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The New York Times (subscription req’d) ran a story that will, at the very least, hurt the morale of a competitor and more likely put it out of business. In Monday’s paper, Brad Stone wrote that falling advertising is “threatening the survival of Business 2.0” magazine. The article says Business 2.0’s paid circulation of 623,000 was roughly the same as the previous year, but that its advertising was down 38 percent through July 9, 2007. Mr. Stone quotes current and former Time Inc. employees who said the company made a mistake by combining the advertising sales teams of its major business and finance publications. “That often turned Business 2.0 into an after-thought, as Time’s sales representatives stopped pitching the distinct appeal and audience of Business 2.0.” 

It’s tough to be in sales when the industry you are in is struggling, and print business and financial publications fall under that category. Since advertising sales are down at most Time business magazines, the executive in charge got the ax. He was replaced by the individual in charge of CNNMoney.com, who now has a virtually impossible job. Was it the consolidation of the sales force that caused the drop in advertising sales (and the fact that there were fewer feet on the street), or was it the drop in overall business-to-business technology advertising? The publisher of The Wall Street Journal blames the drop in ad revenues for this quarter on fewer ads from just three advertisers: Cisco, Apple and IBM. Was the Dow Jones sales force concentrating on other products? If the new Time unit executive wants to survive, he will have to make changes, which will probably mean having the sales force sell fewer products.

In a recent Kelsey Report Advisory, “Multi-Product Sales: Publishers Still Favor One-Channel Approach,” my colleague Michael Taylor wrote that in the Yellow Pages business, where sales is being asked to carry multiple products from Internet to Web sites, “training is key to multi-product selling. … Reps also need to know how to target likely advertisers for each product [and] position all the products as a complete solution.”

When I was in sales at Johnson & Johnson, my sales bag included a number of first-aid products and dental products such as Band-Aid bandages, first-aid kits, dental floss and the ill-fated Micron mouthwash. Those were volume products compared with back plasters, Red Cross cotton balls and lamb’s wool, but we were expected to meet our quota in every product. If managers wanted extra sales in, say, adhesive tape, they would give us some sort of spiff that would encourage us to sell more adhesive tape, and that product would get extra time and push. One of the great things about carrying this line of products was that they weren’t very cyclical or even secular. Growth came from population changes and price increases, brand extensions and the occasional product breakthrough. Management in packaged goods companies did not believe much in product life cycles.

I don’t know much about how Time used to sell advertising in its various business products. I also have no sense of how much money was saved by sales force consolidation or whether each of these products is profitable. But it does seem to me that a publication with a paid circulation of more than 600,000 ought to be able to make money. If Time is going to give up on its smaller business and financial products, it probably should get rid of all but one or two magazines as soon as possible and put the rest online where ads can be sold for their value to customers.

Still, it doesn’t seem right that the business section of The New York Times should place a huge cloud over the head of Business 2.0. Expect to see advertising plummet when competitors show copies of the article to potential advertisers.

 

This Post Has 223 Comments

  1. […] Skype Goes Live with Local Search submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/10/05/skype-goes-live-with-local-search/”;Back in April, we broke a story about Skype’s developing business model to drive calls to SMBs. Working with directory publishers as channel partners, it would extend its longstanding subscription based model to now also include ad support. Ad units would essentially come in the form of calls generated from search results and connected via […] […]

  2. […] Yell Announces iPhone App in the U.K. submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/10/06/yell-announces-iphone-app-in-the-uk/”;Yell has announced that its iPhone app is available for download in Apple’s App Store. It has been available previously but it’s now official. The app itself will allow users to search the 2 million local business listings on Yell.com (see the promo video). This comes weeks after the publisher announced that its mobile search widget […] […]

  3. […] Google Verizon Deal: Whats it Mean? submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/10/06/google-verizon-deal-whats-it-mean/”;Lots of talk today over the announced deal between Google and Verizon Wireless. For those unfamiliar, the loosely defined deal involves Verizon officially embracing the Android operating system to power the mobile devices that run on its network. Cutting through the vagaries of the press release, the following bit sheds some light: Verizon Wireless and Google plan […] […]

  4. […] Given the vast number of small businesses without a website (~50-55%), or weakly-optimized one (probably an additional 40%), Google Maps and the other local search engines need indicators of relevance and authority that are not based primarily on links. User reviews on major portals like Yelp or Citysearch are obviously key indicators, as is the information that businesses tell the engines directly at the respective Local Business Centers. […]

  5. […] Real Time Bidding for Display Advertising Coming to Local Media? submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/10/16/real-time-bidding-for-display-advertising-coming-to-local-media/”;I participated in a webinar sponsored by DataXu discussing how the development of display ad exchanges will make Real Time Bidding (RTB) for display ad units and impressions similar to the current SEM process by making it more open, targeted and technology driven. My interest in attending this webinar was the increasing interest of local […] […]

  6. […] Non mancano le attività sperimentali per testare nuove funzionalità di ricerca, o metodi innovativi per il coinvolgimento degli utenti. Sempre AT&T ha infatti recentemente lanciato il sito YP.com (il cui dominio è stato acquistato nel gennaio 2009 per 3,85 milioni di dollari!). David Yoo (Chief Product Officer) ha dichiarato che “YP.com è uno sforzo fondamentale di AT&T per aiutare i consumatori nelle ricerca mirata delle informazioni localizzate, mentre aiuta gli inserzionisti a far crescere il loro business in un mercato multimediale estremamente complesso”. […]

  7. […] Local Media Vets Launch Oakland Local submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/10/19/local-media-vets-launch-oakland-local/”;Hyperlocal sites are often run by earnest people who have just enough naivite about them to put in the hours and chase the dream, right? Former Yahoo and NJ.com exec Susan Mernit probably doesn’t qualify. But Mernit, a 10-year resident of the Bay Area, is nevertheless chasing the dream at Oakland Local,. The new hyperlocal site […] […]

  8. […] European Directories Lures Google Exec submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/10/19/european-directories-lures-google-exec/”;European Directories SA has named Ben Legg as its new chief operating officer. Legg comes to EDSA from Google, where he was COO of European operations. EDSA is a major directories player in Europe, with market leadership positions in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Slovakia, and strong competitive positions in Poland […] […]

  9. […] CitySquares Featured in WSJ: ‘Valuable Tips, For Free submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/10/20/citysquares-featured-in-wsj-valuable-tips-for-free/”;CitySquares, the Boston-based city guide company, is prominently featured in the “Small Business” section of The Wall Street Journal today (subscription required), touting its frequent use of volunteer advisors (something we have first-hand knowledge of, actually). The article, which boasts a big picture of co-founder Ben Saren, shown above, notes that CitySquares’ business was rapidly declining […] […]

  10. […] So far only a few large magazine brands, like Seventeen and Runner’s World have signed-up for the program. Both magazines have an audience about about 1.5 million with appetite for specialty clothing and a tendency to be “wired”. However, more magazines have good reason to consider this partnership. As Dunlap made three points talking to the Kelsey Group earlier this summer: - We’re still showing 17x more shoppers prefer to find local then buy online with an iPhone. […]

  11. […] We’ve explored this trend a bit in the past, and will further drill down at the upcoming Interactive Local Media show, Dec. 9-11 in Los Angeles. This will include the session “Local/Social: Better Engagement Than Search?” featuring Tim Kendall, director of monetization at Facebook, and Kara Nortman, senior vice president of publishing at Citysearch. Laisser un commentaire […]

  12. […] BIA/Kelsey Research: 9 % of SMBs Using Twitter submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/10/21/biakelsey-research-9-of-smbs-using-twitter/”;A BIA/Kelsey press release today reveals data from Local Commerce Monitor, indicating that 9 percent of small businesses use twitter to market themselves. 32 percent of SMBs meanwhile intend to use social media in their marketing in the next 12 months. This includes creating a Facebook or LinkedIn account. Also, 39 percent of SMBs plan to […] […]

  13. […] Yell.com to Launch Microsites submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/10/26/yellcom-to-launch-microsites/”;Marketing Week is reporting that Yell is launching 18 vertical microsites offering deep content on a particular area, including the law, gardening, automotive, plumbing and others. The content is from a mix web-based sources, including how to articles from expert sources (for example the RAC in the motoring vertical), news feeds, blogs, twitter. This move is […] […]

  14. […] Social media is another highlight of analyst discussion, with many different industries making use of it. Physicians are using Social Media Platform for On-Demand Physician Opinions says Outsell Insights, banks are Tweeting in Real Real Time adds 1 to 1 Media; Auto Dealers Rapidly Adding Social, Mobile Media reports Kelsey Group, and Andrea DiMaio describes Consumer Social Media in Government. For additional social media commentary, see the Social Media, Email, Messaging and Collaboration section. […]

  15. […] Armstrong: IYP ‘More Important, Not Less; Hyperlocal ‘Patch Spreads submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/10/27/armstrong-iyp-more-important-not-less-hyperlocal-patch-spreads/”;AOL CEO Tim Armstong, interviewed by John Battelle at Web 2.0 in San Francisco, gave a thumbs up to the future of the Yellow Pages — at least, the Internet Yellow Pages. Noting that the Internet YP business is largely synonymous with small business marketing, Armstrong said that IYP “looks like early search. People haven’t […] […]

  16. […] When you’re in the online marketing world, it’s easy to assume that everyone is doing what you’re doing. If I don’t stop to think about it, I just assume that every company has a website, every company is using Search Engine Marketing, and every company is taking advantage of social media. That’s false. It’s easy to forget that close to 40% of SMBs don’t have a website. Even among big companies, who almost all have websites, their integration into online marketing is far from complete. Only 16% of Fortune 500 companies have blogs on their site. […]

  17. […] Back to mobile, its opportunities with broadcast media are further supported by looking at the fact that both are delivered over the air. Regulatory and technology barriers stand in the way of mobile devices receiving broadcast signals, but we are starting to see some companies such as MobiTV (carrier delivered subscription service) and uStream (iPhone app) move in that direction. […]

  18. […] TMP/ComScore: Local Search Patterns Vary Widely submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/10/29/tmpcomscore-local-search-patterns-vary-widely/”;One size doesn’t fit all in local search. And there is no reason to throw out traditional media such as Yellow Pages just to become dependent on Google. In fact, every media still has its purpose, and should be analyzed on the basis of how it is actually used, according to a new study by […] […]

  19. […] James Ball on November 1, 2009 · 1610 commentshttp://noteasytoforget.com/2009/11/adoptadapt-you-say-tomato-i-say-participate/Adopt%2FAdapt%2C+you+say+tomato%2C+I+say+participate…2009-11-01+13%3A34%3A50James+Ball Social media as a platform for doing business is still a new and foreign concept for many, and insmall businesses, it would appear that many of us are just now walking through the front doors of the social media hardware store. We’re all just looking to get our hands on the best tools we can find to get the job done. I’m not writing today about tools and applications though. […]

  20. […] MSNs Cyrus Krohn: The New Local Focus submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/11/04/msns-cyrus-krohn-the-new-local-focus/”;Microsoft ‘s MSN has been a good hodgepodge that gets 100 million users a month. But it hasn’t had a serious redo for ten years. So the question posed to a new team brought in to redo the site was: how do you make the site standout and really help users? Site leader Scott Moore and […] […]

  21. […] Marchex Dives Into Self-Serve submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/11/04/marchex-dives-into-self-serve/”;Self-serve ad solutions aren’t a major part of the ad universe today. A recent BIA/Kelsey survey found few companies selling more than 10 percent of their SMB advertising via online. But self-serve meets the needs of certain online-oriented categories. And for economic reasons, of course — they are far cheaper to execute than premise sales […] […]

  22. […] The Angry Plumber: ‘Dont Misappropriate My Online Listing! submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/11/05/the-angry-plumber-dont-misappropriate-my-online-listing/”;A flurry of business lead services have cropped up, each a variation on the model that has been successfully developed by ServiceMagic and others. They basically provide a directory, information, leads and marketing services. One of the new crop of lead services is HelpHive in Seattle, which recently launched and was profiled here. It provides a […] […]

  23. […] Not too long ago I was reading this Peter Krasilovsky blog post that talks about AOL and, more specifically, the hyperlocal Patch.com project that AOL is doing. In particular, these comments from Patch.com President Warren Webster caught my eye — he’s talking about the hyperlocal content they find to be most interesting to readers. “Police and fire information is very popular,” and “government news inspires a lot of debate,” he said. Webster was surprised, however, that weddings and obituaries aren’t more popular at this point — perhaps because users aren’t yet conditioned to get that information from a local online site. School sports have been more promising. […]

  24. […] Deloite Pumps Up Mobile Holiday Shopping; NearbyNow Gears Up submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/11/12/mobile-holiday-shopping-nearbynow-gears-up/”;Deloitte has released a report that indicates this holiday season will see a bump in the amount of mobile shopping search that is performed (in addition to social and other online media). Specifically, 19 percent of survey respondents claim they’ll use mobile search for gift shopping. The breakdown within this sample is 55 percent for store […] […]

  25. […] Huge news for the mobile marketing industry—Google purchased AdMob, a mobile display and in-application ad serving network, for $750 million. This move shows that mobile marketing is truly an significant medium worthy of Google’s attention; it has the potential to broaden the scope of mobile strategies and technologies, and provides even more opportunities for advertisers. Check out a recent blog by Lindsey for more info or any one of the many stories about the new deal, including Mobile Marketer, Search Engine Journal and Kelsey Group. […]

  26. […] Yell Veteran Plant Moving On submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/11/13/yell-veteran-plant-moving-on/”;We’ve learned that Yell Group veteran sales, marketing and product development executive Paul Plant has decided to accept a retirement package and will leave the company at year’s end. Plant tells us that he’ll take a short holiday, but almost immediately begin seeking new opportunities in the directories and local search industry. I’ve known Paul for […] […]

  27. […] Smartphones were THE hot topic this week, with discussions of Verizon’s new Android, as well as extensive iPhone coverage. Some analysts commented on the (An)Droid: Yankee Group thinks Droids come in peace—but may not always and Kelsey Group wishes a Happy Droid Day (and recommended reading). Next, Forrester Research comments on Apple’s record 100,000 iPhone Apps. Congrats. Now Add Things Businesses Care About; and ABI Research chimes in with their post 100,000 iPhone Apps & Counting – Expect Many, Many More. New Smartphone research was released this week -  Infonetics Research predicts Smartphone sales to overtake standard mobile phones by 2012, IDC notes that the Worldwide Converged Mobile Device (Smartphone) Market Continues To Grow Despite Economic Malaise, comScore reports that Touchscreen Mobile Phone Adoption Grows at Blistering Pace in U.S. During Past Year, and the Patricia Seybold Group compares Google Android vs. Apple iPhone: Whose App Ecosystem Will Win? Please refer to the Mobile section for twenty-plus mobile headlines this week. […]

  28. […] Yahoo News Pumping Up Local Efforts submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/11/16/yahoo-news-pumping-up-local-efforts/”;Yahoo News is bolstering its local efforts and building “a staff of editors around the US who will improve the local news experience on the frontpage,” according to a Tweet from Anthony Moor, who was recruited from Dallasnews.com, per Lost Remote. The Yahoo News effort is probably at least partially motivated by revamped local efforts […] […]

  29. […] De nouveaux joueurs entendent par ailleurs appliquer de nouveaux modèles d’affaires aux nouvelles habitudes des consommateurs. NearbyNow, une société en démarrage de la Silicon Valley, est spécialisée dans la localisation de commerces répondant aux critères de recherches des consommateurs. Mike Boland, un analyste au Kelsey Group, observe que les chiffres dévoilés par Deloite à propos des utilisateurs de téléphonie mobile sont encourageants pour les entreprises comme NearbyNow qui a conçu une application pour iPhone. […]

  30. […] BIA/Kelsey Group recently released the results of their Mobile Market View survey. Findings showed that smartphone use increased significantly, consequently indicating an increase in data consumption. Additionally, mobile users are increasing searching for products or services on a local level. I think we all know this, but it’s nice to have concrete data to back it up. Check out more in-depth results on the BIA/Kelsey blog. […]

  31. […] Geo- location is Blowing Up submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/11/23/geo-location-is-blowing-up/”;The volume level on discussions about geo-location continues to be turned up. The latest example is the geo-location panel that took place at TechCrunch’s Real Time Crunchup on Friday. If you missed it, you can see the entire session here. If you don’t have time, start at minute 30 for some of the meaty discussion about […] […]

  32. […] The numbers and business plans, relationships with each other and with legacy news organizations and who will be written into history for leading the movement seemed trending themes of the New Business Models for (Local) News Hypercamp summit at the modern, sleek and sexy (read: expensive looking) midtown Manhattan home of the College University of New York’s graduate school of journalism. […]

  33. […] Digital Newsstand: Food for Thought for YP Industry? submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/11/25/digital-newsstand-food-for-thought-for-yp-industry/ “;The New York Times reported yesterday that four leading magazine publishers — Time, Conde Nast, Hearst and Meredith — are jointly developing an “online newsstand.” The initiative has ambitions of becoming the “iTunes of magazines” according to the article. That bit of hyperbole aside, this initiative has a central idea that makes sense for traditional […] […]

  34. […] Boston.com: No More Keyword Sales, But Search is Leverageable submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/11/30/bostoncom-no-more-keyword-sales-but-search-is-leverageable/”;Newspapers haven’t done too well with local search, despite efforts to leverage their potential mix of human editors and algorithms. But Boston.com made more of an effort than many others, launching a local search/directory effort in 2006. As chronicled by Nieman Lab, that effort started out on a promising note but quickly plateaued. Given the lackluster […] […]

  35. […] BIA/Kelsey Forecast Projects Geotargeted Display Ad Growth submit_url = “http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2009/12/01/biakelsey-forecast-projects-geotargeted-display-ad-growth/”;BIA/Kelsey’s geotargeted display ad forecast was released today, projecting 16 percent annual growth from $897 million in 2008 to $1.9 billion in 2013. The geotargeted segment of the overall display ad market (banner advertising) will meanwhile grow from 10.2 percent to 15 percent in the same period. The highest growth rate in the forecast belongs to […] […]

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