60 Seconds with Anthea Stratigos, CEO at Outsell

anthea_stratigos_largeThis week, "60 Seconds with..." highlights Anthea Stratigos, co-founder and CEO of Outsell, the only research and advisory firm focused on the publishing, information, and education industries. Anthea Stratigos co-founded Outsell, Inc. with Greg Chagaris, creating the leading research and advisory firm focused exclusively on the information and publishing industry. She established the company's research agenda and served as the firm's first chief analyst. As CEO, she draws upon her deep experience in research and analytic businesses to drive product development, operations, marketing, and general management to lead all facets of the organization. 60SecondsWith

What are the key marketing problems keeping publishers and information providers up at night? There are several problems but the biggest and those that come first to mind are threefold:  publishers that are ad dependent are finding the notion of ‘ads’ becoming quaint, dare I say obsolete. These days anyone can go direct to anyone and publishers are being disintermediated by companies investments in their own web sites. They’re moving marketing dollars there and this reallocation is coming straight out of ad budgets. The second is proliferation and commoditization of content forcing publishers and information providers to deliver new and better value-added services to stay ahead of the curve and prop up the value proposition for their advertising/marketing services or for their paid content depending on their business model.  Last, the industry overall is just pretty bad at marketing and the needed skillsets in product management especially aren’t where they need to be for the onslaught that’s occurring.  I’m pretty passionate about where the money is going and marketing (or lack thereof) in this industry and my blog is focused on this topic. Visit Anthea's blog >>

Outsell’s most recent annual marketing study predicts that $65 billion will be siphoned away from traditional advertising and spent instead on companies’ own Websites and internet marketing. What role does Outsell see for Word of Mouth and social media marketing in this shift? This is clearly one of the areas firms are investing in as they move money to their sites. They are investing in social software platforms, user generated content and new content, analytics, all the ‘stuff’ that makes their own sites sing. Word of Mouth is an important part of this movement and I think it’s just catching on as an important notion. People have been talking about it but I don’t’ think firms really capitalizing on it which is where I think Zuberance and related firms will play a key role.

Can you give us an example of a company that is doing a good job of engaging and energizing customers in the information industry? Hmmmm... Clearly LinkedIn is doing a great job building community for professionals and putting legitimate business models and new services around that network.  Nature Publishing, an over 100 year old publishing brand has done an amazing jobs with scientists.  For years financial professionals have begun a job insisting on having their own Bloomberg terminal as a sign of status.  Dwell Magazine is doing a great job too. There are examples but in general people don’t get as passionate about information as say their products from apple or American Outfitter or Porsche. It’s just different.

What brands and products do you advocate to your friends and colleagues? I’m a fanatic about Charles DeLisle in San Francisco and Susan Ciminelli in NY, and Redd my favourite restaurant in the entire region (based in the Napa Valley) I love Apple, and though I use none of their products I’m a huge fan of what they’ve accomplished.  I like Hotel Sofitel. I tend to get less attached to global brands and more attached to people or small businesses.