How AAM Brand View opened the door for ACBJ to start new conversations with clients.
American City Business Journals (ACBJ) is the largest publisher of metropolitan business newsweeklies in the U.S., with upwards of 40 business publications across the country reaching more than 3.6 million readers each week. For more than 30 years, ACBJ has helped business leaders in metropolitan areas make connections and gain a competitive edge by providing its readers in-depth coverage of local business communities and breaking news through print publications, websites, newsletters and events.
As an early adopter of AAM’s Consolidated Media Report (CMR), ACBJ has provided its media buying partners with verified cross-media data since 2012.
“Our revenue stream was diverse to begin with, so verifying our cross-media data just made sense,” said Rosheen O’Donovan, vice president of audience development for ACBJ. “The CMR allowed us to show advertisers the ways we were monetizing our audiences beyond our printed publications and to show how we were also reaching customers via our websites, newsletters and events.”
While the CMR proved to be a useful sales tool for ACBJ, the company wanted to take its cross-media promotion to the next level and help empower the teams supporting its 40 media brands across the U.S. in a more targeted, accessible way.
ACBJ took notice when AAM introduced Brand View, a new interface that helps publishers showcase all of their verified media offerings within AAM’s Media Intelligence Center as well as with advertisers outside of AAM. Brand View gave ACBJ the perfect opportunity to transition from the CMR.
Brand View still provides that holistic picture, showing advertisers that we have newsletters, events and websites, but it also gives us an opportunity to show other information about our brand,” O’Donovan said.
ACBJ recently published more than 40 Brand View profiles, all backed with credible AAM data, to capture the interest of both regional and national media buyers. But more importantly, the profiles give ACBJ’s sales and marketing teams the information they need to feel confident in their conversations with clients.
In total the team created 41 profiles, including a corporate profile that shows ACBJ’s entire audience for its AAM-verified titles. Check out ACBJ’s corporate Brand View profile.
“It’s great to have the one-stop resource for our account executives across the country to be able to access these numbers at any time and have complete confidence that they’re updated and credible when presenting them to their clients,” O’Donovan said.
The ACBJ corporate team took care in making sure that each of its media brands were uniquely represented in their individual Brand View profiles, while carrying the overall ACBJ brand.
"With 40 different products, we wanted to make sure that we were using the Brand View platform to reach our local and national advertisers,” said Heather Bailey, director of product marketing at ACBJ. “We first provided our regional directors with a good baseline profile template. Then we decided together on what exactly to include in the Brand View profiles and gathered the assets—text, images and graphics—for each one. While it was important for each of our markets to be seen differently, we are all part of the same company.”
How ACBJ Created More Than 40 Brand View Profiles
1. Collaboration: ACBJ collaborated with its regional and national teams to figure out the right way to speak to each market in a clear and cohesive way.
2. Communication: The ACBJ team held an internal webinar to introduce the Brand View platform to its sales and marketing staff.
3. Education: The team also passed along the right user materials and unique profile links to their various ad sales teams so they could master the platform.
Once the team set up and published the profile templates, ACBJ’s print and digital data started to automatically flow into each Brand View profile in a hands-off fashion.
“All of the circulation data that our fulfillment team files with AAM every six months is synced directly with our Brand View profiles,” O’Donovan said.
ACBJ also uses AAM Site Certifier to verify their website analytics. Once AAM Site Certifier verifies the company’s website analytics, the data is seamlessly uploaded into Brand View.
“The process of verifying our web analytics used to be kind of an owner’s process, requiring our team to send reports to AAM every six months,” O’Donovan added. “Now it’s much easier. The timeliness of the data verified by AAM Site Certifier is important to us, too. With Site Certifier verified numbers are fed into our profile each month with no extra effort on our part.”
Brand View has also opened the door for new conversations particularly with ACBJ’s regional advertisers.
“Brand View is helping us have deeper conversations with some of our traditional print advertisers,” O’Donovan explained. “We often deal with smaller local advertisers who are not as familiar with the digital side. With Brand View, they’re starting to explore other advertising opportunities and feel more comfortable with our other channels.”
O’Donovan also attributes Brand View’s responsive and shareable functionality to helping make these conversations possible.
“Having a link that that we can share with our advertisers, even if they are not an AAM client, has been extremely helpful,” O’Donovan said. “It makes our sales reps feel more comfortable when they send Brand View to clients because they don’t have to worry if the client has access to AAM’s database.
“Plus our profiles are really easy to access because they are responsive, which is helpful for our teams when they’re meeting with clients. The fact that our ad sales teams can quickly bring up a profile on either an iPad or a laptop, or quickly show a client on their phone is the best part about it. Not to mention each profile is nicely formatted and aesthetically pleasing.”
So what does O’Donovan have to say to other companies considering AAM Brand View?
“Get out there and get going on Brand View. Present it to your partners informally and ask for their opinion along the way. Just simply ask, ‘Hey this is something we’re working on. What do you think about it?’ That’s how I’ve been getting people to get excited about Brand View, so they see it more as an opportunity to help shape our story in a way that will help them too.”