Just as every actor wants to direct, it seems that every cataloger wants to produce a magazine. Take Vernon Hills, IL-based computer reseller CDW Corp. This spring it launched Biz Tech, a quarterly magazine targeting senior-level decision makers and IT leaders at businesses with 20-99 employees.
In fact, Biz Tech is not CDW’s first foray into publishing. The company produces three other magazines, Fed Tech, Ed Tech, and State Tech, targeting the government and educational markets that CDW’s public-sector division sells to.
CDW distributed the inaugural issue of Biz Tech in March to approximately 50,000 small businesses across the country. The June edition also mailed to about 50,000 businesses, primarily drawn from CDW’s customer base and from lists from compilers such as Dun and Bradstreet. Readers can also register to access the online version of the magazine at www.biztechmagazine.com, which includes features such as a discussion board, access to CDW technology expertise, archived articles, and white papers.
Director of advertising Jim Garlow says that circulation of Biz Tech could reach 200,000 as more small businesses hear about the publication. Subscriptions are free to qualified readers and $4.95 per issue for unqualified readers.
Articles in the 64-page magazine cover the technology and business issues of a particular challenge with examples and case histories drawn from CDW customer experience, as well as sidebars with specific action steps for the IT manager. Regular features will include “Growing Pains,” focusing on tough, what-would-you-do management issues ranging from dress codes to telecommuting, and commentary from Harry J. Harczak Jr., executive vice president of sales at CDW.
Editorial content will account for 70% of the publication, while the remaining 30% will be advertisements from vendors of IT products CDW carries. Garlow is adamant that CDW will not place ads for its own brand in the magazine. “We try to keep church and state 100% separate,” he says.
CDW is promoting the new magazine through online ads, inside its catalogs, and at conferences and events for small businesses that the company attends or sponsors.
Just within the past year, catalogers as diverse as Woodcraft Supply Co. and Penzeys Spices have also launched magazines. Garlow believes that CDW’s magazine will be a long-term success because it targets a specific segment and offers niche-oriented information.