CASE HISTORIES:
How Akel & Associates Enables Media Brands To Stand Apart

  • Business & Health (Medical Economics Co.)
  • Farm Journal Media
  • InfoWorld Media Group (IDG)
  • Elsevier (Paid Online Information)
  • Industrial Equipment News (Thomas Publishing)

     (Please scroll down for each.)

1. Business & Health (Medical Economics Company)
  • Situation: Traditional health "benefits" media reached "benefits managers" at corporations.  Business & Health reached an expanded mixture of corporate/benefits/medical and other functions at corporations, HMOs, unions and others.
  • Approach: Show marketers (insurance and drug companies) that the old "benefits" market with its "straight-line" purchasing process no longer existed ... that it was now the "managed care" market requiring a much more complex sales effort, with buyers working as "strategic partners."
  • Positioning: Show how only Business & Health offered the market coverage that helped vendors make contact with all influences in the changed market  -- "Connecting You With Today's Strategic Partnerships."
  • Contributions Of Akel & Associates: Developed market position; conducted research to document the concepts; created presentation and direct mail series, trained the sales team.
  • Results: Ad pages increased from 5 to 40 pages/mo. + custom media projects.

2. Farm Journal Media
  • Situation: Farm Journal Media, a producer of print, online, broadcast and other media, sought to position itself and its individual properties in a more meaningful way to the industry's suppliers.
  • Approach: Remind suppliers of the many issues they face in growing sales in a rapidly changing market.  Cause them to rethink the media brands they've traditionally used. 
  • Positioning: Demonstrate how Farm Journal Media offered more than high quality editorial products -- that each  brand was deliberately structured to help suppliers overcome the problems in selling to vertical sectors of the ag market -- "Strategic Solutions For Today's Agriculture."
  • Contributions Of Akel & Associates: Developed market position; created corporate brochure, direct mail series, advertising campaign.
  • Client's Comment: "Marty -- we haven't used any consulting in recent years, but it was time and the decision was VERY easy deciding who to work with.  You're a big part of our beginning to win."  (President/CEO)

3. InfoWorld Media Group (IDG)
  • Situation: The sales story for InfoWorld, a major media brand in enterprise computing, was focused far more on its editorial contents than on how the brand helped vendors sell more products.
  • Approach: Conduct research to demonstrate that buyers were much more skeptical of hi tech vendors. Demonstrate that InfoWorld, with its independent testing labs and independent reporting, was now attracting those who were their firm's "brand builders and brand burners."
  • Positioning: Position InfoWorld's print and online media as enabling vendors to "Target IT's Gatekeepers: Today's Brand Builders & Brand Burners."
  • Contributions Of Akel & Associates: Developed market position; conducted multiple research projects; created sales presentations; trained the sales team.
  • Client's Comment: "We are getting a tremendous reception in the market because of the research.  The study has played a major role in RFPs and in general presentations as well."  "Truth be told - this was the genesis of our brand's revival.  I personally got more legs out of that positioning than any other single piece of research in my career."  (VP Sales; and, Advertising Director)

4. Elsevier (Paid Online Information)
  • Situation: Elsevier is the world's leader in selling online scientific and engineering information to researchers in the corporate market.  However, the sales story was self-focused on its products, not on the impact which access to the information was generating.
  • Approach: Become much more aggressive in demonstrating the researcher's need to avoid reinventing the wheel in the scientific process -- that access to information from their peers acted as stepping stones to innovating and bringing new products to market.
  • Positioning: Position online information tools (and Elsevier's tools specifically) as being extremely accountable for the required investment.  Prove and promote the correlation between having access to the information and achieving research success. 
  • Contributions Of Akel & Associates: Developed the marketing concepts.  Conducted the annual research.  Created presentations, sales brochures, direct mail campaigns, trained the sales force, presented to Elsevier's customers.
  • Client's Comment: "Everyone was very pleased with the study. They feel it will be a powerful sales tool. 

I presented it to a group of corporate customers in Europe on Friday - it went over very well."  "We are of course very pleased with the work."  (VP Corp. Sales, Americas; and, Director, Corp. Markets, Marketing)









5. Industrial Equipment News (Thomas Publishing)
  • Situation: IEN, a product news publication, competes with a brand that also reports on product news.  The objective -- separate IEN from its competitor in the minds of the advertising community.
  • Approach: Expand on the (unproven) premise that IEN had always reached more senior decision makers.  Conduct research demonstrating that its audience, both in print and online, were the most powerful people in their organizations regarding industrial purchasing decisions.
  • Positioning: Position IEN as the brand enabling vendors to "Target Manufacturing's Prime Movers."  Plus -- demonstrate that during a recession, IEN continued to attract professionals prepared to invest in new technology.
  • Contributions Of Akel & Associates: Developed the market position.  Conducted two major research projects.  Created the core sales presentation.  Trained the sales force.
  • Client's Comment: "The sales staff was very excited with the presentation.  Even our skeptic rep was happy with the research.  He said, 'This is something I can use.'  That is about as excited as he gets." (Publisher)
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