Strategy and Accountability: Two Multiplatform Magazine Must-Haves That Are Often Forgotten

It’s easy to drive the same road with your multiplatform magazine, but it’s fruitful to spend time on strategy and analytics to keep yourself accountable for growth

Many CEOs readily admit that strategy and analytics are not their strong suits. That’s not surprising given their need to understand and manage their economic model for print, digital, events, webinars, and every other product the organization offers. That doesn’t even cover the organizational issues associated with personnel or fulfillment.

But strategically, your multiplatform magazine team should understand the economic models you use, and how to leverage your content across platforms in an efficient manner. Your strategy team should be expert in media economics, content marketing, and organizational management.

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Although a strategist can be hired, most magazine companies benefit from an outside perspective when it comes to strategy. A Chief Strategy Officer can be a consultant that you hire, and they should understand the economics of all these various media types – both free and paid. They also know how to leverage content across all these platforms in the most efficient manner possible. A Chief Strategy Officer is an expert in three key areas:

  • Media economics
  • Content marketing
  • Organizational development

Outsourcing your CSO also means that he or she has broad experience across different markets and an understanding or strategies that a CEO of a smaller publishing company could not possibly amass when dedicated to a single business. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. A good CSO already knows what works, based on their portfolio of clients, and all they have to do is fine-tune the process for your specific needs.

Many consultants will set you up with a process, wish you success and move on. At Mequoda, your CSO will work with you as a general contractor to ensure you stay on course, and look ahead to the next profitable strategy.

Additionally, every multiplatform magazine publisher knows that data analysis is a key function in the organization. After all, one of the biggest advantages of going digital is supposed to be knowing much more about your audience and what they like, and don’t like, about your content. Everything you hear about digital publishing touts this data as the major advantage on which all future decisions should be based.

But rarely does a niche publisher have the luxury of a dedicated analytics executive that brings both scope and depth on a myriad of analytics. And when analytics are done in-house, some publishers will find that numbers get omitted from casual updates when not favorable, because it’s usually the overworked person tasked with improving those numbers that gets stuck having to create the reports. Or, this role gets throw on to someone who is already wearing too many hats, and monthly meeting end up getting rescheduled and rescheduled, and soon enough it’s six months later and you’ve missed out on six months of historical data and opportunities to improve.

That’s why it’s good to have an unbiased party that’s wearing the “just the facts, Jack” hat on, doing your analytics and holding your team accountable for their efforts. A good outsourced Chief Analytics Officer can see patterns in your data that an overworked marketing executive might miss. Plus, if you hire an agency (like Mequoda), this officer has access to data across dozens of similar media organizations.

A good CAO can quote industry benchmarks for the four key areas we talk about as the Mequoda Method’s ACEM strategy –Attract, Capture, Engage, Monetize. The CAO knows what the metrics are supposed to be and when performance declines, can identify, through data analysis and experience, the root causes and suggest action to lift the metrics and improve overall performance for an organization.

A good CAO can plow through lots of data, often from multiple sources, in a small amount of time. What might take an experience and dedicated analyst 10-12 hours to crunch would take the average marketer 20 hours or more to complete.

Mequoda is the only magazine publishing consultancy that offers in-depth, highly specialized outsourceable strategy and analytics team. We regularly monitor and measure your data to make sure your system is running at peak performance. You can leave all the tech stuff up to us, and focus on the content and marketing strategies instead.


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