AMC Coverage 2008: Reshaping the Model for Magazines

For ad-driven publishers, performance-oriented media and relationship marketing are the keys to succeeding in the digital realm

Panelists gathered on Monday morning in a session titled “Reshaping the Model for Magazines” to discuss how their companies are succeeding in non-traditional ways, mainly online. Jack Myers, president of Myers Publishing LLC moderated the panel that featured IDG Communications CEO Bob Carrigan, American Express Publishing Corporation President & CEO Ed Kelly and Meredith Publishing Group EVP Andy Sareyan.

Carrigan reported that 60% of his revenue comes from non-print activities. As we’ve reported before, they generate a large portion of their revenue from lead generation and events. Carrigan admits that his early success online can lend itself to the Computerworld audience, but still sees opportunity for growth. “(Over the next few years) we will continue to manage our print business for profit but if we execute properly, we should have a chance to grow digital revenue significantly.”

Carrigan also noted that advertisers are spending less now so it’s critical for publishers to adjust very religiously to the economic reality. “Publishers must be fearless about managing businesses that are not growing for profit,” said Carrigan.

“Given the environment, there will be migration towards more performance oriented media”

Carrigan spoke briefly about how his site has traditional editorial tagging but is also able to pull out very specific information users search for and then serve ads that are very specific to their needs. It’s all about earning permission to serve commercial content and protecting privacy laws, said Carrigan. For them, marketers are willing to pay a lot to get in front of these users and users are happy to get the info that will help with their buying decisions.

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Relationship marketing key to Meredith’s success with advertisers

Meredith’s Sareyan reported that 25% of their revenue last year came from non-print media but admits he’d like to see that number grow to 40% or 50% over the next few years. Sareyan said that today, he likes to describe Meredith as a fully integrated, full services marketing communications company. He stressed the importance of relationship marketing with advertisers to maximize the affect of all programs. “We now have a symbiotic relationship between traditional and non-traditional channels,” said Sareyan.

For example, they are putting together ad packages that are fully integrated, where a lot of the money flows through magazine pages, but the success of the programs are all because of the tie-in to non-traditional (digital) advertising slots. “Bringing it all together as relationship marketing is key,” said Sareyan.

More coverage from AMC 2008:

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