‘The Database Should Be Looked at Holistically’; Questex’s Rhonda Wunderlin Previews BIMS 2023 Talk

“…media websites, event registration, mobile apps and engagement data should all be developed with an eye to feed into one view of the audience,” says Rhonda Wunderlin, SVP, performance marketing, Questex. In this sixth Q&A previewing our stellar BIMS 2023 speaker lineup, the industry executive delivers a dash of her session-to-come on enterprise tech.

The industry-leading Business Information & Media Summit (BIMS) will take place in Orlando, Feb. 23-24, the first in-person BIMS since 2019. Accordingly, the team at the AM&P Network see an opportunity to help drive the media conversation and feature the voices of leading thought leaders speaking at the event.

In the weeks to come, we’ll continue to publish one or two brief Q&As every week, each of them zeroing in on a specific topic related to sessions at the event—and in the process highlight our rich and timely agenda.

Tony Silber talks here to Wunderlin, who will be one of the esteemed executives speaking at BIMS 2023, delivering the session, Enterprise Tech Spending Starts With a Coherent Business Strategy. Are You Focused Enough?

Tony Silber: How does Questex approach its technology strategy?
Rhonda Wunderlin: The approach to technology at Questex is ultimately all about “connection.” This requires the integration of technology platforms as well as data. Questex has achieved this through the launch of our proprietary Q-Activate intelligence platform. This platform adds behavior, intent and trending into one audience management solution while combining our digital and event platforms into one data source. Overlaying this integrated ecosystem with strong data management practices—cleansing, standardizing and appending—has been a critical key in the success we’ve seen with this approach.

This allows us to not only provide value year-round to our audience members, but also a single view of each audience member. With this comprehensive view we can ensure personalized messaging is being delivered, providing relevant information and offers, while aligning products and services to deliver in a timely manner.

What internal challenges need to be overcome, in a universal sense, to implement a strategy?
Rhonda: The strategy needs to be driven from the top so that there is one ultimate path that the entire company aligns to. Once the vision is set, the biggest challenge that companies face is the ability to bridge the gap between the vision and the day-to-day implementation. Ensuring there is a strong project manager, a detailed project plan (that is appropriately resourced) and realistic timelines is important. That said, transparency and consistent communication of milestones are also critical. By keeping key stakeholders well-informed of the progress and ensuring milestones are communicated out to the company, you can achieve buy-in at all levels.

Rank the tech priorities all B2B media companies should have.
Rhonda: Audience is the lifeblood of a media business. With more data generated than ever before and first party becoming more and more valuable, the “top technology priority” is the database and setting a clear strategy around managing that. The database should be looked at holistically which means media websites, event registration, mobile apps and engagement data should all be developed with an eye to feed into one view of the audience. The tech stack and priorities should be built around maintaining an updated and engaged database—keeping data current, identifying and filling gaps, standardizing and connecting all the touch points across your audience. Using this approach, the path of any B2B media company will be clear, depending on where they are and at what stage.

For example, aim toward a single view of your user meaning integrating and standardizing data sources; once that is accomplished look at your gaps—research shows 60-80% of web visitors are unidentified. Then capture the intent information to serve the right content to your users via all mediums and all products. This allows you to then include new monetization opportunities—use this data for your editorial team, your product decisions, content including events and to help your customers determine how to best reach your users.

Thanks Rhonda! See you in Orlando!

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