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CEO Tony Uphoff reviews the pivotal year at Business.com, and the innovation in B2B marketing that’s shaping the future of B2B media.

At the start of a new year, there is a distinct feeling of both professional and personal optimism, coupled with renewed dedication to our pursuits. We also take time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t in the past year, and refine strategies, priorities and goals. To say that Business.com had a pivotal 2014 would be an understatement; we completely rebuilt our business from the ground up with the goal of revolutionizing B2B Media.

 

Our planning led us to several key conclusions in 2014. First, while B2B marketing is a huge market with more than $50B spent annually, it is also highly fragmented. This fragmentation has created significant complexity for B2B marketers and existing business-focused digital media sites have struggled to strike the right balance of a strong and recurring value for readers while delivering high quality engagement at scale for their advertisers. We felt it was time to solve these issues for business decision makers and marketers alike.

To accomplish this, we rebuilt Business.com on the foundation of our own data platforms, proprietary content & advertising system and lead verification systems. We also dramatically expanded the high-quality content we provide to become a daily habit for executives in growth companies by providing them with the knowledge, products and services they need to run and grow their businesses.

MediaPace Article featuring Business.com MediaPace featuring the new Business.com

The topic of native advertising gets a lot of attention these days. We believe that business decision makers have always been interested in knowledge in the form of content AND information on products and services. They want it, however, in a format that provides natural context. We built our systems to harness the power of intention-based data to provide the right products and services to the right person at the right time.

Business.com tablet page

In doing this, both our advertisers and our audience are served context along with content providing more value than ever before. In addition, we accelerated our lead matching and verification with Neustar and Trusted Form to ensure our advertisers are receiving the highest quality leads in the shortest amount of time. We also launched a new lead nurturing programs (LENS) and email marketing products to help our advertisers reach, engage and sell to our lucrative business audience.

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Our engineering team custom built everything on the new Business.com, a feat in itself that should not go without praise. The responsive interface is meant to provide a seamless experience for our readers, regardless of the device. Similarly, we launched responsive email newsletters to serve the large percentage of our audience that reads their email on their mobile devices.

Business.com Mobile Email

We set out to add exponential value for our audience and advertisers with our new platform and site, but the content is the true star that keeps the engine running. Everyday, we produce fresh, multimedia content that becomes actionable information that the millions of business executives who rely on Business.com can put to immediate use.

We have been thrilled to see that our efforts were met with accelerated engagement with our audiences as well as with kudos and recommendations from the media and key analysts such as Inc.com, Time, MarketingProfs and Outsell.

Business.com is one Time Magazine's best Pinterest accounts

We even showed up in Times Square!

BDC Times Square

Last, but certainly not least is our PEOPLE. We had very lofty goals in 2014 that required our team to really focus, and for a growth company, that can be hard. Our people turned these ambitious goals into reality by working harder and smarter as a team based on our cultural pillars and company truths. This doesn’t mean we didn’t have a little time for foosball and it definitely doesn’t mean we skipped our weekly happy hours. We were also named one of the best places to work by the San Diego Business Journal for the third consecutive year.

Source: A photo posted by Business.com (@businessdotcom) on Aug 8, 2014 at 4:39pm PDT

In 2015, we’re dedicating ourselves to accelerating our innovation with our platforms and products in order to continue to better serve our advertisers and customers. You’ll see an expansion for our Market Expert program so we can continue to bring thought-provoking, actionable content that’s aimed at helping you grow your business. You will see an expanded series of native advertising and sponsored content ad product offerings to help our advertisers tell their stories in ways that resonate with our audience.

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Here’s hoping your 2015 is off to a great start for you and your business. We wish you a year of innovation, success and fun. Happy New Year!

Tony Uphoff

Tony Uphoff, is CEO of Business.com. A uniquely accomplished operating executive with an unparalleled track record of building, growing and transforming media and marketing businesses, Uphoff has been a leader in business innovation and transformation for the last 20 years.

Prior to Business.com, Uphoff served as CEO of UBM TechWeb where he led the transformation of a declining print-centric business into a fast-growing digital media, live event and marketing services powerhouse. He was President of VNU Media’s Entertainment Group and Publisher of The Hollywood Reporter, building out and expanding the brands via digital media and live events. Uphoff served as Publisher of InformationWeek in the mid-90’s, growing the brand into the largest in the history of B2B media. Uphoff also served in several key management positions at Ziff-Davis during the company’s rapid growth in the early 1990’s.

Uphoff has been named “Folio Forty C-Level Visionary” by Folio Magazine, “Top Media Innovator” by Mins B2B and is regularly named in the Top 100 business media execs by B2B Magazine. Uphoff is acknowledged as an industry expert on media, marketing and technology and is a regular speaker at industry conferences and leading business schools. Uphoff serves on the boards of NTN Buzztime, the HIMSS Media Group and as a Trustee of Linfield College. He also serves as a Business Mentor at Mucker Labs Accelerator and on the advisory boards of the data company Connotate and the programmatic radio ad platform company Jelli. In addition to serving as a Market Expert on Business.com, Uphoff also writes about Media, Marketing and Technology trends on his blog Uphoff On Media.



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