Member Spotlight

//Member Spotlight
Member Spotlight 2021-03-01T03:12:20+00:00

AAMP Member Spotlight – Mindy Fadden

Mindy Fadden

This issue’s  AAMP Member Spotlight is with Mindy Fadden, Director, Audience Development at VertMarkets – Jameson Publishing

What is your main role within your organization?

I am responsible for building audience engagement in the Life Science Connect and Business Solutions Network groups of websites.

What are the main challenges facing your brands or company right now? 

So many challenges! 

1.)  Attracting the readers our advertisers want to reach; 

2.) Producing unique, high-quality editorial our subscribers want to read; 

3.) Complying with the ever-changing privacy laws;

4.) Delivering relevant emails to a recipient who will open the email and engage with the content.

What are one or two actions you have taken to increase engagement with readers and customers over the past 6 months? 

We have spent a great deal of time identifying which subscribers are engaging with different types of content and customizing what the subscriber sees to improve that engagement. We are also engaging readers with podcasts, webinars, notifications, virtual trade shows, and eBooks.

How will your brands’ marketing efforts continue to change over the next 6 months?

Response: Our efforts will continue to be more and more refined. A few years ago we might have sent an offer for a webinar to a site’s entire readership, but now we are focusing on only that segment of subscribers who have shown an interest in the subject and even only an interest in attending webinars.

What do you think will be important areas of focus for audience development professionals in 2021? 

Test, test, test. What works for one site might not work for another. Each of our audiences is unique and each individual is unique. The better job you can do of meeting (and anticipating) your subscriber’s interests, the more compelled they will be to engage in your content.

What topics of information would be valuable to your work right now, (i.e. In webinars, magazines or industry newsletters)? 

I like a variety of sources, but probably industry newsletters are the source I use the most. I like to read about innovative tests others have tried with content, subject lines, deliverability, etc. I enjoy the Really Good Emails newsletter in particular.

Do you have any work related or personal choice book or movie/streaming recommendations?

Streaming – I just finished The Queen’s Gambit; Book – almost done with Trever Noah’s book, “Born A Crime” – so good!

What is your outlook for 2021?

Online engagement will be paramount for us and we will continue to interest our readers with unique insights through editorial and interactive opportunities. We are in a growing phase which allows us the resources to dedicate to testing and building an even stronger and more loyal audience. I would anticipate 2021 to be as strong for us as 2020, if not even better.


AAMP Member Spotlight – Vesna Moore

This issue’s  AAMP Member Spotlight is with Vesna Moore, Director of Audience Development & CASL Compliance Officer Annex Business Media.  

What is your main role within your organization?

Well, I never dreamed I’d be a super-cool Audience Professional, let alone a Compliance Officer, yet here I am! I’m not allowed to arrest anyone or anything fun like that, but I am responsible for managing the entire Audience Department across all 65 Annex brands. This includes managing our audience database, our email compliant database, marketing, research, database platforms & CDP (customer data platform) systems as well as analytics and audits. Luckily I have a great team of Audience Managers that do most of the heavily lifting.

What are the main challenges facing your brands, as we approach 2021?

Is this a trick question? What isn’t a challenge after the year we’ve had! We’ve already been pivoting especially with moving towards virtual events and looking at any and all innovative ways to close Ad page sales and to launch new digital products. The Annex team has done some terrific work here and we’re hoping this will help us as we move into 2021. I think there are many unknowns in the year ahead, but certainly some hope that the vaccines will make a world of difference by next fall. The biggest challenge will likely continue to be versatile and to stay agile with more digital products.    

You are very involved in email privacy issues.  Working in Canada, you have dealt with CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation) laws and changes since its inception in 2014.  As the US states start to implement more privacy laws, what tips can you give AAMP about the following: 

Yes, I remember 2014 very well. Long days of debates with our executive team and our media lawyer, long nights of reading and re-reading the scintillating legislation that was new, often confusing and sometimes contradictory. And then came the fun part of implementing the requirements into our systems and processes. Having gone through the experience, I have five key takeaways for anyone needing to implement similar compliance:

1 – Lawyer up. Knowing that we could risk fines of up to $10 million to the company per infraction and up to $1 million to an individual per infraction, we wanted to be sure we had the proper legal insight for our company’s compliance. We used a media lawyer familiar with our business which helped weigh the risk levels appropriately between compliance and business impact.  

2 – Take Stock. Put together an inventory of all your email data sources in an effort to categorize them by compliance risks. You can then take whatever action is required to either allow use of the data or not, depending on compliance requirements.

3 – Use Caution. If you feel any uncertainty on the source or the form of acquisition, do not email, do not use. It’s also a good idea to look at the age of your data and to look at engagement, especially on email use. This can help keep you out of spam folders and provide greater credibility scores with your ISP.

4 – You need a champion. If you don’t already have compliance officers, then designate a person or persons to champion the cause of compliance. At Annex, it’s the Audience department as we’re closest to the data. Once designated, be sure to give that person the ability, the tools and the power to direct changes that may be needed to achieve/maintain compliance.

5 – Use 3rd Parties. There are many systems that can help manage compliance. Have a look at what’s available and you may find a quick-to-market solution that could work well for your needs.

How will your brands’ marketing efforts continue to change over the next 6 months?

We’re trying to be as flexible as we can when offering solutions to our clients. Print is still very important to us, but we’re also offering a wider selection of digital solutions. We’re also looking at launching a structured digital marketing program to help bring in new clients and retain current clients. It’s kind of an ‘Annex selling Annex (use ourselves like our clients do)’ approach.

What do you think will be important areas of focus for audience development professionals in 2021? 

In my opinion, some important areas will be the efforts to continue consolidating and standardizing our data. This means bringing data-streams together from audience, events, webinars, registrations, email engagement, websites, etc into a single, actionable database. The segmentation and reporting would be more valuable, and it would allow for some of the slicker online CDP marketing. 

How/why did you get involved in the AAMP? 

I was happily and enthusiastically recruited by a peer in the publishing industry. 

Do you have any goals in 2021, as part of the AAMP board? 

I hope to learn from my fellow board members and look forward to helping grow the membership and newsletter numbers. I’m working very hard at building the Canadian contingent of the AAMP!

What sources (newsletters/magazines/TV) do you get your most useful industry news from? 

I get so many great newsletters, it’s tough to choose, but I do find a lot of relevant info coming from Connectiv Daily, Social Media Examiner and Publishing Executive.

What is one fun thing you hope to do this winter? 

I have about six unfinished paintings that I’d love to complete and a few ideas for some new ones, so I hope to get the brushes and canvases in the basement dusted off and let my right brain run free for a while! 

Is there anything else you want to add?

Between COVID19 and Murder Hornets, 2020 was a hard, weird year. So in the now almost famous words of my COO Scott Jamieson, Stay well. Stay calm. Stay kind.


AAMP Member Spotlight – Jared Sonners

This issue’s  AAMP Member Spotlight is with Jared Sonners, Director, Circulation at Frontline Medical Communications.

What is your main role in your organization?

I am the Director of Circulation for Frontline Medical Communications and Jobson Healthcare Information, both owned by WebMD. I manage a team that is responsible for building qualified audiences of healthcare professionals for 27 print publications.  

What are the main challenges facing your brands or company right now?

The biggest challenge is certainly the unpredictability of COVID. We need to be prepared to have more subscribers wanting to receive their publications at home. And if there are going to be more lockdowns, we need to maintain strong request levels. As we have learned from this year, subscription renewals took a hit when offices were closed.

How will your brands’ marketing efforts continue to change over the next 6 months?

We plan on increasing our digital subscription renewal efforts in 2021. We typically have a stronger focus on cover tips and telemarketing. But if our subscribers are working from home, or if they have limited time in the office, we need to be contacting more subscribers by e-mail as that could be the best way to reach them. It is also an opportunity to capture their home address in case we do not already have it on file. 

What do you think will be important areas of focus for audience development professionals in 2021? 

I think the most important focus will be keeping in contact with subscribers. With no guarantee that workers will be in their offices, there needs to be strong efforts to assure that readers are receiving their publications at home. If they are working from home, it is up to the audience development professional to engage with those subscribers to make sure that home addresses are captured so the subscribers do not miss an issue.

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

I think it would be very valuable to receive information about how COVID is impacting everyone across the industry and how others are overcoming challenges. Publishers, ad agencies, fulfillment/data services, and printers all face different obstacles, but I think everyone can learn from each other. 

Do you have any work related or personal choice book or movie/streaming recommendations?

I would recommend watching “The Last Dance” on Netflix. It is a must watch for all sports fans. And it is a great documentary for non-sports fans. Growing up a New York Knicks fan in the 90’s, I despised Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. But my respect for both has grown after watching this 10-part documentary. Coaching an NBA team to 6 championships is no easy task, especially handling all the different personalities on the team. This is something that managers should be able to relate to. For anyone that manages a team, there are valuable lessons to be learned from Coach Phil Jackson.

What is one thing have you done recently for fun? 

My wife and I took our 1-year-old daughter on a trip to Long Beach Island, NJ, in late September. After months of being home, it was great for all of us to spend a few days in a new setting. It was also the first time my daughter had seen the ocean, so it was a highlight to see her crawl around the sand and dip her toes in the water. 

What is your outlook for 2021?

Although there are uncertainties heading into 2021, I think it will be a great opportunity for innovative thinking and collaborative efforts. We will be looking at new ways to increase subscription renewals, as well as ways that our renewal process can help increase print readership, digital engagement, and virtual conference attendance. 

If you have any questions for Alicia or any of the other AAMP board members, please contact us at contact@audiencemarketing.org.


AAMP Member Spotlight – Alicia Pettigrew

This issue’s  AAMP Member Spotlight is with Alicia Pettigrew, Sr. Manager, Product & Revenue Strategy of PMMI Media Group.

What is your main role in your organization?

Product and Sales Management

What are the main challenges facing your brands or company right now?  Just like everyone else, our biggest challenge is figuring out how next to pivot our products and sales strategy to stay relevant as 2020 continues to bring about change across the industry in ways and at a pace we have never seen before.

What are one or two actions you have taken to increase engagement with readers and customers over the past 6 months?  We’re experimenting with subject lines and email templates more than ever. One other thing that has been especially helpful for us is meeting with non-competing publishers to share ideas. Even though our industries are different, some components of customer engagement can be universal.

How will your brands’ marketing efforts continue to change over the next 6 months? – We have actually just hired a new Marketing Director, so I expect our entire Marketing strategy to change. We are looking to take a more data-driven approach to our marketing efforts as well as engage our sales team as partners earlier in the process.

What do you think will be important areas of focus for audience development professionals in 2021? I think the biggest area of focus has to be continued customer engagement. With in-person events all but cancelled for the foreseeable future, we are dealing with increased digital fatigue from our audiences. It’s not enough to just acquire audience and assume you can keep them or that you will make up the difference at the next tradeshow or event – content is more important now than ever before.

What topics of information would be valuable to your work right now, (ie. in webinars, magazines or industry newsletters)? Anything related to how the current pandemic and economic challenges are projected to affect companies long-term. While some things are going to go back to normal, others will never be the same. Figuring out which are which (and doing it faster and better than your competition!) is going to be important for years to come.

What is one thing have you done this fall for fun? My area has been under restrictions since March, so we’ve been limited in what we can do. What’s worked best for my family is trying to find new joy in old things. We’ve camped in the backyard, played lots of board games and even sometimes work out as a family. We still have fun, we just have to be more creative about it!

If you have any questions for Alicia or any of the other AAMP board members, please contact us at contact@audiencemarketing.org.


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.


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 contact@audiencemarketing.org.


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 contact@audiencemarketing.org.


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.