It’s been a busy past month for ALM, which announced the realignment and centralization of both its business and content sides, and today launches a global newsroom that positions its 170 journalists and editors in North America, London and Hong Kong to work together in new ways. The new global newsroom includes,
--The ability to link all ALM editorial teams together to create a 24-hour newsroom. The global newsroom will be led by Editorial Director George Haj, Digital Editor-in-Chief Nichole Morford and VP of Market Development and Audience Insights Paul Westerman. All three were promoted to their new roles in June to set the stage for the launch off the new global newsroom.
--Theme desks that feature groups of editors and reporters who plan and execute multi-media content for ALM core audiences and are segmented by verticals such as law, real estate, litigation and finance. Theme desk editors will also work with ALM Events, Intelligence and Digital Media on new content and new ways to distribute that content, including video and data visualization and e-newsletters.
--Wider and deeper collaboration among content creators at previously siloed ALM verticals to develop new editorial products.
Last week, ALM announced that it is realigning its business strategy and sales teams in order to remove silos and create “cross industry opportunities for target audiences and advertising clients in insurance, finance, legal, management consulting and commercial real estate markets.”
That move included the promotion of Allan Milloy to Chief Sales Officer, Paid Content, unifying all sales efforts related to media subscriptions, reference solutions and event delegate sales. Matt Weiner was promoted to Chief Sales Officer, Marketing Solutions, to unify all efforts around advertising, marketing services and custom programs. A new position—President of Media—was created for development of products to bridge customer needs, segmentation and growth strategies and is expected to be filled in the coming weeks.
Here, ALM CEO Bill Carter shares the thinking behind the realignment and what the new business side approach will mean.
Connectiv: In June ALM realigned the content side of the house, and now realigns the business side. What is ALM’s “new vision” for serving both content and marketing customers?
Bill Carter: ALM has been on a transformation path from an independent portfolio of brands to an integrated information and intelligence company, and unifying our content and business groups is the next step in achieving our goal of accelerating the development of cross-community insights by removing the market-specific barriers at the executive level. Our communities are comprised of professionals dealing with high-stakes matters, typically in regulated markets, such as legal, insurance, finance, real estate and consulting. These communities interact regularly as part of their daily work and ALM is uniquely positioned to help them successfully manage the business of business by facilitating connection points at the intersection of these businesses. Unification of the business side also enables us to better serve our marketing clients that want to reach professionals across ALM’s communities.
Connectiv: What are the specific advantages of unifying paid content and advertising/marketing sales operations? What challenge does this address from previous approaches?
Carter: There are many advantages to be realized from our unified structure: establishing an ALM standard sales process and reporting; being able to better share and leverage sales enablement resources, especially those responsible for custom digital solutions; and facilitating the sale of access to multiple communities to our marketer clients.
Connectiv: Please offer some further insight into the new President of Media position. How specifically will this bridge customer needs on both content and marketing sides? Is this about driving customers deeper into both content and marketing services?
Carter: The President of Media will be responsible for achieving our financial and non-financial targets for our media business – similar to our current President of Events John Stuttard and President of Intelligence Andrew Neblett. These three business leaders will collaborate to deliver unique insights to our communities…For instance, a summary of an industry research report will be covered by our media, followed by an analyst in our intelligence group presenting at an event.
As part of the development and execution of a strategy to achieve the division's goals, the President of Media will launch both new content and new marketing services to meet the needs of our customers across the communities we serve. We expect a good number of the new content offerings will cross multiple communities; one example could be a weekly update on legal matters relevant to the commercial real estate professional. We believe that cross-community offerings that provide unique insights will drive deeper customer engagement.