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Audience First Marketing Leads to Digital Pivot

Art by Nichole Anderson

Babcox Media made the decision to implement a digital forward approach across our brands. This shift has aligned us with needs of our audience and positioned us as forward-thinking thought leaders in the industry.

The following is an interview between Melissa Kollar (Social Media & Digital Audience Manager) and Mike Maleski (Executive Vice President) to discuss Babcox Media’s audience first approach to marketing in a digital age.

Melissa Kollar (00:49):

Talk to me about the digital shift with some of our brands. How did that pivot impact the brands and our audience overall?

Mike Maleski (01:02):

While yes, there are a number of our brands that you can refer to as digital only. Just as importantly, I’d call them audience first because it was really the audience and the advertisers that dictated some of these changes. The brands that pivoted to an all-digital platform are the ones where we noticed through our own research and findings that the audience had migrated largely to digital platforms. That’s where they wanted to be served with news and information. That information alongside seeing how the advertisers spend had migrated that way… Obviously we want to fish where the fish are in terms of serving our readership, but also serving those advertisers with the most cutting-edge digital solutions ended up put as our sole focus for those brands.

Kollar (02:01):

With the COVID shift, everyone went online because everyone was locked down. So, it makes total sense for us to address that change.

Maleski (02:11):

The first brand to make that shift was our Tomorrow’s Technician property when there were no students at the school to get the printed magazine. We needed to serve them, and we needed to make sure the instructors had online content, mostly in video form, so that they could engage the students that were offline with content that was rich in what they needed to convey. So that learning was maintained, and we were able to do that. That was why T2 was the first one for us. And it was exactly the result of the COVID situation.

Kollar (02:51):

Yes, yes. Perfect example. You mentioned audience first… Babcox as a whole, instead of being digital first, we’re more audience first, right? I mean, that’s what we are. That’s what we do. Can you speak to that overall in all of our brands, not just the digital, but how we are implementing the audience first approach across all our properties?

Maleski (03:13):

Sure. This is something that we view from a content perspective and from a sales and marketing solutions perspective. It’s anytime, anywhere. We want to be able to reach that audience anytime, anywhere whether it’s something in print, whether they’re somebody that likes to navigate our owned and operated websites, whether it’s an opportunity to put a marketing message in front of somebody who might be on the Fox News Website. We know who the audience is, and it is our responsibility to give that audience the content that they want, wherever they want. Our advertisers rely on us to deliver that content and then marketing solutions around that content in a format that is flexible and in a format that allows the advertiser to speak right to the heart of what they’re trying to convey. And to make sure that that what they’re trying to convey is wrapped around meaningful content.

We did make the shift to digital for our brands Fleet Equipment, Tomorrow’s Technician and MPN. But the vast majority of our brands still rely somewhat on the printed magazine to tell that story. That’s fine, we’re not opposed to that. That’s a good thing for us. We can then provide more solutions, but as the data reports tell us that this shift is going on, we’re going to be ready to continue that evolution.

Listen to the full audio interview here:

Melissa Kollar is the Social Media & Digital Audience Manager at Babcox Media

Melissa has a background in digital marketing, social strategy, and corporate communications. She is a graduate of Kent State University. Connect with Melissa on LinkedIn or via email.

Contact Melissa at [email protected]

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