Mequoda Group founder and CEO Don Nicholas got his first magazine job in 1980, and has never looked back. More than three decades later, he and his executive team at Mequoda have more than 130 years of collective experience in the publishing industry. There isn’t much we haven’t seen and done.
And we’ve worked with hundreds of clients over those years, helping them plan, develop, implement, and optimize successful multiplatform publishing businesses. That means we have the data, the benchmarks and the experience to help you transition – or launch – in the multiplatform publishing age.
1. Comprehensive Mequoda System Strategic Guidance
The Mequoda Multiplatform Media Management System is a complex media management system (MMS) that empowers its users, operators and dozens of software applications to communicate and interact using the Internet, postal systems and other legacy media systems.
There are 4 principles, which we refer to as ACEM, that make up the Mequoda Management System:
Attract, Capture, Engage, Monetize
Of course no one understands the Mequoda methodology like we do – so when you become a Mequoda Gold Member, you not only gain instant access to the vast expertise we’ve built in all these systems, you also get a CEO-level Chief Strategy Advisor as a mentor who is thoroughly versed in the Mequoda System.
Your new coach has run companies that were niche content producers like you, but are likely slightly larger than yours is now, who therefore have walked in your shoes, and understand where you’d like to go.
On top of all this, Gold Members are guided by our six-person executive team that has deep and varied experience across the entire publishing spectrum. Our collective experience helps our clients and their companies grow and prosper as the 21st century progresses.
2. The Haven Nexus Customer Experience Management System
Along with high-level strategic guidance, we realized early on that executing the Mequoda Method would require a fairly hefty toolbox. For several years, we worked with a range of technology vendors and providers to build an integrated marketing system to support a Mequoda System properly, only to see mixed results.
Finally, in 2007, we took matters into our own hands and created the Haven Nexus CXMS, which represents more than $4 million in software development, and is the most sophisticated integrated publishing and marketing platform available in the market today.
Haven Nexus includes 19 modules and more than 250 task managers, message templates, action trackers, marketing programs and analytic reports. It is fully integrated, fully documented and fully customized for every client, and fully maintained by an engineering team that understands the business goals supported by the system.
Haven Nexus is absolutely unique in the marketplace, and it is only available to Mequoda Gold Member clients. If you don’t have Haven Nexus, you don’t have a state of the art Mequoda System.
3. Fully Customized Website System Design, Development and Training
Perhaps the best feature of the Haven Nexus system is its flexibility. Every installation for every client is completely unique. All of the managers, templates and other features are chosen for each client to create a custom system via a modular approach. Your system will have exactly the functionality you require.
The process begins with understanding your business goals, staffing requirements, publishing schedule, customer service needs and more, and ends up in a 40-plus page technology roadmap that spells out how to implement Haven Nexus to meet your business requirements.
In addition to configuration of actual software, the development process includes extensive operator training by a System Director who is partnered with you, so your team is aligned around the strategy and operational tactics that will be deployed with your new system. Support includes custom owner documentation specific to your system, complete with illustrations from your software. All of this effort ensures that your operators are as efficient and effective as they can be every single day.
Your System Director is also an expert in transferring your content, subscribers and URL equity to your new system.
4. Best Practice Digital Magazine Design, Development & Support
The Mequoda Multiplatform Publishing System, as I mentioned above, requires that you go boldly into digital publishing both on the web and on the major platforms. The design requirements and usability elements are much different from print – and make no mistake, a simple replica is not enough. You must understand how to use the web and apps to publish magazines that users want.
Mequoda Group is a pioneer, currently sponsoring the largest American user study on digital magazine consumption. We are in a unique position to train your team on how to source content, format your digital magazine and distribute it so it becomes an effective peer to your legacy print operation.
5. The Haven Nexus Digital Newsstand Distribution Network
Your business must go beyond legacy newsstand distribution practices and move into programs provided by Apple, Amazon and Google. These powerful technology juggernauts will give your brand access to hundreds of millions of consumers who understand how to buy digital apps and use them on their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
This digital distribution platform represents an opportunity to expand your market and be found by customers who never knew your brand existed. And the economics of digital newsstand distribution are far superior to those of legacy print distribution, with no need to commit to copies that will be shredded, and a worldwide distribution footprint.
If that sounds daunting, rest assured that Mequoda handles it all for you with ease: We have standing relationships with all the leading providers in the marketplace, and we make sure your product is introduced into the digital newsstand environment easily and painlessly. We have all the software, technology and connections to give you worldwide distribution.
6. Mequoda System Analytics & Decision Support
When you’re using dozens of media platforms and marketing channels to distribute your content, the decision-making process can be intimidating. To make it more manageable, the Mequoda analytics team has developed an extensive list of trackers and reports that will not only record all the interaction between your customers and platforms and channels, but will also format all of that data into reports that can be used to make day-to-day business decisions.
For example, our blockbuster performance report will isolate the 200 posts out of thousands that are driving 50-80% of your website traffic. This kind of reporting allows you to correctly allocate your precious human resources to tasks that will have the most impact on improving your organization’s performance.
These reports are periodic and dynamic. Along with them, your organization will have unlimited access to an experienced marketing professional, who will be your Analytics Director, and will guide and encourage you to move forward when data indicates that action is required.
7. Fully Integrated Haven Nexus Tier One Email Management System
While it’s no surprise that email communication is the heart of a 21st century media business, it’s ironic that it often exists in an island environment, isolated from other systems. At Mequoda Group, we believe your email marketing system should be fully integrated with your customer database and marketing system.
Your Mequoda email management system will provide all the basic functionality for list hygiene, email broadcasting and individualized email messaging that is triggered by user activity at the customer level. Your users will be continually messaged at the individual level. We believe in the power of integration: Your email marketing, customer database and marketing system will be fully automated, fully integrated and fully aligned.
Combine that with comprehensive user support, Tier One whitelisting services and delivery analysis, and robust A-B testing capability, and you can see why customers say that Haven Mail is top of the line for email marketing.
8. Fully Managed State-of-the-Art Haven Nexus Data Center
Your business shouldn’t be all about managing a data center for all the reasons you shouldn’t be managing a printing press. While it’s required for the 21st century, it works best in a co-operative setting, with many customers sharing cost of hardware, software and staff required to run a Tier One facility. As a Gold Member, you have access to our Tier One data center, which is part of the largest premier data system on the planet. It is customized to meet the needs of clients, yet has the advantages of scale of the largest Tier One data distribution network.
We manage all of your hardware, software, backups and myriads of tasks that go on in background, so you can focus on doing what you do best: running a media business.
9. The Haven Nexus High Speed Content Delivery Network
As websites have become more complex, so has the data they deliver. Through our partnership with Rackspace, Gold Members have access to a sophisticated content delivery network that speeds load times for their web pages and dramatically cuts delivery costs.
10. Customized On-Site Mequoda System Training
Your Chief Strategy Advisor is available to provide classroom-based training on a variety of topics that include understanding the ACEM audience development process, leveraging digital content, quantifying your digital audience, maximizing multiplatform sponsorship revenue, organizing an effective multiplatform publishing team, creating system infrastructure that supports your revenue goals and measuring your success. You can get your entire team on board at one time, and periodically update new hires.
The training can be customized both inside modules and at modular level to meet your needs, and your Chief Strategy Advisor can also create custom workshops around topics like content development, new product development and sponsorship development – all of them valuable strategic planning sessions to help you develop new content, new products and new revenue programs that fit inside the Strategic Planning Framework (SPF).
11. On-Demand Mequoda Operator Training and Support
Your Mequoda operator support team is available 24/7/365 to answer questions about system operation, provide individualized training on system functionality, and, when appropriate, step in as your system operator to perform day-to-day tasks when your operators are unavailable for any reason. We’re always prepared to step into the breach and ensure that your operation proceeds unimpeded.
12. Mequoda System Testing and Optimization
While every effort will be made to deploy your system with marketing programs that are appropriate and effective, like every direct marketing business, there’s always room for improvement. Your Chief Strategy Advisor, System Director and Analytics Director will provide regular feedback on opportunities to run A/B programs against control marketing programs with the goal of increasing visibility, capture rates, engagement metrics and revenue.
In addition to the combined expertise of your team and ours, you will also be tapping into the larger Gold Member brain trust, in which other Mequoda client executives and operators are constantly testing system elements and sharing that feedback with the larger co-op. The benefit is obvious: Your system stays current, your performance improves, and your business generates more revenue.
13. Complete Haven Nexus System Maintenance
Because Haven Nexus is a complex system that lives on the Internet, your operators, engineers and yes, even hackers can all impact your system. As a Gold Member, however, you don’t have to worry about any of it, because there’s a team on standby with redundant monitoring systems to protect you and resolve any problems – regardless of whether they’re because of operator error, engineering updates or third-party attacks. We have a deep bench of engineering support that’s constantly monitoring your system in real time to address any issues that arise.
Of course we also proactively install all necessary security updates and system patches to close any loopholes that might make you vulnerable.
14. Continuous Haven Nexus System Upgrades
As technology evolves, all Mequoda operators become smarter and the collective Mequoda group of operators, engineers and executives are always thinking about ways to do business more effectively, more efficiently and more profitably. The result is a continuous stream of upgrades to all those features I noted above (task managers, message templates, action trackers, marketing programs and analytic reports).
Every six months all of these are upgraded as part of your membership, and your Mequoda team will explain and make them available to you, for a modest fixed cost of installation and training. Thus, for single fixed fee, you’ll always have access to the most current software – a perpetual upgrade service.
15. 24/7/365 SiteLock Security Services
Mequoda guarantees the integrity of your website using a third-party monitoring service, SiteLock Security Services. SiteLock’s 360-degree scanning technology performs daily scans to find malware and other threats at any level in your website content, application, and network. We receive email alerts for any security concerns, which are typically related to a Mequoda site that is linking to another site infected with malware. In such a case, Mequoda simply removes the offending link until the site with malware is clean.
16. Monthly Mequoda System Review Meetings
As part of the continuous improvement process, you’ll meet with your System Director, Analytics Director and Chief Strategy Advisor to review system performance, seeking opportunities to improve performance, finding new revenue streams and meeting any new needs that have arisen. You also get a full update on the latest trends and best practices relevant to all Mequoda strategies.
All of this is powered by the full Audience Development Analytics Suite (ADAS) of more than 40 reports on your operations that will form these discussions and all decision-making.
17. Mequoda Peer-to-Peer Gold Member Networking
As a Gold Member, you’ll find that networking with fellow Gold Members is a level above routine networking with publishers who don’t understand or have access to the Mequoda System. It all starts with our annual Gold Member Summit, when Gold Members gather every year in Boston to present their latest and greatest ideas and results, from their new audience development programs to new sponsorship programs and new products, and to discuss how they’re pushing the Haven Nexus CXMS beyond expectations.
These formal meetings often lead to relationships between Gold Members with similar programs or markets, and in fact often develop into business partnerships around audience, sponsorship and product development.
The power of integration
As you can see, the Mequoda System is based on integration: The integration of strategy, technology and analytics working smoothly together to meet your business goals, improve your company’s daily performance and deliver ever-increasing profits.
It’s also about the integration of all our Gold Members into one powerful co-op, allowing them to benefit both from the economies of scale and from ready access to many minds creating new data that supports decision-making.
You can also see why we say the Mequoda System, Haven Nexus and our Gold Members are all unique in the industry, and will remain that way for years to come.
The first step to becoming a Mequoda Gold member is to attend our quarterly Mequoda Institute. In just two days, you will learn a step-by-step process for transforming a legacy media brand into a multiplatform media brand. Join the ranks of our past graduates who have doubled or tripled their revenue in five years or less using our methodology.