Regardless of the fluctuations in the economy or ongoing changes in media technology, Forbes Media continues to surprise Rick Segal, president worldwide and chief practice officer of b2b ad agency gyro.
"What always strikes me about Forbes is almost every year they are delivering the "new, new thing' in business media," said Segal, whose clients include Adobe, American Express and John Deere.
Forbes Media certainly did not disappoint Segal in the past year.
Take AdVoice. The program, which rolled out late last year, allows marketers to pay to publish articles in Forbes or on Forbes.com, alongside content produced by Forbes' journalists and bloggers.
B2b advertisers such as Microsoft and SAP have signed on to participate in the program.
Segal calls it a "revolutionary" concept.
"It's much more than simple reader involvement," he said. "It's yet to be seen whether it's the new model, but it's the best new model available for business advertisers that want to leverage the power of distributed content."
AdVoice is just one element of a "content continuum and rolling "rearchitecture' " of the 94-year-old brand, said Mike Perlis, president-CEO of Forbes Media.
|No. 7 Forbes/Forbes.com
Phone: (212) 620-2200
Traffic: 18 million UMV†††
Ad revenue (print): $252.9 million*
Ad revenue (online): N/A
Ad rate (print): $129,270 for 1 page 4/C
Ad rate (online): $136 CPM
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For example, Forbes magazine last year introduced a major redesign, starting with the Forbes 400 issue in September, that featured new fonts and a fresher look. The print alterations have been accompanied by an ongoing redesign of Forbes.com. In addition to adding new social networking features, the website recently redesigned its home page and upgraded eight major channel pages, including Business, Lists and Technology.
"What we have is the ability to offer b2b advertisers a true multiplatform, branded, authoritative distribution around the Forbes name," Perlis said.
Forbes has also been aggressive in developing new apps for the iPad and smartphones, such as the Forbes Lists and the Forbes Investment Guide Plus, with other apps in the pipeline, Perlis said.
Despite all of the changes, Forbes is facing some challenges on the ad front. Through the first quarter, ad pages for Forbes magazine fell 9.9%, while ad revenue declined 4.4%, according to Publishers Information Bureau. Print circulation is holding steady at 900,000, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
In March, the number of monthly visitors to Forbes.com was 9.2 million, relatively unchanged from the same period last year, according to Compete.com.
Perlis said advertising is on the upswing for both the company's print and online properties. "The wind is behind us a little bit," he said. "I'm not suggesting it's gale force, but both ad pages and digital revenue are up for the second half of the year."
|Media Power 50: 2011|
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