Forbes Australia’s Ben Pellow on the brand’s growing success and its big plans for 2023

Forbes Australia - Ben Pellow

“The quality of partners we have brought on board in our first four months is unlike anything I have witnessed in my career”

Forbes Australia launched in September, and the publication has been making waves.
The publication brings a multi-faceted experience that includes a bi-monthly magazine, website, and curated online newsletters.
The publication has also recently announced its live event – the Forbes Australia Women’s Summit – which will take place on March 22 at the ICC, Darling Harbour, Sydney.
While it is non-stop for the Forbes Australia team, Mediaweek spoke with group sales director Ben Pellow about bringing the brand and its legacy down under, the upcoming Women’s Summit and the outlook for the year ahead.

Launching Forbes Australia and the key to its success

Since its launch, the response to Forbes Australia entering the market “has been nothing short of incredible,” according to Pellow.
“The quality of partners we have brought on board in our first four months is unlike anything I have witnessed in my career. NAB/JBWere, Rolex, Range Rover, Hublot, McLaren, Archie Rose, Amex, James Squire, King Living… the list goes on,” he said.
Pellow shared that while they only launched less than six months ago, he finds himself building their product offering to facilitate demand rather than trying to create demand for existing products.
“Any sales leader will tell you it’s an amazing position to be in, and it’s a testament to the hard work of all my colleagues at Forbes Australia.”
The key to the publication’s success in Down Under has been its focus on building its editorial team.
“I have had 200+ meetings over the past few months with agencies and brands, and the most common question centres around our editorial strategy.
“It’s evident the market has been burned in the past, with international publishers repurposing content and investing little in Australian-based journalism.
He noted that the publication has heavily invested in its editorial team under the leadership of its editor-in-chief, Sarah O’Carroll.
“And as such, the market has been able to see that and place a level of trust in us that can take other publishers years to build.”

Bringing Forbes and its international legacy to Australia

Many challenges can come with bringing a well know brand to a new market. Pellow noted that for Forbes, the key came to finding a balance between respect and vision.

“Respect for the history of a brand like Forbes, what it stands for globally and how this is executed in key regions. But you also need a clear vision of what that brand will stand for in this market, what’s your point of difference and what it will mean to an Aussie consumer,” he explained.

Pellow said that with those values in mind, he could build a sales team that shared the same visions and communicate it effectively to the market.

 “Lastly, you say goodbye to your family and friends and spend four months in cafes, pubs and restaurants with any media contact who will take a meeting!” he jokingly added.

Launching the inaugural Forbes Australia Women’s Summit 

Forbes Australia

Forbes Australia Women’s Summit 

Forbes Australia recently announced the launch of its inaugural Forbes Australia Women’s Summit, which will feature some of the country’s most innovative visionaries and leaders.
Among those speaking includes Australian model and entrepreneur Miranda Kerr, Diversity Council CEO Lisa Annese, Team Global Express Group CEO Christine Holgate, Google Australia and New Zealand VP and managing director Melanie Silva, Pinterest country manager Melinda Petrunoff, The Gaimaragal Group founder Susan Moylan-Coombs, and many more.
The new speakers announced include business executive, activist and author Wendy McCarthy AO, Melbourne Victory Afghan Women’s football team captain Fatima Yousufi, Indigenous Women In Mining & Resources Australia CEO Florence Drummond, Are Media CEO Jane Huxley, SBS’s director of Indigenous content Tanya Denning-Orman, PwC’s Private Business national leader Martina Crowley, and Frank Body and Willow & Blake co-founder Jess Hatzis.
The Summit is centred on the theme “The Power of Now” and will deliver inspiring conversations dedicated to unlocking new thinking, translating ideas into impact, and leveraging this time of change to build a successful, resilient and gender-balanced future.
Along with the stellar line-up of speakers, the event also has an impressive list of sponsors, such as NAB Private Wealth, PwC, McLaren and Stella Insurance.
Pellow noted that for the Forbes Australia Women’s Summit, ROI for sponsors would be more than just ticking a box.
“We have ensured our sponsorship opportunities for each event are limited to a handful of partners, category exclusive and integrated through print, digital, sponsored and organic content, as well as speaking and post-event networking opportunities,” he said.
See also:
Forbes Australia reveals newest lineup of speakers to join 2023 Women’s Summit
Pellow explained that with high demand for their events, they could be selective with their partners, ensuring they work with brands of high value to their attendees.
“NAB Private Wealth, PwC, Stella and McLaren all have unique stories to share with our female audience at the Forbes Australia Women’s Summit,” he said.
When asked about the commercial outcome he hopes to achieve for the event, Pellow said: “For me, commercial success will be achieved when our partners and attendees leave the summit feeling they got the best out of us and out of each other,” Pellow added.

What’s next for Forbes Australia in the year ahead

Looking forward to the rest of 2023, Pellow shared that Forbes Australia has an exciting year ahead.

“You will continue to see the evolution of the Forbes Australia offering, in particular, the commercialisation of our hard-to-reach high net worth audiences. Think private events, drive days, yacht parties, etc. – all the fun stuff that allows for deeper integration with our brand partners,” he said.

Pellow added that he is particularly excited about the upcoming events, with more summits, conferences, and bespoke events on the horizon.

“The Forbes Australia 30 Under 30 event is going to be a must-attend event that I feel will be a game changer for the Australian events scene… stay tuned,” he teased.

With all these plans in the works, Pellow shared that as a leader, he hopes to finish the year with a happy, healthy, and upskilled sales team.

As a team, he said that while their primary goal is to achieve sustainable revenue growth, it is equally important for them to surpass the expectations of our current client base.

“We recognise the commitment these brands have shown to us during our launch phase, and overdelivering in every aspect of their partnerships will be one of our key measures of success over the year ahead,” Pellow added.

Top image: Ben Pellow

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