"The Bilan brand offer is truly hybrid from now on".

Bilan, the leading business magazine in French-speaking Switzerland, is launching in 2021 with a new publication frequency and a sharpened digital strategy. We asked Editor-in-Chief Serge Guertchakoff how the magazine has developed since 1989 and what readers and advertisers can expect from 2021.

Mr. Guertchakoff, Bilan has been one of the leading business media in western Switzerland since 1989. What development has the magazine undergone over the three decades?

The 1990s marked the beginning of a decade in which Bilan almost single-handedly occupied its market niche with outstanding sales successes. The advertising market has steadily declined since then. Ten years after its launch, Alain Jeannet took over the management of the magazine and revitalized it with a new vision. However, from 2000 onwards, Bilan's editorial team faced economic problems with the advent of the Internet. In 2005, they took the gamble of relaunching Bilan every two weeks. This proved to be a wise decision for almost a decade. Until, with the advent of new generations of readers, digital media gained in importance.

In the industry, you hear about slumping readership and advertising losses because of Corona. How is Bilan doing today?

Bilan benefited from the Corona virus with a temporary increase in sales last March. The trend in 2020 was nonetheless a slight decline in our newsstand sales. Our website, on the other hand, saw a more than 150% increase in readership in 2020. We achieved the highest growth in the group. We are pleased to report that the number of our subscribers is on the rise.

Bilan has been published monthly since this year. What else is changing with the first new issue on January 27?

You can expect a modern yet elegant page layout. There are new sections, for example on decoding fake news or on the green economy, but also a large monthly survey and a picture report that looks behind the scenes of a company. And that's not all by a long shot. We have strengthened the DNA of various sections and are taking care to vary the length of the articles. At the same time, Bilan will launch a new version of its website next spring with significantly more video content. We have set ourselves the goal of reaching our future readers with an offer tailored to their individual needs. In summary, from now on the Bilan brand offer will be truly hybrid using the main media.


So in the future, your magazine will also increasingly focus on its digital presence. Has the information behavior of your readership changed?

Our print readership and visitors to our website don't always have the same profile. Incidentally, about a third of our subscribers only access our print magazine. Starting this spring, we're giving our digital offering a new layout that's based on the new magazine and at the same time better showcases the newsfeed with the latest news. The editorial team has reorganized to fill the site with new, high-quality content every day.

If you think about your typical readership: For which advertisers is Bilan particularly interesting?

Unlike other titles, Bilan has the ambitious goal of covering the entire economy 360 degrees: from the creation of a start-up to the country's most important companies to the key issues of globalization. This peripheral view is of interest to many Romands: from corporate executives to managers of all kinds, to the many self-employed. We do not limit ourselves to analyzing practical case studies in the context of SMEs.

You have been editor-in-chief since June 2019. How do you see the future direction of the magazine?

Bilan magazine only has a future if it can offer real added value. This requires a reorientation of the content with a stronger focus on surveys and analyses. We need to constantly reinvent ourselves, surprise, ensure consistent high quality and expand our core readership. Let's hope that our numerous events such as "Femmes Leaders," "Meilleurs start-ups," "Prix de l'Immobilier," "Meilleurs employeurs" or "Les Philanthropes de Suisse" can once again take place as face-to-face events.

Thank you very much for the interview.


Would you like to learn more about the advertising opportunities in Bilan?

Click here for the advertising documentation. Or do you have any questions? Adriano Valeri, Director Client Sales, will be happy to help you ([email protected],+41 44 248 40 12).