Running on the Spot
When you take Tim Weller away from talking manifest tosh in his capacity as a leading light in the PPA, he can be persuaded to talk some sense. Contrast this interview at e-consultancy with the feeble speakings of his rival at CMPi we reported on last week.
Weller says some of the stuff that everyone says - we must do online and print and events; but what is interesting is his level of detailed grasp of what needs to be done with the business. Weller rightly argues that magazines have to change to survive in the online world. They need to be more like The Economist he says, which has thrived in an online world because of its thoughtful and analytical approach.
He rightly argues against what he calls brochure ware in web sites - lazy and pointless papering of the web with ill thought through content - and is honest enough to admit that some of his sites are not very good. He advocates muliple models to make online work - not just selling ads - which is really hard to do in b2b, but also lead gen, recruitment, search, data and workflow.
If we were being critical we might say that doing everything isn't a strategy. Real strategy is about deciding what you don't do. However in a world were the certainties of the business model of the past have unravelled, I'd rather back a plan which was too innovative than one which was hoping it will all turn out all right in the end. Too many business media execs are running on the spot. and hoping for Jam tomorrow. Wellers enterprise may struggle (he has far too much print product in my view) but he will do better than most of his rivals if only because he is running forwards.