Q&A with Stuart Sumner, Editorial Director at Incisive Media

Media 7 | May 20, 2021

Q&A with Stuart Sumner
Stuart Sumner, Editorial Director at Incisive Media, is an experienced journalist, editor, presenter and broadcaster with expertise across all enterprise technology areas. He has successfully lead and developed editorial teams, set editorial strategy, improved brand integrity and focus, developed audience numbers and engagement, and built communities of C-suite executives.

Without that audience understanding, brands will struggle to produce relevant content. There’s no substitute for knowing your audience.



MEDIA 7: Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself. What inspired you to pursue a career in writing?
STUART SUMNER:
I’ve always been interested in writing. As a child I filled exercise books with stories, later I wrote comedy for TV and radio. After a decade working in IT, I realized I wanted to turn my hobby into my profession – and managed to combine it with my experience of IT by becoming a journalist with Computing.

M7: What is your approach to branding your company, its products and services?
SS:
The key is to approach it from the audience’s perspective. What response are they likely to have to your brand, your message, your personality? What are their pain points, their needs? If you understand all of that you’ve got a good chance of success.


The best way to win the content war is to have better, more valuable, and more timely content than your competitors.You need to offer audiences a regular supply of high-quality, in-depth content which they can’t get elsewhere.



M7: How do you ensure that your content team understands the requirements and curates content in an engaging manner?
SS:
Again it comes down to understanding the audience. The best way to develop that understanding is to spend time with them and develop industry contacts. Ensuring the team is regularly interviewing the right people, and attending events (virtual or otherwise) is a good way to do that. As for writing engaging content, that’s harder to develop. Hopefully, if you’ve built your interview process properly you’ll already know something of their writing style, and that ability will come built-in. Otherwise, you’ve got a job on your hands!

M7: What channels do you think are the most relevant for Content Marketing? How do you gauge which ones are the most promising, given your target customers?
SS
: It’s important to understand what your channels are for. I see a lot of brands treating every channel as yet another opportunity to fling sales messaging in front of audiences, most of whom don’t want it. Content marketing works best when it’s entirely native and fits seamlessly with the brand’s other content. That means it needs to be every bit as colourful and interesting as the best editorial, and meet audience needs just as effectively. You can gauge effectiveness by measuring the usual things like engagement, bounce, etc. But there’s no replacement for having a steering committee of senior audience members who you can ask – what do they think of your content marketing and what works best for them.


It’s important to understand what your channels are for. Content marketing works best when it’s entirely native and fits seamlessly with the brand’s other content.



M7: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses worldwide. What has been Incisive Media’s strategy of survival during the tough time?
SS:
Incisive Media moved quickly at the start of the pandemic to move our face-to-face events online. We very rapidly developed a brand new style of a virtual event called ‘Deskflix’, a half-day, multi-sponsor event filled with panels, presentations, networking and even a quiz! The series generated £4.6m of revenue, had over 100 sponsors and served more than 100,000 delegates. We were lucky that we were already very well set up to put on virtual events, given our expertise with webinars, and our dedicated teams of events organizers – not to mention our wealth of excellent editorial presenters.

M7: How do you target content to your audience, and what are the challenges that you face while producing effective content?
SS:
Every brand today faces challenges to secure eyeballs online. Audiences have content thrown at them from every angle, and it can be hard for them to separate the wheat from the chaff. That’s why it’s more important than ever to build and safeguard trust with your audience. Once they start to see your content as trusted and view your site as a safe place away from misinformation and empty marketing, you’ll see improve engagement and lots of returning ‘super users’. You need to offer audiences a regular supply of high-quality, in-depth content which they can’t get elsewhere. Of course, that’s not easy to produce – and thank god for that, because that’s how we differentiate ourselves!

M7: What are your views on content shock? Is it a worrisome trend or a content marketing myth?
SS:
It’s a long-standing trend that will continue, and it’s what I’ve been talking about already in this interview. The way to win the content war is to have better, more valuable, and more timely content than your competitors. How do you do that? Proximity to your audience. If you really know them, including their sub-groups, niches and quirks, then you should understand what they want, how and when.

Computing is very lucky to have an experienced team who’ve worked with the technology sector for many years. We have long-standing ties to hundreds of senior technology leaders, and we speak to them all regularly. We believe we understand our audience better than anybody, and that gives us huge confidence, even in the face of rampant competition and ‘content shock’. Without that audience understanding, brands will struggle to produce relevant content. There’s no substitute for knowing your audience.

ABOUT INCISIVE MEDIA

Incisive Media is an award-winning business to business digital media and events business. It inspires, connects and informs through its market-leading brands. It is the APO digital publisher of the year 2010, 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2020.

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6sense Products Earn 129 Awards in Fall 2022 G2 Reports

6sense | September 26, 2022

6sense, the leading platform for B2B organizations generating predictable revenue, today announced that 6sense’s family of products were recognized for a total of 129 awards in the G2 Fall 2022 Reports. 6sense Revenue AI™ earned 67 top awards, receiving 49 Leader awards and was listed across 11 categories as a Leader for the fourth consecutive reporting period. Slintel and Saleswhale, both 6sense companies, earned 61 awards for this Fall G2 report, including 11 Leader and 22 High Performer awards. Slintel was ranked as a Leader or High Performer in seven categories. Saleswhale was also ranked as a High Performer in three categories that include Conversational Marketing, AI Sales Assistant, and Intelligent Virtual Assistants. The G2 Fall Grid Reports are calculated based on customer satisfaction and market presence within a product category. 6sense customers continue to validate the value of 6sense Revenue AI™ to capture anonymous buying signals, target the right accounts at precisely the right time, and boost revenue performance with recommendations for the channels and messages most likely to convert. “Our significant presence on these grids every quarter demonstrates how much we care about our clients’ success and why we prioritize providing a world-class success team for their go-to-market strategies,” said Sanjay Kini, 6sense’s Chief Customer Officer. “Our significant presence on these grids every quarter demonstrates how much we care about our clients’ success and why we prioritize providing a world-class success team for their go-to-market strategies,” said Sanjay Kini, 6sense’s Chief Customer Officer. “Big data and AI are essential for delivering results quarter after quarter, as predictability in revenue generation is more crucial than ever in these times.” The following are some of the highlights from verified customer feedback on the G2 platform: “6sense made our paid media targeting more efficient – 6sense has made our targeting on LinkedIn much more efficient. We are now able to target prospects throughout the funnel with confidence that the correct ad is being served to them.” “Valuable insights – I use this tool every day in my Business Development (sales) role. The platform delivers insights that help determine the best places to direct my cold outreach, and gives me confidence in doing so.” “Game Changer for our B2B SaaS Marketing/Sales Strategy – The platform is very easy to use and offers enough options to personalize intent to our target audience/accounts, even in a very niche market. Customer success team is also top-notch.” 6sense was listed as a Leader in 11 G2 Fall 2022 Grid categories: Account-Based Advertising Software Account-Based Analytics Software Account-Based Orchestration Platform Account Data Management Software Buyer Intent Data Tools Lead Scoring Software Lead Intelligence Software Market Intelligence Software Marketing Account Intelligence Software Marketing Analytics Software Sales Intelligence Software Slintel, a 6sense company, was listed as a Leader or High Performer in seven Fall 2022 Grid categories: Lead Scoring Software Lead Intelligence Software Market Intelligence Software Buyer Intent Data Tools Sales Intelligence Software Lead Capture Competitive Intelligence Saleswhale, a 6sense company, was listed as a High Performer in three Fall 2022 Grid categories: Conversational Marketing AI Sales Assistant Intelligent Virtual Assistants G2 is a peer-to-peer business solutions review platform. Within each category, products are ranked by customer satisfaction and market presence and placed into one of four categories on the G2 Grid. Products in the Leader quadrant are rated highly by G2 users and have substantial market presence scores. About 6sense 6sense reinvents the way organizations create, manage, and convert pipeline to revenue. 6sense Revenue AI™ captures anonymous buying signals, targets the right accounts at the ideal time, and recommends the channels and messages to boost revenue performance. Removing guesswork, friction, and wasted sales effort, 6sense empowers sales, marketing, and customer success teams to significantly improve pipeline quality, accelerate sales velocity, increase conversion rates, and grow revenue predictably. 6sense has been recognized for its market-defining technology by Forbes Cloud 100, Gartner, and Forrester, and for its strong culture by Glassdoor, Inc. Magazine, and Comparably. For more information, visit 6sense or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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