Marking our first anniversary with strong stories, design

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A year ago, BtoB published its premiere issue. (A satisfying "pop" as the staff and I open a bottle of champagne.)

Our March 27, 2000, issue—and every issue since—has distinguished BtoB as the only publication devoted exclusively to the intersection of business marketing and e-commerce. Here's how I outlined our mandate in my first edito-rial: "To be at the crossroads of technology and marketing, uncovering the innovative technologies and techniques for establishing brand, acquiring new customers and retaining old ones. BtoB will document this marketing revolution with timely, accurate, insightful coverage of news, companies and people."

We've accomplished that, and more.

The current issue of BtoB takes a critical look back at a story covered in our inaugural issue: The announcement by the Big 3 automakers of plans for an online supplier exchange. How has Covisint fared in its first year? Senior Reporter John Evan Frook updates the status of Covisint. He finds that it has not transformed the auto industry nor achieved more than an anemic level of buyer participation (see Page 1). This issue also continues our ongoing coverage of the Nasdaq flameout and its impact on b-to-b companies and marketers. IBM's surprise announcement last week that it would boost its ad budget by 17%, or $110 million, in the softening economy confirms a trend we wrote about last issue ("Giants cut staff, not ad spending," March 5, Page 1). Senior Reporter Kate Maddox delves into the logic behind IBM's bold investment (see Page 1).

Completing our Page 1 is a story by reporter Matthew Schwartz on how newspapers, a critical venue for business marketers, are weathering a dramatic fall-off of advertising revenues. Schwartz also asks media buyers how they are reacting to the hard times for general interest newspapers.

And, in keeping with our mandate to cover the people who drive the b-to-b industry, this issue contains our 2nd annual "Top 25 E-Champions Special Report," in which we profile individuals who are redefining the use of the Internet as a marketing and e-commerce tool (see Page 23).

Anniversaries are also a great time to make improvements. Notice our redesigned opinion pages. We've added a chart showing the results of's most recent Web poll, as well as the current poll question; a quote of the week ("Quote Unquote"); and an item from the past 86 years ("Hindsight"), pulled from the pages of BtoB and its predecessors, Business Marketing, Industrial Marketing and Class.

Ellis Booker is editor of BtoB. He can be reached at

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