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Friday, April 18, 2008

Charterhouse on the funeral pire of b2b


Charterhouse Communications, a specialist financial mortgage mag b2b house has finally fallen into administration. Its share price had collapsed to almost zip and revenues were falling off a cliff as the credit crunch bit. But this is not just a story of the US sub prime crisis destroying a good business. Even before the recent crunch this was a business with a poor outlook. Too small and too dependent on magazines to walk across the shifting sands of the b2b media industry, the crunch has simply accelerated the demise.


This is further evidence that survival for everyone in this sector is going to depend on substantial and meaningful innovation on a scale not seen before in the sector. Too many survival strategies are based on;

More events and conferences and awards.

More companion web sites to magazines.

Cost cutting.


This is unimaginative and insufficent to turn the revenues into growth. As the economy downturns publishers are already seeing a tightening in the events sponsorship market. The exhibition and conference sector is overpopulated with events, print advertising decline is accelerating and web initiatives as currently unimaginatively invented are struggling to build meaningful advertising revenues.


The challenge is to create something entirely new that will enthuse users and customers. Here are three possible areas to think about:


1) Building professional networks (vertical LinkedIn)

2) Developing a better recruitment solution that focusses on push marketing rather pull from users.

3) Solving the vertical search conundrum.


We'll explore each of these in future posts.

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1 Comments:

At 8:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charterhouse's demise was entirely down to the credit crunch and its impact on the mortgage sector. The company was not completely reliant on B2B publishing as you suggest. It also had a profitable specialist book-selling business (Brand & Co) and a high-value investment information service, both of which have been acquired as going concerns.

 

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