IBM Originals

IBM Industrious

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Reimagine B2B editorial storytelling...
 



In an age of exponential tech, we believe the industrious among us treat curiosity as a renewable resource. They are called to apply human determination and technological innovation to make a difference in the global community.

Industrious Magazine was created for what we call “the industrious”—the innovative, groundbreaking and diligent people across industries that are changing the world through bold initiatives involving cloud computing, AI, Internet of Things and other emerging technologies.

Whether they’ve built a career in retail and consumer products, industrial, telecommunications, government, oil & gas, banking, healthcare and beyond, we want our readers to be inspired and motivated by the stories we tell.

In 2018, the team behind Industrious, IBM’s quarterly magazine, was on a mission to reimagine B2B editorial storytelling in a way that produces better business results.

With no budget and no design resources, our in-house team of writers and editors initially conceived of the magazine as a resource for business partners, clients, and prospects at IBM’s flagship conference in Las Vegas.

In print and online, we told human stories about trailblazing individuals and organizations using IBM technologies like blockchain, AI, and IoT to transform their businesses and inspire change in their industries.  

Ultimately, the magazine was part of our larger mission to position IBM as a trusted partner for industry leaders looking to harness emerging technologies. From the beginning, we believed that stories that neither advertise products nor describe technical details ad nauseum would best serve this goal and drive more business for the company.

After four issues, we’ve found our hypothesis to be correct. We’ve blasted through IBM benchmarks for visitors, engagement, and click-through rate, and we’ve inspired clients to collaborate with us on content. Today, the magazine is a powerful engine for client care, sales prospects and audience growth.

Our goal was to cut through the clutter of “IT jargon” and tell engaging stories about the human impact of emerging technologies that would position IBM as a trusted partner for industry transformation. Ultimately, we aimed to use that content as a conduit for client interaction, dialogue and centricity. By inviting clients to not only read the magazine but to collaborate, we hoped to open the door to a nurture stream and an ongoing resource for content at the heart of what the client cares about.

Challenge

The greatest challenge we face is the duplication of this format into “one-off” magazines. We’re advocating for collaboration across business units to contribute, rather than creating “spin-offs” for each market or event.

The power of Industrious is in the consistent follow through and regular cadence of client-centric stories and human experiences. Our challenge internally has been scaling this operation to satisfy that cadence with limited personnel devoted to the project. We’ve met that challenge by partnering with enthusiastic IBMers in other markets and business units eager to take on a stretch project. Another challenge has been maintaining and growing distribution. To meet that challenge, we’ve sought out industry events where we know our audience will be, and worked with event organizers to distribute the magazine.

Results

We’ve seen incredible engagement around the magazine with a 58% engagement on our website landing page (as compared to typical B2B average of 39%).

Through social media promotion, we’ve been able to reach over 7 million people and drive a 46.4% engagement rate on our website landing page from social media traffic.

We’ve developed an email strategy that has resulted in a 62% engagement rate on our landing page, 25% open rate (compared to typical B2B open rates of 15.1%), 2% CTR, and 13.5% click response rate.

https://www.ibm.com/industries/industrious

Full Issues

Issue 4

Issue 3

Issue 2

Issue 1