ABM-Booz & Co. study to map ways to fuel members’ future growth

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American Business Media is conducting a major b-to-b industry study with management consulting firm Booz & Co. that will identify new ways members can develop content, adapt organizational models and leverage technology to grow and thrive in the current environment of media transformation.

Results of the research will be presented at ABM’s Top Management Meeting in Chicago in November during a plenary session followed by breakouts that will focus on particular subsets of the membership defined by company size, resources, print-versus-multiplatform focus and other criteria. The results will also be distributed to members through a webinar and a series of regional meetings.

The project, called “A Roadmap for Profitable Revenue Growth,” will cost ABM about $300,000.

The research will be conducted in two flights, said Mark Rothman, ABM’s chief marketing officer. “First, Booz & Co. will conduct approximately 30 one-on-one interviews with companies that reflect the diversity of our media membership,” he said. That will be followed by an online survey. The research will be conducted during September and October.

“Our objective is to engage all of ABM’s media member companies, which number approximately 150, through either a one-on-one interview or the online study,” Rothman said. “We think this is doable because the study is of such significance to the membership that they will absolutely want to participate.”

Rothman noted that the Booz & Co. study will differ significantly from ABM research conducted in recent years by Forrester Research, Harris and Yankelovich. “Those studies were designed primarily for external use, to communicate to advertisers and advertising agencies the power of business-to-business media.” The Booz & Co. study, in contrast, “is an internal study designed primarily to benefit our member companies as they go through this period of digital transformation.”

He added that the study is an outgrowth of the strategic planning process conducted by the ABM board in which board members identified three key “pain points” they are confronting—organizational structure, optimization of content and new technological needs.

In a release, Gordon T. Hughes II, ABM’s president-CEO, said, “The study we are undertaking with Booz & Co. will help our member companies develop superior products and services to bring into the marketplace for their customers. We will focus on best practices that allow our member companies to reorganize and re-engineer to accelerate innovation across a variety of platforms, such as print, online, face-to-face, custom publishing and rich data.”

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