Multiplatform Publishing Strategy

Do You Have a Solid Business Plan for Success in Multiplatform Publishing?

Do you have a solid business plan for success in multiplatform publishing?

Unless you answered “You better believe it, pal!” to that question, I have another question for you.

How do you expect to succeed without a plan to get you there?

Of course, it’s not easy to navigate this brave new world of multiplatform publishing – at least not on your own.  And fortunately you don’t have to.

There is someone who can build a bulletproof business plan for you, one that’s based on data and decades of experience in multiplatform publishing, yet which is completely customizable to your organization. I’m Don Nicholas, and my company, Mequoda Group, has helped hundreds of media brands build vigorous, profitable, growing multiplatform publishing businesses.

Now we can help you. Schedule an appointment online to talk more about it.

Let me tell you about our credentials for helping you define and achieve your goals, and also about one of the publishers we’ve helped. There’s nothing like a true success story to set an ambitious executive dreaming, is there?

Our Credentials: The Mequoda Method

The Mequoda Method consists of a proven, fully integrated, low-cost, high-efficiency system that helps publishers build incredibly successful online publishing and marketing operations. It’s a system we first deployed in 1997 and have been modifying and perfecting ever since.

You may even be using parts of our system already. But while many of the techniques are simple, the execution is complex. We’ve seen far too many publishers try to go it alone, cherry-picking among our strategies and skills. These publishers are invariably surprised by their lack of success; the moving parts Mequoda has identified aren’t easily separated from each other. And lacking the understanding of how they work together all but guarantees disappointment.

And if you ever think about your exit strategy, you probably already are quite familiar with the reality of the marketplace. Legacy print publishers are selling for 1x or 2x EBITDA if they can find a buyer at all. 

Growing multiplatform publishers are getting 8x, 10x, 12x EBITDA, or more! 

If you’d like to get in on that, read on.

Let’s talk about that single niche publisher I mentioned earlier:

There once was a flagging publishing operation run by the nonprofit American Ceramic Society. Circulation of their two print magazines, whose revenues were intended to promote the society’s educational mission, had stagnated. The internet seemed to hold promise for shoring up and maybe even improving the operations revenues, but the publisher just wasn’t sure how to get started.

The American Ceramic Society came to Mequoda for help.

What did we do for ACS? We helped them

  • Increase the number of publishing platforms from one, the existing print magazines, to seven, including app editions of the legacy magazines, a web portal, a free email newsletter, free reports, DVDs and books
  • Increase the number of products from 20 to more than 100
  • Grow their site to 150,000 unique visitors per month
  • Increase internet visibility from nothing to 26%
  • Increase annual revenues in 2005 from $2 million to $3.5 million today
  • Transform their stagnant growth to niche dominance!

Best of all, this transformation happened almost immediately after the launch of their Mequoda system website. Says Managing Director Sherman Hall of the early days: “We saw our product sales double in the first year because of the email list growth and online visibility we didn’t even know we were missing.”

We had the mistaken perception that everyone in our field already knew about us. Sometimes it’s good to be wrong.

Could this be your success story? Yes. But you must start with a rock-solid business plan. Here’s how you get one:

The ACS story is the result of our decades of experience in planning and business modeling experience and data allows us to quickly and confidently build business plans for any publisher, B2B, B2C, profit, or nonprofit.

You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. We already know what works, and all we have to do is fine-tune the process for your specific needs. You get a detailed, bulletproof five-year business plan that includes your content strategy, your organizational strategy, your financial goals, and even your exit strategy.

Because we base your plan on the data, best practices, and benchmarks we’ve established and maintained since 1997, there is no guessing.

And when we’ve done that for you, you’ll find you’ve doubled, even tripled, your revenues, quadrupled the number of platforms you operate on, and built a powerful, profitable multiplatform publishing business.

If you like what you’ve read so far, allow me to explain how it all works, and how you can become the next multiplatform publishing rock star, with a bulletproof Mequoda business plan as your guide.

Schedule a 30-minute call to ask your most pressing questions

Building a strategic business plan for your company

For the right client, it all starts with our exclusive Business Planning program. This 60-day engagement kicks off with a full day meeting in Boston with your key stakeholders and 5 of our team leaders. We begin in the morning with an intense primer on the Mequoda Method and our Best Practices, as we want to ensure that you understand the Method so you're prepared to fully implement the business plan we develop for you.

We then begin inventorying your assets and your business opportunities to establish the following seven elements of the business plan that guarantee success when properly implemented:

Content plan

Understanding what new content you need to create and what can be repurposed is crucially important for creating an efficient and profitable multiplatform publishing business.

So we inventory all your content, including some you probably didn't realize you had, and create an in-depth master content schedule that identifies the affinity content you'll use for audience development, and the premium content you'll use to generate revenue.

We show you how easy it can be to repurpose existing content to create new affinity and premium content content business models.

Audience plan

You must ensure that all your products and platforms are focused on attracting the right audience. So we help you to understand your market’s online potential with a full keyword universe custom-built for you that taps into the demand for your digital content.

We’ll walk through the 7 niche media marketing channels we’ve identified to be the most effective for multiplatform publishing brands and determine which of the 7 are appropriate to your market and business. Our experience and thousands of benchmarks allows us to lay out an audience development plan that identifies, measures and projects all of your marketing and growth potential.

Revenue plan

Whether you’re selling sponsorships, subscriptions, memberships or single purchases, it’s absolutely crucial that you use pricing and packaging to maximize revenue and minimize the cost of sales. In a multiplatform environment where many of your products have virtually no marginal cost of delivery, understanding how to build packages and bundles that appeal to consumers and sponsors is essential to overall profitability and success.

In your revenue plan, we’ll identify profitable new products, help you price your existing products using a proven strategy that too few publishers understand -- and identify the costs, risks and opportunities associated with each revenue stream so you know what you need to invest and what the return will be on your profitability.

Organization plan

You don't have to hire an army of new employees, but you do have to know how to organize the ones you have to effectively execute a Mequoda multiplatform publishing plan.

We have a leaner, integrated, more cost-efficient model than the one most legacy publishers use that we'll fine-tune for your needs. Best of all, our model can be customized based on the size of the market and the opportunity. Your organization plan will be designed for your specific needs.

Technology plan

Mequoda will show you how we build an incredibly robust, customized digital publishing and marketing system for far less money and in far less time than other developers because we leverage existing software that has been built specifically for the needs of today's multiplatform publishers.

From website architecture that helps build your email list to a complete, central database that informs your marketing decisions and helps you maximize the lifetime value of each subscriber, a technology plan created by the industry's only strategy-centric provider means your organization reaps the benefits of stress-free technology, content-focused implementation and ongoing profitability.

Measurement plan

Once again, Mequoda leverages its benchmark data to produce a complete business model. For every single year in the next five, you'll see revenues, expenses, overhead and EBITDA.

We also know exactly which metrics and data are the most important to your business to keep it performing as planned, despite the flood of data that bewilders even the most button-down publisher.

Mequoda's experience has allowed us to document exactly the right metrics that help multiplatform publishers succeed, and we'll show you how to measure them and what to do with the data once you have it.

Economic plan

In the 21st century, single-platform legacy media companies are widely out of favor with investors of all stripes. Given the economic leverage that a fully integrated multiplatform publishing operation brings to any media space, it should be no wonder that those are the only kinds of companies that are drawing buyers, investors and key talent.

We will discuss how to position your company to all your various stakeholders, including potential investors, buyers and high octane talent and how to communicate your business road map in a way that makes them want to invest their time in your media organization.

The experts on the Mequoda team will develop each of these plans for you as part of the process of building a complete business plan and 5-year financial model that leaves you with much less doubt about your future. In fact, the publishers who consistently don't succeed with a Mequoda business plan are those who don't have one.

Schedule a 30-minute call to ask your most pressing questions

The next move is yours

Are you ready to see what your niche media business can look like in the next five years?

Schedule a 30-minute call to get an eye-opening, no-obligation conversation about your potential.

By Don Nicholas

Chief Executive Officer

During his decades long career, Don has worked with colleagues, clients and partners to design digital publishing and marketing systems for more than 300 magazines, newsletters, memberships, clubs, and events. Don currently serves as executive publisher for Cabot Wealth Network, Food Gardening Network, Financial Freedom Federation, I Like Crochet Network, I Like Knitting Network, and Recipe Lion Clubs. His team's Haven WordPress CXMS offers publishers the industry’s most flexible and robust online publishing and marketing platform. Don and his strategy team have served as management advisors for virtually every major niche publishing company in North America including Meredith, Hearst, Trusted Media Brands, and hundreds of independent for-profit and nonprofit organizations. He has managed and led educational events for MPA, SIPA, FIPP and Harvard University. He has authored numerous books and hundreds of articles on journalism, publishing, technology and marketing. Before founding Mequoda in 2004, he served as founder and chief executive officer for Blue Dolphin Magazines and Lighthouse Communications Group. He started his media career as a journalist and producer working for the Armed Forces Network aboard the USS Enterprise. Don holds degrees and certifications in organizational management, journalism and electrical engineering from Capella University, Sacramento State University, and the United States Navy.

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