2008 Top Innovators: Jeff Giesea, President
By Marie Griffin
Comment: After creating his own digital media company, Giesea is now aiming to take FieceMarkets and Questex to the next level.
Jeff Giesea founded FierceMarkets in 2001 with the launch of a niche e-mail newsletter called “FierceWireless.” He went on to build the Fierce brand into a portfolio of 19 newsletters, Web sites and events. The brands, such as FierceCIO and FierceDeveloper, are highly targeted to decision-makers in telecommunications, life sciences, health care, information technology and finance.
By the time Questex Media acquired FierceMarkets in January for an undisclosed sum, it had grown revenue at a 45% annual growth rate for five years, built a stable of more than 300 repeat advertisers and amassed more than half a million subscribers.
Giesea continues to run FierceMarkets as a subsidiary of Questex and is also helping his new parent company develop business models similar to his own in other markets.
“I see several areas for further innovation,” he said. “Our challenge is to get embedded more deeply into our customers' sales processes.”
Giesea started FierceMarkets “to help take trade publishing into the digital age”; but it is its business model rather than its technology that makes FierceMarkets innovative, he said.
First, by using e-mail newsletters rather than a print vehicle to enter markets, Giesea was able to target smaller, more focused audiences. Second, FierceMarkets developed what Giesea calls a “vertical family” by launching multiple newsletters within niches, such as “FierceBioTech,” “FiercePharma” and “FierceVaccines” in life sciences. These groupings as aggregates give marketers the opportunity to reach a larger audience.
A third innovation, Giesea said, is the FierceMarkets editorial voice—one part reporter, one part analyst and one part blogger. In other words, editors are trained to be journalists with attitude.
|MEDIA BUSINESS - TOP INNOVATORS|
|John Koten Mansueto Ventures|
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