Alma Media’s strategy

Alma Media’s strategy is to build its publishing brands into multi-channel media solutions and increase the share of digital consumer and business services of its total revenue.

Alma Media’s business operations in Finland include national, regional and local publishing operations, digital consumer and business services, as well as the printing and distribution business. The company’s international business operations are focused on recruitment services and business premises marketplaces in Eastern Central Europe and Sweden. The acquisition of Talentum sees Alma Media’s business expand to Denmark and strengthen in Sweden, Estonia and Latvia.

Alma Media’s strategy is to respond to consumers’ changing media consumption and build its publishing brands into multi-channel media solutions and increase the share of digital consumer and business services of its total revenue. The objective of the implementation of the strategy is to increase shareholder value through revenue growth and improved profitability. In addition to organic growth, the company will accelerate its growth and the improvement of profitability through acquisitions.

In order to achieve its objective, Alma Media will increase its digital offering by launching new products and services, also outside publishing operations. In publishing operations, the company will focus on the transformation of the media business and the move from print media to digital media, and the company will ensure that its media are highly valued as the leading brands in their respective regions and communities. The objective of international business operations is the growth of the recruitment business.

Alma Media’s key strengths

Strong brands

The company has several well-known brands, such as Kauppalehti, Talouselämä, Iltalehti, Aamulehti, Etuovi.com, Monster and Affärsvärlden, which can be utilised when introducing new products and services to the market. Strong brands have facilitated - and will continue to facilitate - Alma Media’s expansion into new geographic markets outside Finland and new services in Finland.

Position as one of the leading players in the provision of decision-maker media

Alma Media is one of the leading suppliers of financial media in Finland, and Kauppalehti and Talouselämä have an established position as a source of financial information for companies and entrepreneurs. The company also targets corporate customers with services that support print and digital media, such as Kauppalehti Information Services, which provides up-to-date business information to its customers.

A strong position in selected operating areas

Online business accounted for 35.3 per cent of Alma Media’s revenue in 2015, and the company’s print media has extensive coverage in Finland. In addition to the national brands Kauppalehti, Talouselämä and Iltalehti, the company has approximately 20 local and regional newspapers such as Aamulehti and Satakunnan Kansa. The company has good local expertise, which helps maintain customers’ interest in local and regional media in either print or digital format.

In Finland and Central and Eastern Europe, Alma Media’s online recruitment business under its own brands and the Monster brand has achieved a strong market position and in many of the company’s operating countries it is one of only a few online recruitment services.

Comprehensive customer relationships support advertising

Alma Media has a broad customer base that comprises various media and users. This facilitates the marketing of Alma Media’s own products to its own customers. Customer relationships and local expertise also support the company’s advertising sales by making it possible to provide advertising customers with comprehensive national or local marketing channels that suit their products.

Implementation of strategy at Alma Media in 2015

In 2015, Alma Media promoted the implementation of its strategy by several acquisitions and divestments. The cost competitiveness of the Regional Media segment was improved by selling the business operations of Kainuun Sanomat to SLP Kustannus and by merging the production model of Lapin Kansa and Pohjolan Sanomat. Smaller transactions were also carried out with respect to local papers and town papers. In the area of Digital Consumer Services, Alma Media strengthened its automotive retail software offering by acquiring the internet-based systems provider Autosofta. Two major transactions were carried out in the Financial Media and Business Services segment: the customer media and content marketing service provider Alma360 was sold to Otavamedia, and Alma Media and Talentum announced the combination of the two companies. The first planning phase concerning the integration of Talentum into Alma Media started in November. More detailed planning and implementation began after the turn of the year.

Alma Media implemented several changes related to its internal organisation with the aim of promoting the company’s renewal and accelerating the implementation of its strategy. The most significant change involved turning Alma Media Solutions, which had operated as a pilot project for one year, into a permanent unit. The goal of the change is to accelerate advertising sales. Alma Media Solutions is focused on key customer relationships in media sales and it is in charge of centralised digital advertising services. The centralised digital business development unit Alma Diverso was discontinued in conjunction with establishing Alma Media Solutions as a permanent unit.

The strategic development areas of Alma Media’s business are Multi-channel content, Marketing solutions, Service business, and Resources and expertise. In 2015, the following progress was made with regard to the strategic development areas across all business units and centralised Group functions:

 

Multi-channel content

  • The websites of Alma Media’s media brands were redesigned and developed; for example, the Kauppalehti.fi website was redesigned.
  • New video content was developed for digital services, including the launch of AL Klippi and the expansion of IL-TV’s content.
  • Mobile services were increased and developed, including the launch of Aamulehti’s new mobile service.

 

Marketing solutions

  • Advertising sales were boosted by establishing the Alma Media Solutions unit.
  • New digital advertising solutions were productised for online and mobile advertising.
  • Targeted advertising solutions were developed.
  • Programmatic buying was focused on in response to the growth of the digital advertising market.

 

Service business

  • New services were launched: Balance’s analyser service, Pippuri.fi, Gofinland.fi.
  • Existing digital services were actively renewed and developed.

 

Resources and expertise

  • Digital business expertise was boosted by several training projects and by reorganising business operations.
  • Cooperation was continued both internally and with outside partners, namely Lännen Media and Jakeluyhtiö Suomi.
  • Alma Media’s visual brand was renewed.
  • The use of data and analytics in advertising sales, content production and business development was strengthened.