Story posted: January 4, 2011 – 2:58 pm EDT
The term software-as-a-service (SaaS) applies to software developed, hosted and supported by a vendor, and accessed over the Web. SaaS customers, therefore, don’t have to invest in hardware, software development, servers or personnel.
At UBM TechWeb, the former marketing services organization has been restructured and expanded to deliver marketing-as-a-service (MaaS). These end-to-end marketing services—encompassing both technology and the accompanying professional services—allow marketers to take advantage of TechWeb’s expertise, infrastructure and people, rather than making those investments themselves.
“We believe there has been a progression within media and business information companies from custom media to marketing services to marketing-as-a-service,” said Scott Vaughn, who was elevated from VP-marketing services to CMO in the reorganization.
“Marketers aren’t typically hiring more people; they are partnering with companies like UBM TechWeb for long-term engagements where the content, the platform, the branding, the analytics and the consulting are all delivered as-a-service,” he added. “A deeper level of client service is required to fulfill these programs, and new types of service agreements come with them.”
Customers can pay for an entire program, following a traditional media model, or they can be charged fees for the services they use, Vaughn said.
The MaaS group is building an expanded portfolio of offerings that includes social media program implementation, development of applications for mobile devices, creation of on-demand digital publishing products and a broad suite of marketing analytics products and services.
Anthony S. Adams, who has been TechWeb’s CTO, is heading the MaaS group as CTO and senior VP-marketing services, product strategy and delivery. He oversees a team of more than 50 marketing professionals.
“We’re redefining how we deploy our marketing expertise, utilize technology and configure customized marketing products and programs,” Adams said. “We’re engaging the audience on behalf of a [client’s] brand over a period of time and really managing the life cycle of that audience.”
Most customers are looking to generate leads as one outcome of their media programs. “We have traditional lead-origination programs, but we can now create a lead-nurturing environment,” Adams said. “As we get into these longer-term programs, we’ll be getting more targeted, highly qualified, granular leads, and the client company will have to do less work to convert that lead to a sale—which raises the value of the lead.”
Although the marketing services department previously shared many services with other TechWeb units, “there are very few shared services in this new organization,” Adams said. “We have very specialized needs, so we are creating a purpose-built infrastructure that includes technology, people, processes and platforms.”
In addition to serving marketers, the MaaS unit will help develop new products for TechWeb’s brands, which include Black Hat, InformationWeek, Interop, Light Reading and Pyramid Research. “Because we look across all the brands at TechWeb, we’re able to see product gaps we can fill, and we will go to the brands with ideas,” Adams said. “In some cases, the brands will come to us. With all of us looking at our portfolio from different perspectives, we will drive product development and stay on the cutting edge.”