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BusinessWeek Just Doesn't Get It

Dunce_1I've been a BusinessWeek subscriber for many years now.  Great magazine, good insights.  As many subscribers do from time to time, I saw an interesting article and used the ubiquitous "e-mail" link to send it to a colleague.

Later that day I got a message from my colleague saying he couldn't open the article because he's not a subscriber.  Huh?!  I've done this with other magazines I subscribe to and have never run into this problem.  What's worse, my colleague told me BusinessWeek forced him to "register for a free account" before they told him that "this content requires a subscription.  Get one at such-and-such link."  To quote my colleague, this was both "sneaky and lame."  I couldn't agree more.

Wow.  Does BusinessWeek really think they'll convert this sort of situation into a new paying customer?  If so, I'd love to hear what sort of success rate they're having.


Michael A. Banks

I hope Business Week doesn't think that teasing with a portion of an article will convert non-subscribers. Ditto all the other magazines that limit online content to subscribers. Most of the time it just upsets people to start reading an article, and then get blocked by the subscribers-only gate.

But it does make subscribers feel they're getting something extra for their money.

It is possible to get that content free, without hacking, but I can't post it here. Two magazines have already decided they can't print my article about the hack-free approach I use, not without opening themselves to some sort of liability.

shel israel

You have to understand that BusinessWeek is not an it, but a they. It is comprised of a great many people. I know some of them and they get it. You should have posted this not about the corporate "it," but those idiots at Businessweek.

Joe Wikert

Hi Shel. I'm sure you're right, but how does the typical consumer see them? Not as an "it" or a "they" or some subset of a corporation, but rather as the name/brand "BusinessWeek". I doubt many would even differentiate between the print and online pieces. Most companies want to present a united front and link everything behind their main brand name, in this case, "BusinessWeek."

When someone sees that silly ploy by them to force you to subscribe it leaves a bad taste in the consumer's mouth, regardless of "it", "they", etc. Unfortunately for the offending organization, the bad vibes extend all across the brand. So someone who gets this sort of link via e-mail and is turned off probably also looks down upon the print magazine itself in the future.

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