Inside the Harvard Business Review Content Comes First (1,872
These subscribers are the people who are in management and want to climb the ladder and become tomorrow's leaders, says Cohen.
Another strong segment of its readers—20 percent to be exact—is in middle management. These readers are slightly younger, falling in the 35 to 39 age category.
The number of female readers on the file stands at 25 percent and continues to grow. While Cohen has tested direct mail packages addressing concerns specific to women in business, he admits the results haven't warranted separate promotions.
Change is in the air
It is a commitment to its readers that prompted HBR to make one of the most significant changes in its 79-year history. This year HBR is increasing its frequency of publication from six to 10 issues a year.
A survey of its readers exposed a common desire for more of its ground-breaking content, and more often. "HBR gives readers the tools to push business to a new level. These readers are lifetime learners and are interested in ideas that fuel business," says McConville, adding that its readers "appreciate and value getting original break-through ideas … not rehashed press releases."
This hunger for premium content and the quickening pace of business has given way to four additional issues and a slightly broader editorial scope, which is part of the publication's natural evolution.
"HBR articulates the changes readers feel most acutely. They view their job differently than their predecessors. … While they remain focused on a function or area of expertise, they also feel success is a shared responsibility. Management is more inclusive," says McConville. "We don't have anyone that does exactly what we do. We play the role of trusted partner or colleague," she adds.
And its readers are extremely loyal to their mentor. Numerous subscribers confess to having as many as 10 to 20 years worth of issues in their personal libraries. What's more, Cohen occasionally receives anxious phone calls from devout readers when a slip up on a merge/purge results in an acquisition package being mailed to a long-term subscriber.