BtoB Magazine, the leading publication for business-to-business marketers, will become part of Advertising Age, its sister publication on the consumer marketing side, Crain Communications announced Tuesday.
The move reflects the growing overlap between b-to-b and consumer strategies as both grow more focused on targeting and engaging specific customer groups.
As part of the merger, due to be completed by Jan. 1, a variety of BtoB's features, daily digital news coverage and successful event franchises will be integrated into Ad Age's overall product mix. The publication will continue all its scheduled events, webinars, virtual trade shows, print schedule and daily and weekly news coverage throughout the rest of this year.
"B-to-b and consumer marketers are increasingly using similar tools and wrestling with the same challenges, so it just made sense to have a single marketing publication," said Rance Crain, president of Crain Communications and editor-in-chief of Advertising Age. "We think we can do a better job if we coordinate coverage of all marketing under one brand, with one strategy."
BtoB transformed itself into a digitally-focused operation years ahead of many other publications, offering targeted e-newsletters, webinars, research, events and lead-generation to its audience and clients. That will continue as part of Ad Age, and BtoB, which was publishing a magazine six times a year, will cease in print.
BtoB, which began publishing in 1916 under the name "Class," has been part of Ad Age in the past. Its publisher, Bob Felsenthal, will join with Ad Age publisher Allison Arden to ensure a smooth transition for readers, customers and clients.
"By expanding Ad Age's content we can deliver a more comprehensive product for the marketing community, where marketers of all kinds can learn from one another and be inspired by each other," said Ms. Arden. "Bringing both audiences together also allows us to deliver a more efficient solution for our advertisers and sponsors."
Added Mr. Felsenthal, "In making this change, Ad Age will provide even greater coverage for the marketing community, while maintaining a deep understanding of how BtoB marketers are involved in the buyer's journey. Our clients will also benefit from the wider audience opportunities of the combined Ad Age and BtoB website."