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Best Practices Q&A

McKinney: Blending the ‘tried and true’ with the ‘cool and new’

Mike McKinney is founder and president of comHAUS, a digital marketing agency designed to wed B2B marketers specific communication needs with the most appropriate media channels and vendors to help get those messages out. McKinney, former president of BMA Colorado [2003-2004], spoke with BMA Buzz about how his company helps B2B marketers and advertisers morph their communications efforts into "messaging engines."

BMA Buzz: What is comHAUS' business model and where does it fit in within the B2B marketing wheelhouse when it comes to virtual education?

McKinney: comHAUS is a vendor independent, technology independent, media independent agency.  We help marketers and event/education providers leverage emerging broadcast and eLearning technologies to grow revenues and reduce cost.

The way the model manifests varies a lot.  We do a lot of things and we're pretty flexible.  Our webinar and webcast clients mostly utilize a SaaS model.  Most of our eLearning clients are under revenue share agreements.  For production, broadcast and development services we offer fee-for-service billing.  We also provide software licensing and pure consulting for those who want to do it all themselves.

This is not price discrimination; it's true customer focus.  Every client has a culture for how they prefer to adopt technological and process change.  Some want to own it all, some want to outsource it all; some want to pay upfront and some want to pay as they go.  Other clients want a partner who'll share in the risk long term; others want vendors to come when called and leave when dismissed.

BMA Buzz: What's the marketing ROI for your services and how do you wed your services to other marketing channels?

McKinney: ROI is a function of a lot of things.  Our objective with paid content providers is to grow their event revenues 300%-500% by integrating virtual and OnDemand content delivery.

Regarding integration, our entire model is built around the evolution of media—and integration of the tried and true with the cool and new. What started as fax evolved into email, voice, text, rich media—and is now moving to social media, community and thought leadership.  Both our webcast and email marketing technologies integrate social media and real-time collaboration.

Much of our development right now is tied to video, mobile and HTML5.  Our experience with many different media and delivery tools positions us very well, as content marketing, thought leadership and interactivity eclipse the traditional one-to-many promotional mix and early online advertising strategies.

BMA Buzz: How do your services help B2B marketers who need to better leverage their events portfolios?

McKinney: comHAUS offers an entire suite of tools designed to streamline and automate event communications.  We begin with the core communication needs—marketing, registration, confirmation, delivery of materials, delivery of the event/content, then tracking and validation, evaluation and certification and closed loop feedback, followed by future marketing and growth of the event.

We overlay the clients internal capabilities onto this, creating a roadmap for integration of audio, video, rich media, social media [and other marketing channels] The end result is a custom tailored process that maximizes attendance, streamlines client operations and delivers the message in the best way possible, as defined by the client.

Our special skill is helping clients identify cool ways emerging communication technologies can help them build a better mousetrap—developing streamlined, efficient processes to get the job done efficiently and effectively—and providing ongoing service, development and tweaking to make sure the solution flows smoothly.

Mike McKinney can be reached at

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