The 10 Deadly Sins of B-to-B Publishing
Hanley Wood CEO outlines some common strategic mistakes.
Even in the face of a down real estate market, b-to-b residential housing and commercial construction publishing giant Hanley Wood is maintaining an aggressive business strategy. During a luncheon keynote at the Folio: Publishing Summit last month, CEO Frank Anton unveiled what he calls the ‚Äú10 deadly sins‚ÄĚ that have b-to-b companies in a ‚Äúspiral of purgatory‚ÄĚ in a down economy.
Anton outlined the sins‚ÄĒunderperformance, cowardice, technophobia, inferiority, complacency, coziness, stinginess, cluelessness, disorganization and dullness‚ÄĒwith examples from Anton‚Äôs own experience in leading Hanley Wood.
‚ÄúFear of failure for many outweighs the satisfaction of success,‚ÄĚ Anton said of the ‚Äėcowardice‚Äô sin. ‚ÄúTry things. Take chances. To grow a company you need to take risks. Sometimes you‚Äôll fail but try. Learn. We like to succeed but we also embrace failure.‚ÄĚ Anton recalled how in 1999 and 2000 Hanley Wood got $40 million from VSS to invest in online development but lost it in the dot-com crash.
Trade publishers that have underinvested in electronic media are now playing catch-up‚ÄĒand are paying the price, Anton said in reference to his ‚Äėtechnophobia‚Äô sin. Hanley Wood‚Äôs online advertising has seen growth over the last couple of years, and Anton expects that revenue to grow 40 percent this year, he said.
In regards to complacency, Anton urged even successful publishers to continue to strive to be better. ‚ÄúToo many companies are making money and don‚Äôt care if their publication is the number one, number two or number three book in their segment. I don‚Äôt get that,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúBeing competitive and winning is fun. Be restless. Work hard to be the best.‚ÄĚ