning environment, many wish to move away from clunky, older technology that have done little to drive better learning outcomes, and suffer from poor usage.  Two key areas we are focusing on are content alignment, (for example the challenge to align resources and activities with the common core standards in the US) and adapting lessons  to every student in the class.  We make this incredibly easy but importantly it is highly collaborative, secure and you can still perform the same learning management functions as you would with traditional systems.

We are also acutely aware of the need for world class implementation, we see that as a key failing in the industry and a great opportunity to delight our customers.

What does the 2014 NextGen Award for Fishtree mean for your company?

The NextGen award is recognition of the fact that fishtree set out to be a next generation learning environment that appreciates the needs of the changing classroom and society, and did so successfully.  This award points to the disruptive nature of what we are doing in an industry that has been starved of true innovation in platforms and service.  The opportunities presented by mobile devices and networks allow us to reach any teacher and student on the planet, deliver highly personalized, interactive content and data and we have embraced these.

It is also important to note that the award was awarded in the face of competition from other industries, not just edtech, given that these other industries have traditionally moved at a faster pace.

What are your goals for the next 12-18 months? Any specific milestones you are hoping to achieve?

Fishtree continues to bring customers on in the US and through our partners in many other countries where we have launched fully localized versions in Korean, Chinese and most recently Latin American Spanish.  We will continue our growth in these regions and other countries, and expand our alliances program with other technology, publishing and services partners.  We are seeing tremendous opportunities in developing markets like Southern Africa with our partner there and key to this is mobile delivery.

We are also rapidly expanding our R+D, implementation and business development teams and we will treble in size in the next 18 months.  We will also launch our independent user for teachers and homeschoolers where individual teachers and parents can access fishtree, millions of resources, plan their lessons and personalize lessons.

2014 NextGen Most Innovative Mobile Award Winner Oink

The SIIA announced the winners for the 2014 NextGen Awards in Mobile. I had the opportunity to sit down with Oink to discuss what makes them unique in the market.

Tell us a little about Oink and what makes you unique.

Oink is the world’s first payment solution designed for the Under 21 market. Our mobile payment app is designed to be easy and fun to use, while at the same time keeping the underage user safe. We support and adhere to the FTC regulations around child privacy and are currently the only COPPA-compliant payment solution.

Typically, what do your clients look for in terms of your product, and how are you responding to that?

We have three clients – teens, their parents, and our merchant partners:  the retailers and gaming companies. Teens are looking for ease of use and breadth of acceptance of a payment solution. Our recently announced partnership with Discover will provide over 25 million places where Oink is accepted. Parents are looking for financial transparency and safety for the children and their money. This safety and fraud control is also very important to our merchants.

Since we deal with the two things people care about the most – your children and your money – we are very, very focused on providing a safe payment experience and we are PCI DSS Level 1 compliant and COPPA-compliant as certified by TRUSTe and ESRB.

What does the 2014 NextGen Award for Most Innovative – Mobile mean for your company?

We are thrilled to win the NextGen award and especially excited that we have been recognized for our innovation in mobile. This generation of teens are the heaviest mobile users and the mobile experience is critical to our ability to engage and keep this audience.

What are your goals for the next 12-18 months? Any specific milestones you are hoping to achieve?

We currently have around 1 million users of Oink. We plan to expand our network of retailers and gaming companies both in North America and internationally. We plan to be operational in France and Germany by the end of Q1 and in other Euro zones and Asia later in 2014. We expect to greatly increase the number of Oink users over the next 12 months



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