Member Spotlight

//Member Spotlight
Member Spotlight 2020-09-25T23:11:32+00:00

AAMP Member Spotlight – Rick Ellis

This issue’s  AAMP Member Spotlight is with Rick Ellis, Director of Audience Management, Data Protection Officer at CFE Media & Technology.

What is your main role in your organization?

Audience management and acquisition, data protection & privacy.

How has COVID most impacted your organization?

There’s been a lot. Like most companies, we now have the entire team working from home, but it’s actually worked out very well. We had to take our major customer event (Marketing to Engineers)  virtual in April, and I miss traveling in general and interacting in person with our close-knit team. 

The business has seen its challenges, but we have seen an uptick in our attendance of webcasts and our online training application, and in general our engineering audience has been very engaged during this time. We’ve also rolled out several new products, including virtual events and technology applications designed to facilitate audience training and our customer’s ability to reach their target audience.

How has your organization changed your audience marketing efforts because of COVID

We’re trying out a number of new opportunities via our Customer/Audience Data Platform, including the acquisition side, engagement initiatives and data mining. I’m excited for the opportunities that lie within all those new capabilities, for new product ideas and improving the audience experience. There’s been a bit of a learning curve, and it’s required bringing some new skillsets to the table as well.

What are the biggest challenges and/or opportunities facing your brands right now?

Print is certainly under pressure everywhere, but I think online education is something that we do well and is an ongoing need for our engineering audience, so I see more opportunities there. There are also bound to be more opportunities we find with all the audience affinity data we’re collecting. Keeping up and adapting to privacy and consent rules will continue to be a challenge, and keeping the audience engaged without absolutely hammering them with emails is another. 

We’re trying to build on our audience connections, and even make it fun and engaging where possible, but I worry about executing on that goal without super-complex segmentation and automation that will be unwieldy and hard to maintain going forward.

What topics of information would be valuable to your work right now, (ie. in magazines or industry newsletters)?

Lots of stuff. Right now I’m interested in industry/peer-group metrics around all the things we’re doing, like conversion rates for website tactics of popups and personalizations executed by our CDP. I’d also like to understand what other companies like ours are doing for audience acquisition in similar markets, what’s working and what’s not. Very interested in specific, repeatable use cases of B2B companies making money off audience data insights, B2B “Communities” and if that “intent” and “surge” data is proving to be accurate and actionable.

What is one thing you have been doing for fun or to escape, this summer?

There are actually a few. I work out of my basement, so getting above ground and out of the house to my local parks with the dogs, for exercise or Tai Chi has definitely been an escape. We did a family camping trip in July that was great – totally off the grid for five full days – highly recommend!!

If you have any questions for Rick or any of the other AAMP board members, please contact us at

AAMP Member Spotlight – Julie Ball

This issue’s  AAMP Member Spotlight is with Julie Ball, Audience Development Manager with Gardner Business Media, Inc.

Julie’s team plays a key role in the creation and implementation of measurable strategies to build qualified audiences across all 11 publications, between Gardner’s 8 brands. Her team works in collaboration with the marketing and editorial departments, and is responsible for developing new, expanding existing, and driving more engagement to all product audiences while continuing to build loyalty with existing subscribers.

How has COVID most impacted your organization?

Quite a bit but not necessarily in a bad way. Our in-person events not only are an instrumental part of our revenue for our company, but also building our communities. Thankfully we have a lot of talented individuals at Gardner, who came up with Plan B to move our in-person events digitally; with both on-demand and live sessions. One of the major benefits our audience team has seen is an influx of new organic subscriptions. 

How has your organization changed your audience marketing efforts because of COVID

 Like most publishers, our qualified print curation was a bit siloed and heavily depended on telemarketing efforts. This allowed many departments to come together to help generate leads for audience building across all products within Gardner. We have gone from siloed subscription/registration base to community building. Not only does this benefit our internal operations, but more importantly our audiences.

What are the biggest challenges and/or opportunities facing your brands right now?

Being a B2B media publisher, our biggest audience related challenge, right now, is the constant change of data. Let’s just look at our printed magazine space: we serve over 325,000 qualified manufacturing decision makers a magazine each month and we pride ourselves on getting those magazines in front of the right people. COVID has disrupted so many companies in our space causing us to see a huge increase of personnel and address changes in the past four month.

What is your role the AAMP board?

I am a Board Director. I don’t have any individualized tasks but I ask a lot of questions, give my perspective and assist where ever I am needed.

Why did you join the AAMP board?

To help build confidence in a new setting, be around like minded associates and to utilize my skillset. I have a unique perspective in the world of Audience Development. My first 17 years at Gardner, I was behind the scenes in the IT world, where I was responsible for data storage and maintaining the in-house circulation application that our Audience department used to collect, analyze and maintain the data. I am passionate about what I do and AAMP has given me the opportunity to not only learn new skills, but also allowed me to bring experiences from behind the scenes and in the front lines to help others bring knowledge and value of good quality data and the importance of connecting with the person who represents the data together.

What is one thing you have been doing for fun or to escape, this summer? 

Like I said earlier, I am a curious person; so it is fitting that I enjoy reading self improvement books. I am finishing up “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero. I am working on building my confidence. I tend to start out confident, but then I question myself and losing any confidence I started with. This book has really helped me identify the areas where I begin self-sabotaging and stop it in it’s tracks.  

If you have any questions for Julie or any of the other AAMP board members, please contact us at

AAMP Member Spotlight – Becky Fenton

Becky Fenton - Audience Development Manager with Bobit Business Media.This issue’s  AAMP Member Spotlight is with Becky Fenton, Audience Development Manager with Bobit Business Media.

Becky is a 15 year media industry professional who has worked at some of the top B2B media firms in the business including Bobit, 1105 and Reed Business just to name a few.  Her experience has provided her a unique vision into audience engagement, campaign management and segmentation with brands in the print, online and event channels 

How has COVID most impacted your organization?

Like most in our industry, we’ve experienced some painful changes within our organization. We are all stepping up and taking on extra tasks to help navigate through the current challenges. 

How has your organization changed your audience marketing efforts because of COVID

We’re focusing on digital efforts and digging deep in our marketing toolbox to come up with creative, cost effective ways to reach our audience. We’re ramping up automated marketing journeys, and using all of the tools our fulfillment company, Omeda, has to offer.

Biggest challenges facing your brands right now:

Making decisions on in-person events is challenging; we are working with our attendees and vendors to make the best decision possible for all.

Biggest opportunities for your brands right now:

We are helping our subscribers with COVID specific webinars, and finding new advertisers to reach our subscribers with items to help their businesses, like mobile hand washing stations.  

Where do you get most of your industry-related information? (i.e. Other associations, webinars, websites, newspaper or magazine titles)

Omeda Webinars, Publishing Executive, Folio 

How can AAMP and similar organizations best help you in 2020?

Case studies or helping identify things that worked to help companies through this are always of interest

What book, movie, or show have you most recently finished?

And why did you like it? just finished the book Where the Crawdad’s Sing in one day – the prose was profound.  It made you feel like you could smell, feel, and see everything the author was describing. Outstanding book!

If you could go on vacation right now, where would you go?

I’m picturing a cabin on a lake – keep up the social distancing!

Where do you see yourself (or your company) in 2021?

While this time has been hard, it’s also been a great way to challenge myself to move beyond “how we’ve always done things”. With the communication, collaboration, and openess of my colleagues to innovative ideas, I see myself and Bobit continuing our goal of giving our audiences the best content and user experiences possible in 2021 and beyond.