Magnotta looks internally for growth
New Summit CIO to repurpose content, unify databases
By James Podolny
Chief Information Officer
Summit Business Media
Brian Magnotta in April joined Summit Business Media as chief information officer to help identify and build new digital products and services.
“I see myself playing a facilitator role, working with Summit's leadership team to help identify those products and services, and then putting in place the initiatives to drive their development and implementation,” said Magnotta, who previously was CTO of Ziff Davis Enterprise and Reed Business Information.
To begin, Magnotta said he wants to use the vast amount of existing content from Summit's media, data and professional publishing divisions, including editorial content for the insurance, financial, legal and investment advisory markets, reference materials, databases and how-to guides, to drive growth.
“I feel like there is an opportunity for us to cross-promote to the audiences of different brands within each of those divisions. That is something we [currently] do, but we could even take it to the next level,” he said. “Because all that content is in digital form today, a lot could be accomplished by just repurposing some of [it] to build new products or promote them as they are.”
Magnotta sees opportunities in particular to market content produced by Summit's professional publishing division to audiences of the company's other media brands.
“What we will likely do is leverage some of the capability we have within our media sites such as contextual search [searching for articles based on their content instead of their file names or key fields] so that we can actually target that paid content based on, for example, the article that the audience member is viewing,” Magnotta said. “Then in the future, once we have a more robust audience database, we will be able to target based on the audience profile and their behaviors.”
Magnotta is working to create a companywide central customer database to facilitate cross-promotion and targeting. He said that each Summit division previously compiled and maintained its own audience databases independently.
“Some really good work has been done to identify all of the different audience profile databases we have within the company,” he said. “We know where all of the profiles exist across the company, so we are working on a project now to pull them all together into a unified audience database.”
Magnotta also said the company plans to bolster its unified database with additional information about individual customers—such as their roles at work, white papers they've downloaded, and their interests and behaviors—to improve Summit's custom marketing services, as well as it lead-generation business.
In the next four to six months, Magnotta wants to introduce new mobile and tablet solutions, including native and device-optimized Web apps that combine industry-specific media content with Summit's professional publishing division's products.