Why Crain is expanding nationally
Denis Wilson of Publishing Executive interviewed Crain executive vice president KC Crain about the company’s operations and its expansion plans.
Here is an excerpt:
Looking five or ten years down the road, what excites you?
A lot of things. One, the technology gets me really excited. It was not an easy thing to get a hundred year old company up to speed and put us in that best-in-class category. When I talked to all of our contemporaries, it’s a big fight for some of the larger, older publishing companies. We put ourselves in a position where, again, we can bolt on brands and create new products that we would have never been able to do five or ten years ago.
Then there’s Crain’s National. One of the great things that came out of the CRM project was we were able to take a look at this total Crain audience. We found out that in Silicon Valley, we have 112,000 people that we either do business with or that engage with one of our brands and we don’t do anything in Silicon Valley. When you think about it, all those people are out there trying to figure out how to disrupt healthcare and automotive and marketing and everything else. We took that as an opportunity to say, “How hard would it be to start a Crain Silicon Valley?” The answer was, “Not very hard.”
[Using this technology and approach] we’ve been able to create digital newsletters in 31 new markets. We launched 9 in October of 2015. We launched a second wave of 22 more last spring. Add those to our well-established city brands in New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland, and Crain’s is now live in the top 35 markets in the US.
It’s the first time ever we’ve been able to sell across Crain from a national perspective. We were turning down a lot of business like a Google or a Capital One that wanted to buy Crain holistically or buy the top thirty markets. We’re really strong in Chicago and Detroit and Cleveland and New York, but never had a way to scale it. Creating these products allows us to get in the national game.
Read more here.