Wall Street Journal adapts business model for online products


Perhaps the best way to adapt a business model is to listen to your audience.

That’s exactly what Amy Leyh, director of digital circulation marketing for Dow Jones & Co., said Sunday at the 82nd INMA World Congress that The Wall Street Journal had to learn.

Wall Street Journal Professional, CFO Journal, and CIO Journal all were launched as separate entities operating independently while still operating under the WSJ umbrella.

The original plan was to charge $120 for access to each platform, in addition to a WSJ.com subscription. That model has since been replaced, Leyh said.

“We were able to reach somewhat of a broad audience but not entirely able to track the advertisers that we wanted,” she said. “I think the product was just a little bit too raw. In thinking about that and changing our strategy a little bit moving forward, we wanted to focus on more specialised content and create more niche audiences.”

Each product has a specific purpose. 

WSJ Professional is geared toward a knowledge worker base. CFO Journal aims to appeal to senior financial professionals. CIO Journal, which utilises Factiva SmartSearch, similar to databases such as Lexus Nexis, is focused toward senior information technology professionals, respectively.

After assessing each platform’s strengths, the next step was to create specialised content that Leyh said allowed the Journal to segment their audience and deepen engagement.

“The success really does depend on our marketing group and consumer revenue group,” she said. 

Now the idea is all of it can be streamlined into one spot and become a more appealing product to consumers and more importantly advertisers.

“What we’re looking to do is to integrate these into our WSJ.com product moving forward for one price, allowing us to broaden our reach but still maintain a niche target and really focus in on the needs of these specific audiences,” she said. “This will also allow us to create greater advertising dollars.”

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