Why we built Pipeline

I go on business trips ready for action, but I usually like to wait until I’ve checked into the hotel first.

Yet there, as I walked through the tunnel that runs from the airplane to the airport gate in San Francisco two weeks ago, was a large IBM ad, filling most of the left-hand wall. It was

there when I got back, too. Even when you’re really into IT (which I am), you have to wonder: Is there no escape from the marketing?

The answer is no, not if the marketing team is doing their jobs right. That’s one of the reasons we created IT Business Pipeline: Inside Information for Technology Marketing Professionals. This newsletter, which we will be producing once every two weeks, is designed to help senior executives in marketing, advertising and public relations better promote their clients (and their products) in the most targeted way possible.

I say “”targeted”” because even large firms like IBM have realized a blanket approach to brand is not enough. While the airport ad no doubt attracts attention, Big Blue has learned to hone its message by fine-tuning it for daily newspapers, TV and trade publications like those produced by the IT Business Group. This became particularly important when the technology industry entered the downturn about two years ago and marketing budgets were slashed. Much like the CIOs and IT managers we talk to in Computing Canada and EDGE, marketing professionals were asked to show a return on their investment, or ROI. This meant developing strategies that not only raised a company’s profile but connected buyers with the sales team.

There are a number of ways to achieve marketing ROI, but the best way to start is by studying the strategies of those who have already been successful. Pipeline will chronicle these best practices in a number of ways. Under the section Brand News, for example, we will be covering major client wins between ad agencies, PR firms and the some of the best-known Canadian IT companies. We will also profile up-and-coming marketing firms and offer short case studies on how technology is harnessed for innovative campaigns. Power Lunch, meanwhile, will offer a one-on-one discussion with decision-makers who matter; no wonder we tapped Rich Reynolds, business and marketing officer at Microsoft Canada, as our first guest.

As with any of our publications, we will complement our industry coverage with an analysis of current trends. That’s what this space is for, though I won’t necessarily be the only one occupying it. Our other writers and editors, who often get a first-hand look at the marketing strategies to come, may also occasionally offer their thoughts on working with the media.

For a true insider’s perspective I tapped Jack Wojicki, whom I’ve known since he worked on the HP account at Benchmark Porter Novelli. As Pipeline grows we will be introducing other voices from the marketing and advertising side to offer opinions directly from those in the trenches.

As a bonus to our invitation-only subscribers, we will be showcasing upcoming special issues, supplements or events to better communicate our own strategy. Just look under In The Pipe for more details.

Great marketing requires a thorough understanding of your audience, and so does great journalism. That’s why we pride ourselves at the IT Business Group for maintaining an exclusive focus on the Canadian market and the unique needs of its readers. You could call it the integrity behind our brand. Pipeline, we hope, will be another great way of demonstrating it.

sschick@itbusiness.ca

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