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Outsell's David Worlock on B2B publishing, 'decision-ready' content and lead gen

David Worlock
David Worlock, Chief Research Fellow, Outsell chaired the EPublishing Innovation Forum on 25-26 May.

Ahead of the event, we spoke to David about B2B publishing, 'decision-ready' content and lead generation.

What are the major trends you see emerging for your members businesses in B2B publishing for 2010?

The major trend is "the flight to workflow". Trying to lock content into customer patterns of decision-making, productivity and compliance is the critical skill. But few players have sufficient content of sustained quality and enough user knowledge to make it work effectively.

In digital, increasingly 'you sell an idea, not a circulation figure', (quotation from UBM's John Welsh, speaking at an AOP event) would you care to comment on this opinion/trend(?) in digital publishing?

If selling an idea, not a circulation figure points to the downgrading of advertising in the business revenue mix, then this is right. And since advertising is not coming back in its former style, we are developing new ways of targetting very small groups of powerful buyers and involving them in tools and analytical services which give them better buying decisions.

What’s your view on Emap CEO David Gilbertson’s call for 'decision-ready information', for magazines to become ‘intelligence providers’, and its move to paid content online?

David is quite right , but only the best players with the best content can win here.

This points to strategic alliances, much greater investment/partnership around software for data analytics etc, and the emergence of duopolies who divide markets niche by niche.

Lead generation is often talked about as an important and growing area for revenue diversification in B2B publishing. Could you briefly explain this area, and why it is so important?

Lead generation is the natural successor to generalised advertising. Sellers want targets, they want them defined and profiled, and they want to be speaking to the key decision maker. Buyers want to be relieved of irrelevant sales approaches and are receptive of content only when it hits the spot in terms of their profiled requirements. As a result, community and user generated content works well in this context.

The ePublishing Innovation Conference featured more than 20 industry experts and leading authorities from organisations including: The Economist online, Oxford University Press, Conde Nast Publications, Penguin Group UK, Bloomsbury Academic & Professional, paidContent:UK, Nature Publishing Group, Pearson plc, eConsultancy, TSL Education and many more.

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