There I was, getting my hair cut at the village barbershop. The barber was a thirtysomething woman who was new to the shop.
While making small talk, she came to the inevitable question, “What do you do for a living?”
“I’m a magazine publishing consultant,” I said automatically, having answered the question that way many times over the past few decades.
She paused thoughtfully, and then commented with some concern. “I imagine that’s a pretty tough business these days.”
“It can be very tough,” I replied, now engaging fully. “Especially if you don’t understand how to manage all of the magazine media platforms that have exploded into the market.”
For the next 20 minutes, we went on to have a lovely conversation about her magazine media habits. She subscribes to and enjoys a number of special interest magazines about cooking, travel, and quilting. And she interacts with these brands and others in print, on her tablet, on the web, and with social media. She subscribes to a number of email newsletters related to magazine brands, including one I had helped launch a few years ago.
As she was finishing my haircut, she looked in the mirror and smiled saying, “I guess the magazine business isn’t what it used to be.”
Perhaps a bigger understatement has never been made.
Over the past two decades, my team and I have guided the transformation of more than 300 magazine and newsletter brands into niche media empires. In every case, we dramatically expanded the number of revenue generation systems in their media mix. While the process is complicated, it’s not rocket science. It simply requires a methodical approach to adding each new revenue generation system to the organization’s larger integrated business model.
Every time my team and I sit down with a new client, we review how each of the following revenue generation systems might be deployed for their organization.
We tend to divide them up between sponsor-driven revenue generation systems and user-driven revenue generation systems:
The 6 Multiplatform Sponsorship Revenue Generation Systems
- Native Sponsorship Revenue Generation System
- Display Sponsorship Revenue Generation System
- Directory Sponsorship Revenue Generation System
- Classified Sponsorship Revenue Generation System
- Webinar Sponsorship Revenue Generation System
- Event Sponsorship Revenue Generation System
The 6 Multiplatform User Revenue Generation Systems
- Magazine Marketing Revenue Generation System
- Bookstore Marketing Revenue Generation System
- Advisory Marketing Revenue Generation System
- Club Marketing Revenue Generation System
- Course Marketing Revenue Generation System
- Event Marketing Revenue Generation System
If you’re thinking about expanding your legacy magazine business, I’d love to chat about the process of evaluating each of the above magazine media revenue generation systems for your organization. I’d also be happy to describe the process we developed for planning, developing, and optimizing a fully integrated, multiplatform niche media business.
Let me take a moment to preview the planning process that we developed over the past two decades to guide the transformation of a legacy media brand like yours into a rapidly growing, multiplatform niche media empire.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.