This year’s AIP sales and marketing meeting was held Tuesday–Thursday, September 20–22, at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel. Participants included representatives from AIP management, Inside Science, Physics Today marketing and sales, GradSchoolShopper, AIP Business Development, and AIP Publishing (AIPP) journal sales and business operations.
Advertising revenue is crucial for AIP journals and Physics Today (PT) magazine. In addition to full-time AIP employees involved in sales and marketing, outside sales and marketing staff are contracted to sell advertising products of all types, including print and website ads, alerts/newsletters, and journal article downloads.
The annual meeting provides an opportunity for all the participants to discuss sales techniques and strategies and attend educational workshops in a setting that inspires creativity, a broad exchange of ideas, and camaraderie.
Tuesday started off with a reception and dinner for attendees. On Wednesday morning, AIP CEO Robert Brown delivered the welcoming remarks, and Cathy O’Riordan, AIP’s COO, provided a brief update of AIP programs.
In the first business session, AIP director of marketing Jeff Bebee discussed how the Member Societies fit within the AIP federation, ways to better market the societies’ existing products, and the benefits of partnering with Physics Today for both AIP Member Societies and their members. His talk included background information on PT’s print circulation efforts and how PT maintains its advertising rates and its circulation of at least 120,000 readers in over 140 countries.
PT marketing manager Christina Unger Ramos’s sessions included advertising highlights from the past year, such as the more than 200,000 journal article downloads per week experienced by AIPP journals; an extensive review of all 2016 marketing efforts to current and prospective customers; and a preview of new and ongoing advertising and marketing campaigns for 2017, such as product spotlights, the Added Value newsletter, and email blasts. There was also a Q&A on the continual challenges the advertising sales reps face in selling AIP products. Christina previewed the design of the 2017 media kit and solicited feedback to incorporate into the final version.
Physics Today Online’s (PTOL’s) website strategist Paul Guinnessy and online editor Andrew Grant gave a presentation describing the most popular website content, degree of social media engagement, and ways PT could enhance its online presence. Paul also brought the group up to date regarding changes to PTOL, such as the website’s new look for 2017, its transition to the new web publishing platform, and its newly introduced mobile app.
Regarding sales and marketing efforts, Brian Hines of IMS presented E-Basket’s new features, and Tom Bellen of Aysling discussed those for MagHub. These products are a valuable resource and assist the sales reps in putting together individual marketing plans for clients.
In addition to all the work that was accomplished at the meeting, there was still time available for the group to fit in a few leisure activities. Some participants visited the hotel’s spa or took a short ride into our nation’s capital, but most took advantage of the beautiful and serene surroundings of National Harbor.
The event, which is a necessary tool in AIP’s sales and marketing arsenal to maintain and increase over $3 million in advertising revenue for AIP, was much appreciated by the participants, as evidenced by all the positive feedback.