Don’t leave money on the table by skipping over new multiplatform magazine revenue models
You probably know that ad-driven magazines have someone in charge of driving more revenue, usually someone with the title of Publisher or Chief Revenue Officer. This person is charged with overseeing the team that sells ad space in the magazine (and online).
But as publishers have expanded their operations into multiplatform magazines and publications, the revenue team has expanded, as well.
Publishers have been making many organizational changes to deal with the realities of the modern multiplatform marketplace, and while we find there are six organizational teams – management, content, marketing, revenue, operations and systems – today, let’s review multiplatform magazine revenue teams.
Unlike the marketing team, which is responsible for selling subscriptions, the revenue team is charged with developing relationships with big money sponsors. We like to say that the marketing team is charged with collecting a lot of little checks, but the revenue team collects a few very big checks.
At Mequoda, we like to see the revenue team dedicated to developing deep relationships with a few sponsors. Ideally, these sponsors are the larger players in the field who can spend a significant amount of money to reach the same audience the publisher is developing.
A major source of revenue for some multiplatform magazine publishers is events. Publishers with conferences may have persons charged with capturing event sponsorships. Larger expos are usually heavily dependent on sponsorships and ensuring that revenue stream is a critical function.
Other members of the revenue team act as product managers, assessing existing offerings and strategizing about expanded or new products for the audience. Often, these professionals coordinate with ad sales personnel to develop products that will specifically generate more ad revenue.
Revenue teams focus on selling multiplatform magazine ad packages
If you’re new to Mequoda, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with Green Gardens Network (GGN), our composite case study, and CEO Rose Harper, the embodiment of all our clients whose “example” we use as a teaching tool without revealing real publishers’ names or data.
At Green Gardens Network, the revenue team is primarily be responsible for selling multiplatform sponsorship packages.
As the digital publishing market has grown and changed, selling ad space has only become more difficult. The market is saturated. Sponsors aren’t happy with websites crowded with ads as publishers try to grow revenue (and users aren’t happy with them, either). And even with the ads placed, sponsors have a difficult time measuring the effectiveness of banners, rectangles, and other flashy graphics that don’t always get measurable clicks. Advertising revenue models for publishers need to be adjusted.
As a result, advertisers are looking for an opportunity to be “part of” rather than separate from the content of a website and platforms. This is not necessarily a new desire. Publishers have run “advertorials” for a long time. Publishers would be wise to remember why this desire for affiliation with their brand is so valuable for sponsors. Your readers already trust you, and because they trust you, they also may trust the brands you associate yourself with.
Multiplatform publishers are in a great position to sell sponsorship packages that combine traditional print ad placements, digital ad placements, and better opportunities for the sponsor to be part of the story.
These multiplatform magazine packages can include the following elements:
- Sponsored content generation
- Sponsored content portal and email distribution
- Web magazine sponsored content
- Sponsored channels on the portal
- Print magazine display ads
- Web and email banner advertising
- Listing(s) in the resource directory
- Lead generation opportunities
- Social media distribution
At GGN, Rose’s Chief Revenue Officer will have the primary responsibility for leading the team that sells these packages.
To do this, for example, a nationwide retailer of plants and gardening supplies could buy an annual package that includes the production of 12 pieces of sponsored content, the distribution of those articles on the portal, via an “Extra” email and in the web version of the magazine, 12 social media campaigns that also focus on the sponsored content, an exclusive sponsorship of one of the portal channels (such as Tulips), a full-page display ad in the print magazine, 12 email sponsorships for Green Gardens Daily, and a listing in the Green Gardens online directory.
This total package meets the needs of sponsors who want to be part of the story, while preserving the best parts of the display advertising game they already know. For the publisher, selling packages allows for a more efficient sale (as opposed to selling many remnants), and helps make your best sponsors your true partners in your digital and print offerings.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll dive into all of the different organizational teams that make a successful multiplatform magazine media company. If you’d like to talk more about building yours, schedule a time to chat with us.