Materials Research Society
Aligning a new society-level strategic direction and a quickly changing publishing landscape helped MRS pick the best-fit publishing partner.
The recent announcement that Penguin Random House is pursuing an acquisition of Simon & Schuster points to an emerging paradigm, the publishing company that serves as a nexus for much of an industry’s activity. There are lessons here for STM publishing, too, as one can imagine Elsevier (or even ResearchGate) moving in this direction. A 360° competitor not only looks to its legacy customer base but also develops a strategy that radiates in all directions, becoming the partner of friends and rivals alike. Scale and imagination are prerequisites for this strategy, but the strategy also demands a willingness to unbundle the primary publishing platform and make it available to all comers.
The optimal marketing structure is a critical component of a successful marketing function. It is also an intensely debated topic. The structural debate is often framed as a binary choice between a centralized structure and a decentralized structure. Since both centralized and decentralized structures have compelling advantages and notable drawbacks, organizations feel as if they are faced with an impossible choice. Fortunately, there is another, and much better, way forward.