A comprehensive redesign of the newspaper, combined with better print-online alignment, enhances the Journal's appeal as the top buy for b2b marketers.The Royal Bank of Scotland's "Make It Happen" branding campaign provides a window into how b2b advertising is morphing for The Wall Street Journal and WSJ.com.
The campaign, created by Dow Jones Integrated Solutions, debuted in early April. It features online video interviews with prominent business executives who have appeared in the Journal, along with print ads to drive traffic to a special RBS mini-site. The advertising program, which runs through the end of the year, also includes Dow Jones' Barron's and Barron's Online.
Dow Jones is aiming to create more integrated advertising campaigns that can offer b2b advertisers access to Dow Jones' total audience of 14 million people worldwide, said L. Gordon Crovitz, exec VP at Dow Jones & Co. and publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
"We have a number of campaigns where advertisers use the print medium for what it does best: very powerful display advertising to support brands and inform readers about products, and within the same campaign online advertising to support the brand but to build a deeper relationship with readers," Crovitz said.
"The b2b companies that are among the most innovative and creative are finding they can use print and online to deepen the value of some of their attributes that may have been dormant for a long time."
In an increasingly fragmented media environment, The Wall Street Journal and WSJ.com arguably provide the biggest bang for marketers' bucks, as they attract top decision-makers from most every business sector.
"The [Journal's] audience is the most viable sales tool" for b2b marketers, said Steve Pacheco, director of advertising for FedEx. "It still delivers en masse an influential audience, which is not as easy to get these days."
Dow Jones has made several changes in the last 18 months in an effort to reduce its reliance on print revenue. The goal is to have print revenue account for 50% of overall revenue by 2010, compared with 60% this year.
Foremost among the changes: a comprehensive redesign of the Journal that was unveiled Jan. 2. As part of the revamp, the width of the newspaper was trimmed by one column. Editorial changes include more emphasis on analysis as opposed to just "what happened."
The Journal began selling ad space on the front page of its various news sections last year and, starting in 2009, will expand the number of color pages for advertisers.
The redesign is just one element in Dow Jones' efforts to craft more integrated buys. Other tools include The Wall Street Journal Office Network, which was introduced last summer and delivers market indexes, weather and news from the Journal on flat-panel LCD screens in the lobbies of office buildings nationwide. There's also a BlackBerry edition of the Journal.
Dow Jones' acquisition last December of the portion of Factiva it didn't already own was another move to prepare Dow Jones for an increasingly digital age. Crovitz said the company will create events and databases to help its advertisers reach Factiva's 1.6 million global users.
The Factiva acquisition is expected to raise Dow Jones' annual b2b revenue to $700 million from $400 million.
In the first quarter of this year, Dow Jones reported net income of $20.5 million, up from $11.4 million in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose 18% to $507.2 million, from $430.1 million. Online ad revenue rose 30%.
Paid circulation for WSJ.com rose 20% in the period ended March 31 to 931,000, from 774,000 in the year-earlier period. And although print circulation for the Journal (1.7 million) has been relatively flat, Crovitz cited a 4.5% increase since September in individually paid circulation, which, he stressed, "is the true measure of reader engagement."
2007 MEDIA POWER 50
|No. 1 The Wall Street Journal||No. 2 Google||No. 3 Forbes.com|
|No. 4 The New York Times||No. 5. CNET Networks||No. 6. Meet the Press|
|No. 7 USA Today||No. 8 BusinessWeek||No. 9 ESPN 'SportsCenter'|
|No. 10 Yahoo!|
|Top Newspapers||Top Business Magazines||Top IT Magazines|
|Top Trades||Top Web Sites||Top Broadcast|