January 13, 2016 Last Updated 12:07 pm

B2B media firm Penton signs alliance with American City Business Journals

The B2B media firm Penton today announced that it had formed an alliance with American City Business Journals. The alliance makes a lot of sense for marketers looking for greater penetration of an industry segments or greater penetration of a geographic market.

Penton explains it this way:

…if a marketer using WealthManagement.com is trying to reach financial advisors, in addition to targeting WealthManagement.com’s audience of financial advisors on a national basis, marketers can now also target their ad to professionals across select ACBJ sites to reach them locally…

These types of alliances were frowned on in the past as regulators were leery of media companies cooperating. But, obviously, times have changed and many publishers are struggling, and a new alliance is no longer seen as somehow breaking the rules.

TNM has held this position for a long time, but it is hard to talk to publishers about alliance, content sharing, and the like.

That doesn’t mean, however, that these kinds of alliances are easy to make succeed. It will be up to the sales staff to take advantage of the opportunities that are there for marketers to buy across this new network. Then there are pricing considerations: often these types of networks prove expensive because while the ad rep might be able to discount their own publications, they may not be authorized to discount the partner’s properties. A good, fair rate card is needed, one that makes cross-selling attractive for both the client to buy, and the ad reps to sell.

In this particular case, Penton and American City Business Journals look like they are limiting their alliance to web advertising, which probably makes sense since the issue of specs and deadlines would make a print alliance too complicated to pull off.

Here is the announcement from Penton:


NEW YORK, NY – January 13, 2016 — Penton, an innovative professional information services company, today announced a new alliance with American City Business Journals (ACBJ), the nation’s largest publisher of local business news and information, to offer marketers an unprecedented reach of industry professionals in Penton’s key vertical markets and ACBJ’s geographical locations.

Penton-flag-250“ACBJ is a perfect company for us to work with,” said Warren Bimblick, Group President, SmartReach, Penton. “Penton’s advertisers utilize us to reach highly-qualified business people on sites where they get news and information related to their business. What’s more, these business people are highly qualified because they have subscribed. The ACBJ relationship gives advertisers the ability to reach these, and other people, in a more localized and generally news setting. The reciprocal relationship holds true wherein ACBJ advertisers will be able to utilize Penton sites.”

Marketers interested in targeting Penton’s network of more than 150 websites including flagship brands Aviation Week, IndustryWeek, Wealth Management, Farm Future’s Daily, Supermarket News and Waste360.com in 16 major vertical markets reaching nearly 20 million professional decision-makers can now also geo-target ACBJ’s nearly 35 million business professionals through its network of 250 sites in 43 major U.S. cities.

“Our local brands operate within the business communities they serve and we have a long legacy as a trusted source for information to help fuel their decisions,” said Whitney Shaw, President and CEO of ACBJ. “Collaborating with leading business information companies like Penton, provides a more robust set of capabilities to serve customers both locally and within key section industry sectors.”

For example, if a marketer using WealthManagement.com is trying to reach financial advisors, in addition to targeting WealthManagement.com’s audience of financial advisors on a national basis, marketers can now also target their ad to professionals across select ACBJ sites to reach them locally. Five key sectors — wealth management, agriculture, waste, natural products and aviation — will be category exclusive to Penton’s alliance.

Marketers can take advantage of this unique audience based targeting through the newly launched Penton SmartReach™ Audience Extension. It provides the ability to precisely target audiences through deep data sets that provide intelligence across more than 1,000 key firmographic and demographic differentiators. Marketers can hyper-target ad messages to reinforce branding and drive greater conversion website campaigns through a best practices approach, so ads are displayed wherever a potential customer travels online.

With access to more than 98 percent of online display inventory, Audience Extension serves more than one billion impressions annually. Site targeting consistently outperforms other forms of display advertising, helping marketers get the most out of their ad spending by focusing impressions on high quality Penton and ACBJ audiences.

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