Refining product, messaging at Canon

Steve Corrick

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Company: Canon Communications Location: Los Angeles
Title: VP-medical device brands, publishing division
Big move: Former Ziff Davis Enterprise exec moves to Canon to oversee print and digital properties in the medical device portfolio.
Core responsibilities: A channel-agnostic Corrick will refine product offerings and work to ensure consistent brand positioning

Steve Corrick joined Canon Communications in September as VP-medical device brands, a position created as the company prepares to increase activity in the digital space and grow an integrated media portfolio that includes MD&DI and Medical Product Manufacturing News.

Corrick will oversee both print and digital properties, refining product offerings and marketing messages to fit the needs of a broad industry.

“Anything can be done,” Corrick said. “The question is, does it make sense for the audience—and can we monetize it? We have a very strong print base, and that will remain the case. As a percentage of revenue, the digital and online spaces are going to grow, both naturally and because we will steer them that way.”

The company is prepared to invest in digital media, though that, he said, doesn't mean it is expressing a channel preference: “Our strategy is to develop informational channels, and [the audience and suppliers] will determine the channel. Content is critical, but whether an editor writes an article that appears in print first or online first, that doesn't affect the actual strategy.”

Following that philosophy, Corrick will work to develop a consistent marketing message that reflects brand over product and drives the expansion of the audience database. He will look at how elements like webinars and video contribute to the brand, as well as the needs of both audience and advertisers.

“We are in most of the areas I would consider appropriate,” he said. “We need to put strategy around it and understand who we are serving in terms of job titles and geography—put it together in terms of demographics.”

Untapped opportunities do exist in the digital space, he said.

A top priority will be the continued development of online vertical search engine Medical Device Link, a registration-based supplies directory that allows equipment manufacturers to access products sold by more than 5,000 vendors.

“We will take a look at that and see how we can build upon it pretty quickly in terms of refining search capabilities, including better reporting metrics for our suppliers and even getting into the idea of being able to do requests for quotation through that directory,” he said. “There are a lot of capabilities to be put into that.”

The revamped directory will be launched before the end of the year, he said.

The company also is looking at new geographic opportunities, Corrick said. The expansion will be eased by Canon's ability to grow its own database through market-specific, registration-based Web products and events, rather than through the purchase and cultivation of outside lists, he said.

The company will debut a print and online publication in Japan, where a strong market already has been primed by the Canon trade show MEDTEC Japan. No dates for the launch have been set. Also, the company is looking at potential markets in South America, Corrick said.

“As we go forward, I want to ensure that we remain the dominant player globally,” he said. “I'm looking at areas of international growth that we can build upon.

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