Driven by marketplace shifts and changing consumer behavior, new membership marketing programs are multiplying profits for Mequoda’s publishing partners.
BOSTON, MARCH 1, 2019—Mequoda announces the launch of The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1792 Society, the latest Mequoda partner to take a legacy publishing brand and line of products and create a value-centric and engaging membership.
With The Old Farmer’s Almanac—the oldest periodical in North America, first published in 1792—this new membership offering combines current print periodicals and calendars with digital periodicals and a searchable online all-access library of content.
And with this latest launch, Mequoda Systems now manages the technology and marketing for 72 unique and diverse membership marketing systems for its publishing partners—and with 7 more launches planned for 2019.
Long known for its expertise with audience development and subscription and direct marketing, Mequoda has ramped up its membership marketing systems for publishers over the last two years to transform Mequoda from a fee-for-service company with clients to a firm with revenue-sharing partner relationships.
Mequoda Founder and CEO Don Nicholas says, “We’re thrilled to get back to our direct-marketing roots with these new partner relationships. And thanks to mega-brands like Amazon and Netflix, consumers have become accustomed to paying for valued content with a membership, making online clubs the hottest new way for publishers to leverage existing content and to maximize revenue, profits, and customer retention. And the proof really is in the pudding!”
Select Mequoda partners that launched membership marketing programs over the last two years have seen revenues double, even triple, within 12 months. In addition to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Mequoda publishing partners include Harvard University, Hearst Magazines, and Yankee Publishing.
Mequoda helps its publishing partners launch new membership marketing systems with a proprietary seven-strategy approach known as CAROTME (Content, Audience, Revenue, Organization, Technology, Measurement, Economics):
- Content Strategy: Mequoda develops a plan that leverages existing partner content, strategizes new content, schedules content publishing, and optimizes member contact frequency. Strategy includes clear identification of content purposing to serve both basic (free) members and premium (paid) members.
- Audience Strategy: Mequoda develops plan for acquiring basic and premium members for partner that also leverages existing databases and other media assets. Strategy includes Google keyword research and website navigational taxonomy development to support membership programs.
- Revenue Strategy: Mequoda reviews partner products and pricing and develops 12-month price, offer, and incentive testing plan to be executed with Six Sigma Marketing discipline. Strategy includes conversion and renewal pricing plan, membership positioning, copywriting plan, and member-retention tactics.
- Organizational Strategy: Mequoda reviews partner organizational structure and identifies roles and responsibilities for integrating partner and Mequoda teams, in support of successful membership marketing systems. Strategy includes leveraging existing structure and resources to optimize performance.
- Technology Strategy: Mequoda leverages for partners its proprietary state-of-the-art Haven Content Management System (CMS) in connection with Mequoda’s Customer Experience Management System (CXMS) that has the ability to integrate all web, email, social media, and fulfillment activities—including third-party systems. Strategy includes development, maintenance, and upgrade plans for new membership marketing systems and shared resources that make Mequoda’s platform a cost-effective choice for publishers of all sizes.
- Measurement Strategy: Mequoda identifies partner key performance metrics, used to both track and forecast performance of new membership marketing systems. Strategy includes industry and system benchmarking, variance reporting, in-depth analysis, and recommendations and action plans for optimizing audience, revenue, and profits.
- Economic Strategy: Mequoda develops for partners a 5-year financial model that combines key metrics, marketplace trends, and partner-specific situations to provide a forward forecast of basic membership, premium membership, revenue, costs, and margin.
To accomplish Mequoda’s transformation, Nicholas says, “We made some heavy investments in technology and human resources to boost our capabilities and help launch and manage powerful membership programs for our partners.” Key Mequoda staff include:
Don Nicholas—Don is Chief Executive Officer of Mequoda Systems and has served as a subscription marketing advisor for virtually every major U.S. magazine and newsletter publisher during a decades-long career. Under Don’s leadership, Mequoda Systems has launched more than 300 complex subscription publishing and membership marketing systems that include websites, email, social media, and fulfillment-integration functionality. Don is the author of numerous books on subscription marketing, technology, publishing, and journalism.
Kim Mateus—Kim is Chief Content Officer and an experienced marketing professional who oversees strategic planning for all Mequoda partners, having guided the development of more than 20 subscription and membership marketing systems. Kim and her team maintain a robust best practices database of marketing techniques and business processes that helps power all Mequoda partner marketing programs. Kim’s focus on client content strategies is a natural extension of her journalism education and background.
Bill Dugan—Bill is Chief Copywriter and a publishing industry veteran with over 30 years of membership marketing expertise. With experience in consumer and business publishing ventures, Bill brings classic direct-marketing expertise to Mequoda-powered technology in support of membership marketing systems for publishers. An accomplished and award-winning copywriter, Bill has recruited a six-member world-class copywriting team to assist with creating compelling, engaging, and successful content for Mequoda partners.
Eileen Shea—Eileen is Content Marketing Director and a seasoned, top-notch direct-marketing professional with a wealth of experience in planning and managing successful programs. Eileen’s breadth of marketing experience covers both consumer and business publishing—from U.S. News & World Report to Harvard Business Review—and marketing strategy and best practices. Eileen’s keen and timely data-analytics capabilities help Mequoda partners stay on top of current trends to maximize revenue and profits.
Nancy Horan—Nancy is Chief Systems Officer and an experienced manager and executive. Nancy and her team oversee the technology for Mequoda partner systems, with a strong focus on optimal user experience and system operator ease-of-use. Nancy also manages all research and development for Mequoda’s Haven Content Management System which supports more than 150 operating components, application protocol interfaces and integration with third-party fulfillment systems. Nancy is a Certified Scrum Master and a Professional Scrum Product Owner.
Laura Pittman—Laura serves as Chief Operating Officer and oversees accounting, financial forecasting, and business plan development for Mequoda’s partners. Laura is chief architect of the Mequoda Subscription Marketing Model and the Mequoda Audience Development Analytics Suite. Laura and her team create custom operating forecasts for Mequoda partners, to quantify and explore the impact of creating new—and expanding existing—subscription and membership marketing systems. Laura has served as a senior executive for Blue Dolphin Group and MagazineWeek.
Mequoda Systems partners with publishers to develop content-driven programs that maximize audience development, customer engagement, and revenues and profits—and Mequoda is seeking additional partners with valuable content and strong databases to launch new membership programs in 2019.
To schedule a meeting to talk with Don Nicholas and other Mequoda executive team staff about a membership marketing program for your organization, please contact Kim Mateus at Kim@Mequoda.com.