Neil Thackray’s Business Media Blog

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A Green Field Opportunity for Business Media

Paul Conley has a wise take on the current health of business media.  He was also one of the first to argue that the old model is in trouble.  Although he remains concerned that the debt laden media companies are unlikely to survive in their current form, he is begining to feel more optimisitc about the future.

What is clear to me is that there are no signs yet of a recovery in print advertsing.  For most of the traditional media companies the ugly truth is that any growth in online revenues is dwarfed by the deterioration of offline revenues.  Recruitment advertising markets will remain weak until GDP grwoth reaches 2% – and that is at least 18 months away.  Display advertising is never going to return to pre recession levels.  Online advertising remains a small business for most publishers.  The challenge remains to develop new model strategies for growth. 

The start point for this is to restate the purpose of the business.  We have to stop thinking like magazine publishers or conference organisers or trade show managers or even web site publishers.  Business media is about three things;

– Helping business decision makers to take better decisions

– Helping vendors to sell products and services to business decision makers

– Facilitating liquidity in recruitment.

That’s it.  There isn’t anything else.  If you started with a green field and wanted to build a business that delivered against these aims the reuslting enterprise would look very different from the traditional model.  We would develop a range of products that enable some or all of six deliverables;

1) Right information at right time for users

2) Advertising and marketing solutions

3) Research and discovery

4) Networking

5) Product demonstration and marketing

6) Learning and professional development

Although magazines and community websites and trade shows could be part of the mix, they would not be what drove us.  I plan to come back to these six themes and discuss what product options could be open to the new age business media company.

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May 1, 2009 - Posted by | business media strategy |

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