Winter 2015


8 Lessons From the Failure of Digital Magazines to Revolutionize Publishing

The Tablet Revolution turned out to be only a minor uprising. What happened? More importantly, what can we learn from revisiting the plans and predictions that turned out to be so far off target? I see 8 lessons:

Content Marketing Institute Founder Joe Pulizzi on the State of B2B Media

In eight short years, Joe Pulizzi has taken his idea for serving the then nascent content marketing space and turned it into a $6.5 million business. His bold approach to growing the Content Marketing Institute -- and in so doing legitimizing and expanding the market for content marketing -- is mirrored by the bright orange that wraps CMI's website, events, and even Pulizzi himself. 

How ALM is Capitalizing on Behavioral Data

There is an adage that states "you are what you do, not what you say you'll do." But until very recently media companies only considered what people said, relying solely upon self-reported data (such as online registration forms) for marketing purposes. Not only do these profiles quickly become stale, but frequently they're not even accurate to begin with, as readers had little incentive to properly fill them out. By way of example, the most selected job title for ALM publication readers (primarily attorneys) who filled out an online profile form to access ALM articles in 2012 was "other

How Data Is Accelerating the Publishing Industry

Yes, data has become a buzzword and anyone with a little extra hot air will be eager to tell you it's the cure to what ails your business. The collection of articles in this issue of Publishing Executive is an attempt to go beyond that buzz. To delve into specific cases that illustrate how publishers are using data to improve their businesses.

How U.S. News & World Report Translates Massive Databases into New Products & Services

Last year U.S. News & World Report hit a new milestone. The publisher broke its one-day web traffic record with 2.6 million unique visitors and 18.9 million pageviews.  And it wasn't a celebrity iCloud leak or cat video that spurred the astronomical amount of traffic. It was the annual release of the Best Colleges ranking, a 30-year-old feature that evaluates colleges on an array of academic and student life criteria. Over the last decade, Best Colleges -- one of U.S. News' many "Best" lists, such as Best Cars and Best Hospitals -- has grown beyond a simple ranking. Today, the Best Colleges brand represents a portfolio of robust data-driven tools that users can engage with as they make major life decisions

Navigating Uncharted Waters in Lead Generation

"Data" has become the magazine industry buzzword du jour -- and for good reason. Publishers are finding that through their digital issues and online properties they can gather more insights about their readers than ever before. Some publishers, particularly in the B2B sector, are translating those insights into qualified prospects for their advertisers. By tracking reader behavior and interests, publishers can offer advertisers more than brand awareness. They can promise a list of high-value prospects who are ready to buy.

The Data Evolution: How Publishers Are Using Data to Become More Audience-Centric

Magazine publishers have always trafficked in data about their audience, but recently it’s become abundantly clear that smart publishers are getting more sophisticated in their data management, and using it to better understand, grow, and monetize their audiences. Data has become the accelerant of choice for an industry long confident in its ability to curate engaged audiences around content, but struggling to translate those audiences into dollars in a Post-Magazine Era. (Some may question that we’re in a Post-Magazine Era, but that term is not intended to suggest the magazine is dead—only that it is no longer considered the source of long term growth by most publishers.) 

The Publishing Executive 2015 Trendspotting Report

We surveyed magazine publishers to find out what trends and technology they think will have an impact on the industry in 2015. While the responses will help us better understand the audience we serve, they also reveal where publishing is headed. The survey gathered information on where publishers expect growth for their businesses, what tools they plan to invest in, and where they'd like further education.

When Is Big Data Too Big?

One can make the argument that big data fine tunes engagement and gives the people what they want, sometimes before they themselves realize that it is what they wanted. We all love the convenience of being able to find the things we want easily. But have we participated innocently and unknowingly in a worrisome intrusion of our private lives?

Why & How Penton Pivoted to Information Services

Last fall, Penton launched new branding and a revamped website. But this wasn't your typical slap-a-new-coat-of-paint-on-it rebranding. Rather it was a new outward identity to reflect Penton's reinvention as an information services business. As many legacy publishers have done or are trying to do these days, Penton has made the transition from a traditional publishing company to something other. The information services tag is meant to indicate Penton's broader, multi-platform market offering, where "media" or "publishing" is part of the greater whole.