BusinessWeek, which made its debut in 1929, has adapted to changing times with a redesign of its print edition, the addition of more Web 2.0 features on its Web site and the merging of its digital and print editorial operations to improve efficiencies.
These changes have come in response to evolving media consumption habits among business executives as they switch to more digital while recognizing the importance that print still has in the marketing mix.
"Print is still an incredibly effective way to reach business decision-makers, investors and CEOs—a very elusive audience that is hard to target," said Keith Fox, president of BusinessWeek. "They are paying for our content. They are interacting with us, and print still plays a very important role in being able to target our audience."
Engaging the reader with simplified information was one of the objectives of BusinessWeek's redesign in October, which overhauled the look and feel of the magazine by adding more news summaries, easier navigation and Web-inspired features such as a Links section that aggregates content from different sources.
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Since the redesign, newsstand sales are up 9.3%, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, and readership is now at 4.9 million weekly, the highest number in nearly a decade, Fox said.
"The print property of BusinessWeek is making strides to adapt to the new consumption behaviors, including its redesign that is focused more on reader usability," said Jon Schaaf, VP-media at HSR Business to Business, Cincinnati.
However, like other print publications, BusinessWeek faces challenges as the economy slumps. Ad pages in BusinessWeek in the first quarter fell 19.4% against the same quarter last year, while ad revenue for the print publication fell 15.5%, according to Publishers Information Bureau.
To combat this decline, BusinessWeek is focusing on providing integrated packages to advertisers across print, online, events and television.
"It is a tough economy, and marketers are having to make tougher decisions about where they advertise," Fox said. "Our objective is to provide advertisers with integrated packages that engage viewers and create impact."
For example, BusinessWeek created an integrated program for Comcast to promote its suite of business products to the small-business market. It created a five-part advertorial series authored by small-business experts that ran in BusinessWeek SmallBiz and online. In addition, BusinessWeek created a microsite for Comcast with expanded content such as live streaming audio interviews and expert commentary on issues facing small businesses.
BusinessWeek is also adding more Web 2.0 features to its Web site, such as letting readers connect with people and businesses featured in stories through a partnership with LinkedIn.
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