President and CEO, CXO Media
IDG’s CXO Media offers three major brands in CIO, CSO and the CIO Executive Council. While print revenue is flat for CIO and down 44 percent for CSO, all three profit centers are above where the company was last year in revenue and profit, according to president and CEO Michael Friedenberg. “Overall top line revenue is ahead of last year due to growth in online and events,” he says. Council Membership is now over 450 members in the U.S. and Canada, expanding in Europe and India, he adds.
A perennial award-winner on the print side (CSO won American Business Media’s Grand Neal award this year) CXO’s focus is now on leveraging—and monetizing—community. “We want to explore opportunities in the virtual environment as well as the physical environment,” says Friedenberg. The CIO Executive Council is an IT advisory service for CIOs that enables members to share best practices. The Council has physical meetings as well as a virtual setup and features more than 450 members in North America.
CXO has also partnered with business networking site LinkedIn. “We’ve embedded their functionality in our Web site and created a CIO group on the LinkedIn platform which is aggregating thousands of IT executives,” says Friedenberg. “We will share our content with them and they will share the dialogue with us.”
CXO is also launching a line of regional CIO events that will reach eight cities in fiscal 2009. “Again, we’re feeding off our LinkedIn partnership and connecting with individuals through one-day events that are macro-impact for the CIO but are also impacting on a regional basis,” says Friedenberg.
CXO will try relatively traditional ways of monetizing social networking. “The traditional revenue metric is based on ad dollars,” says Friedenberg. “In our partnership with LinkedIn and other social networks we’re talking with, we’ll be putting advertising around conversations on that platform. We also see social networking fueling our events.
STRENGTHS: Superior content and a growing network through which to disseminate that content.
WEAKNESSES: “Moving at the speed your customer demands of you and having expertise in the area. There is new competition as we enter new areas of focus. Your competitive set gets much more expansive.”
OPPORTUNITIES: Online and events bolstering the entire business. “We’re looking at the revenue streams and connection we have with the CIO and CSO communities and events and getting that into the pages of the magazines. It’s not just building content in magazines and spreading to other entities, it’s an equal flow back and forth.”
THREATS: Despite the emphasis on online and events, print continues to account for the majority of CXO’s revenue at 40 percent.
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