Doug Manoni took over as CEO of SourceMedia, publisher of American Banker, in early 2010. That year, the company eked out low single-digit revenue growth amid difficult conditions for the financial markets it serves. Last year, SourceMedia increased its revenue at a slightly stronger pace, and Manoni expects similar growth this year.
To foster this top-line growth, Manoni has added several new groups at the company, expanding efforts in digital, marketing services, research and training. These groups have made outsized contributions to bottom-line growth, Manoni said.
“These are high-margin businesses,” he said.
Last year, SourceMedia made a concentrated investment in its digital operations group to fulfill Manoni's vision of turning the company into a digitalcentric business. That investment included adding 11 new positions.
Manoni said digital-oriented revenue has increased about 70% over the past three years and now accounts for about 40% of the company's overall revenue.
One example of the innovative digital products SourceMedia has rolled out is SuperBanker, a game that encouraged networking at one of its conferences earlier this year. The product was a success, and similar games are planned for other SourceMedia conferences later this year.
Manoni also expanded SourceMedia's marketing services group. “I want us to become more like an interactive or digital agency,” he said.
He has also placed more emphasis on research, as he did when he was CEO of Wicks Business Information. In each of its eight product groups, SourceMedia now has panels comprising 1,000 to 3,000 readers, and marketers can pay to conduct research using them.
“We ask [marketers], "What do you want to know about the market?' ” Manoni said. “They share that with us; and, when they do that, they reveal their entire marketing strategy to us.”
Manoni added: “Research and marketing services—those are two businesses that are growing well in tandem.”
As increasing regulation made the financial services industry more complex, SourceMedia introduced an education and training group. Next up for the company is introducing work flow products for users, and this growth may come through acquisition. “That is the next stage of our development,” Manoni said.