In addition to core business and trade information print and digital sales, management is focused on strategies designed to offer customers increasingly richer value propositions. These include multi-platform solutions - with a key focus on mobile offerings - designed to integrate more seamlessly with customer decision-making processes, thus ensuring heightened levels of decision dependency on specific information tools. Such dependence is enhanced through a focus on effective pricing and targeted timing. Consequently, these information tools are increasingly integrated in customer decision-making and as a result sales efficiency, renewal and retention improves. This includes a focus on advertising solutions that are underpinned by a strong economic development framework. As a result, GVIC expects to develop increased business with non-traditional customers.
Key efforts are under way to distinguish different types of digital content, advertising and subscriptions based on research designed to highlight individual industry sector needs. Premium subscription and related products are being enhanced and developed with a particular focus on essential content, data, search, interpretation, contextualization and analytics. A consistent focus on various ways of enriching content results in improved rates for advertising positioned alongside rich information.
Digital revenues now represent more than a quarter of GVIC's business and trade information revenues and are growing steadily. Significant focus and related investment will continue to be made to enhance GVIC's digital business and trade information verticals, through both organic development and new business acquisition. These acquisitions will be targeted to expand the markets that GVIC covers, extend the breadth of information products and marketing solutions provided, and to enrich GVIC's digital media staff, technology and other relevant resources - all focused on consistently enhancing "decision dependence".
Overall, the business and trade information operations and various markets offer attractive opportunities for growth with high levels of profitability - particularly when aligned with GVIC's leading position in key sectors. An integration framework which permits management teams in various verticals to remain entrepreneurial and market- focused will enhance the Company's ability to service its key customers with more integrated solutions.
GVIC's community media operations continue to experience weaker revenue performance in a number of markets, primarily the result of softer national advertising. The B.C. markets were affected by weaker economic conditions in Victoria, the Lower Mainland and a variety of Vancouver Island and Northern Interior markets. National advertising revenues were weaker in most markets, which appear to be the result of cautiousness due to prevailing economic conditions, as financial and government revenues have been significantly lower. Digital competition also affected print spending levels, although this trend primarily affected larger urban markets. Local advertising revenues were resilient in both the existing markets where GVIC has operated and in some of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island markets acquired from Postmedia - although the Victoria market continues to struggle.
Operating expense investments are being made to improve the strength and resources of the community media assets acquired from Postmedia in order to increase competitiveness and sales effectiveness. Operating investments have been partially offset by savings in overhead costs as a result of operational alignments with GVIC's existing infrastructure. While it will take time to strengthen and revitalize operations, it is encouraging that direct revenue increases are being realized as investments are made. Digital investments are also being made to exploit revenue opportunities of the larger markets, with a specific focus on content delivery and advertising effectiveness.
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