Author Archives: Susan Glinska

European Information Industry Network Conference 2015

The Emirates Stadium provided an impressive setting for the European Information Industry Network Conference 2015 on 22 October.


Some 160 delegates, comprising B2B publishing leaders, experts and influencers, gathered to “learn, share and connect” as declared by Julian Turner, CEO of Electric Word, in his opening remarks.

His welcome was followed by Kate Worlock, Vice President and Lead Analyst of Outsell, Inc., who explored key growth areas such as marketing automation, search and aggregation, stating that marketing analytics and data are set to hit the top spot next year. She highlighted that by 2020, Millenials (those born between 1980 and 2000) will make up 50% of the workforce as they begin to outnumber baby boomers, and they are already shaping the publishing landscape in terms of agility, and their collaborative and social approach.

Marc Worth

Marc Worth, Chairman & CEO of Stylus Media Group, made some interesting observations about shifts in trends and forecasting which, until recently, have tended to look about 18 months ahead in most industries, following the lead from fashion in the early 80s. With the advent of social media, trends can now appear overnight and disappear just as quickly. This has led to the emergence of micro trends, particularly in niche industries. “Business must be ready to innovate, to be proactive rather than reactive”, said Worth.

Carla Buzasi

Carla Buzasi, Global Chief Content Officer, WGSN, explained how content needs to be able to provoke a reaction. Returning to discussion of the rise of the Millenials, she informed the audience how members of this generation currently operate with, on average, 3 technological devices. And coming up closely behind them is Generation 2 (those born after 2000) who operate with 5. She left us ruminating on the daunting thought that the human brain has now evolved to gather information in the space of just 8 seconds. That’s how long publishing professionals have to capture the engagement of their audience!

EIIN15 participants were able to choose from a number of eminent speakers covering topics such as scaling your media business, technology, digital transformation, customer participation and multiplatform content.

A session of roundtables was staged before lunch, freedom of movement between tables being suggested and seemingly encouraged. The ensuing lack of movement was actually indicative of the success of this element of the programme. Delegates were able to ask, argue, suggest and exchange views and became engrossed in their own micro conferences.

The afternoon presented more insight, case studies and a keynote panel discussion, after which KenWasch, President, SIIA, summarised by saying that the one word present in all discussions had been ‘disruption’; disruption in its powerful, but positive sense, as a necessity for prediction, adaptability and innovation in a dynamic industry.

EIIN 2015

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Smart Data Live!

Last week’s Smart Data Live! Forum, organised for publisher members of the AOP and PPA, provided valuable insight and direction to media companies still working out how to extract optimum value from the increasing data flow into their businesses. In his opening comments, Jeremy Bedford, VP of EMEA at Sailthru, stated that big data, as a concept, is useless. The aim is to create Smart Data, he said – a means of taking data, doing something useful with it and using it to answer questions.

Following the opening comments, Breton Fischetti, Senior Manager of Business and Audience Development at Business Insider, explained how data helps publishers understand what readers want to read and allows them to capitalise on readers’ interests. “Great digital stories drive everything”, in his view, but “data makes it easier”.

Business Insider

The challenge was, he said, how to use data to create value, underlining that print is still a good medium, but digital and data are the drivers now. His clear message concerned the need to unlock the value of passionate and engaged communities with a focus on what’s going to drive revenue rather than what’s nice to know, and that audience data can be monetised now in a way that wasn’t possible previously.

Guillermo Christensen, VP of Product, Intent IQ, addressed the challenge to media owners of serving content and advertising to individual preferences. “People are different, concentrate on those who are similar”, was his advice to businesses trying to understand audiences better and make more money. It is possible now to “track people in a way that reveals preferences and allows visitors to segment themselves across interest”, he said.

Ian Eckert, Managing Director of Audience Development at Abacus Media gave further food for thought by discussing how data and breaking down audiences by segment enables the identification and development of markets and new products.

A concluding panel discussion considered the importance of editors. “Algorithms can’t write great content”, Fischetti told the audience, “There’ll always be a need for editors”. Data is the new tool that can now support editors and media companies and allow them to unlock value.

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