McGraw-Hill Inc., one of the nation's largest publishers of books and magazines, yesterday announced "a sweeping reorganization" designed to make the company more marketing oriented.

The move is intended to "shift McGraw-Hill from a media-based orientation to a marketing one," said Donald S. Rubin, a company spokesman. It also puts the company in a better position to move into the emerging field of electronic database publishing.

The reorganization effectively takes McGraw-Hill's existing operating units and assembles them into 11 "market focus" groups in such areas as financial services, health care, management, construction, process industries and transportation. In addition to maintaining existing publications, each unit will presumably develop new newsletters, magazines and databases tailored to its market area.

"The reshaping of McGraw-Hill is the product of more than two years of intensive study," said McGraw-Hill President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph L. Dionne in a statement. "With this new alignment, McGraw-Hill will achieve greater coordination of our already substantial multimedia capabilities."

With more than $1.3 billion in annual revenue, McGraw-Hill is the second-largest book publisher in the country, behind Gulf & Western Industries. It publishes Business Week, Aviation Week and Space Technology and dozens of other newsletters and magazines and is the owner of Data Resources Inc., an econometrics firm, and Monchik-Weber Corp., a computer services company.

This marks the first time a major publishing company has organized around specific market targets rather than the specific publications it owns and publishes. Traditionally, publishers such as Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal and Barron's, and Knight-Ridder, the giant newspaper chain, market the same publication to a variety of markets.

This new structure is intended to require publications in similar market areas to pool their data resources to create new publications or electronic databases that can be used by PC operators.

The company is creating a new unit, the McGraw-Hill Financial and Economic Information Co., that will merge the resources of Standard & Poor's, Data Resources and Monchik-Weber. New market focus groups in management and process industries and manufacturing industries have been formed as well in the McGraw-Hill Publications Co., an existing unit.

There also will be a new computer and communications market focus group that will blend the resources of Byte magazine, Popular Computing, Electronics Week and several other publications, as well as Byte and Osborne Books from the company's book group.

The company has announced plans to build what it calls a data "turbine" that will use computers to collect information from all of McGraw-Hill's operations. This turbine ultimately will be the hub of the company's efforts to provide electronic databases to meet large corporations' information needs.

Dionne has said that he expects half of the company's revenue to come from electronic distribution of data by the turn of the decade. The reorganization will go into effect at the turn of the year.