Q&A: CEO Gemma Postlethwaite on SourceMedia’s Evolution, Relaunch as Arizent
Last week, business information company SourceMedia announced its relaunch under the new name Arizent. The move reflects a new direction for the company, which is looking beyond its roots as a traditional B2B news provider to become a leader and educator for the financial communities it serves.
“Our new name evokes the idea of rising up, which is central to our mission of advancing professional communities,” says Gemma Postlethwaite, CEO of Arizent. “It highlights our new role providing the transformative ideas, powerful connections, and provocative research that helps professionals be leaders and drive their companies forward.”
In alignment with its new mission, Arizent is developing a membership-based peer network called Arizent Leaders that will “offer members access to exclusive content and research, as the group collectively advances a common goal, like greater gender diversity,” according to a Jan. 23 article from business information association Connectiv. The company is also investing further in its research division, announcing a new VP of research just days after the Arizent rebrand.
In the Q&A below, Postlethwaite addresses motivations behind the relaunch, how it will impact overarching business objectives, and what growth opportunities she’s eyeing for Arizent in the future.
Why did you decide to rebrand SourceMedia?
We’ve been working on the relaunch for about a year. Our goal is to clearly express our value proposition to our various constituents. This will help them to understand our mission of advancing professional communities.
We want to evolve beyond the role of a traditional publisher and media company and leverage our editorial and event brands to become an industry leader – providing the financial industry community a way to connect as professionals, as well as partners, around the most important ideas driving their businesses.
We recognize that most traditional B2B media companies no longer meet their needs. There is a lot of financial services information available online, but there is increasingly less journalistic integrity online and in the live event channel. In addition, news alone will not help companies and professionals to advance in a rapidly-changing environment. They also need education, data, and peer support to lead them forward.
At the same time, we recognize that traditional B2B media models are not meeting the evolving needs of companies marketing products and services to our audiences. Traditional advertising has become commoditized and intrusive to the learning experience of audiences. Allowing brands to play a more significant role in educating, supporting, and even honoring professionals, has significantly improved the outcomes for our brand partners.
Finally, as we launch Arizent Leaders, our cross-vertical network for gender inclusion, we need a strong parent brand to represent this effort. Our legacy name was appropriate for media, but did not capture the idea of advancing careers, businesses and our industries.
Have the company’s business objectives reoriented with the rebrand?
We’ve shifted gears. We now have an integrated approach to each of the communities we serve; we can provide more value to our audiences across various channels. For example, our event channels will bring our award-winning journalism to life, while the experiential moments from events will be brought to life in editorial.
Critical research will underpin this content and measure the rapid transformation happening in our industry. This enhanced offering and expanded team will also manage our long-established benchmark programs that celebrate leaders, businesses, and rising stars within our communities, as well as design new programs.
What are Arizent’s top priorities over the next 6-12 months?
Right now, we are focused on delivering on our new mission by adding new value to our community members. This will include a more integrated relationship between editorial content and our live event channels in order to create a wider and long-lasting effect. Our content strategy across the business will be more aligned with the transformational ideas that our customers need to understand and analyze every day. Also, we continue to create more meaningful connections between business leaders and marketing leaders through more educational content and toolkits that can help move professional communities forward.
Looking further out, what growth opportunities do you see for Arizent?
As we continue to tackle the issues that face the financial and professional industries, we can offer programs that will take a more active role in advancing leaders. Our new executive peer network, Arizent Leaders, presents an opportunity to work with very influential members of the business community to align their companies with our mission and create tangible outcomes. For example, ESG and gender equality are major focuses this year and we see that driving more engagement across all of our brands and across everything we offer. Over the long term, we expect that other thematic focus areas will coalesce into tightly-knit communities, where our members will rally around solving for these challenges. This is a very different model than segmenting the b2b marketplace into industry news brands, as it was done in the past.
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Leah Wynalek is the senior editor for Publishing Executive and Book Business. She has worked at national magazine publishing companies including Trusted Media Brands and Rodale, where she assisted in digital content creation and strategy for Prevention.com. More recently, she used her multimedia skillset on behalf of clients as a content specialist for Philadelphia-based marketing agency En Route.