Just a month ago I touted TechTarget’s focused on-line content strategy as the key to its success. On Thursday, the company said (in a filing with the SEC) that it was closing its two print publications and cutting its workforce by 12 percent.

While job cuts are never a good sign, TechTarget’s decisions to launch Storage in March 2002, and its acquisition the following year of Information Security, always flew in the face of the slow-motion collapse of print pubs. With even mainstream publications like PC Magazine going Web-only, its little surprise TechTarget shuttered its only two print properties.

The bigger question for online content aggregation sites like TechTarget is how badly online ad spending will be hurt by the downturn. That’s something industry observers themselves can’t agree on. In its filing, TechTarget pointed out that it’s also hired 150 people over the last two years, and – even more importantly – “has approximately $68,800,000 in cash, short-term and long-term investments.”

I still believe offering prospects highly targeted, high-quality content, and tracking their readership of it, is the best way to sell complex, big-ticket items. That’s the strategy TechTarget has followed so far and why, despite the recent news, it’s still in relatively good shape. Still to be seen: Just how online ad spending fares in 2009, and how good a job TechTarget can do tailoring its tracking and ad strategies to turn readers into buyers.

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

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