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Seven ways to reinvent your media business in 2014

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Just a few years ago, media and publishing seemed simple.  Create great editorial, wrap it up into a magazine, send it out to your readers and sell some advertising.  Digital media felt like a bit of a sideshow - it was fine to dabble a little, but it wasn’t a big profit generator.

But now many established media brands are moving away from print altogether - for example Lloyds List has just successfully gone 100% digital, AutoTrader published its last print edition in June.

And with this shift to digital media the landscape changes: everything is apparently measurable, and the definition of the purpose of a media brand is more blurred: instead of just creating content, are you advising people on buying decisions, helping business people gain advantage, fostering networking in an industry or community?

From enjoying a protected market, media organisations are now competing with government, consultancies, retailers, agencies, brands, trade associations and self-organised communities.

So how can the organisation formerly known as a publisher reinvent itself and thrive in 2014 and beyond?  Here’s seven core principles that I believe will enable a smoother transition. (more…)

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Posted in advertising, b2b, business strategy, consumer, content, marketing

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12 revolutionary ideas for media sales professionals

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

For publishers, media sales is now a highly complex picture, with print, web, email and apps to manage. While subscribers are now largely adopting digital channels, many publishers still have to educate their advertisers on the benefits of digital media. And some sales teams are not yet comfortable with the digital pitch and are wary of cannibalising their print revenue.  Meanwhile clients are under pressure to deliver results and wary of taking new risks – so the status quo is your biggest competitor.

Lloyd’s List have taken a very radical approach, and moved digital from just 11% of sales in March 2012, to what will be 100% when they close the print edition on 20 Dec 2013.  This was a project for the whole publishing team, but the sales challenge in particular provides some great lessons for other publishers.

At the SIIA Issue Brief which I chaired in London on 6 Nov, Fergus Gregory, MD Advertising at Lloyd’s List Group, shared the journey his sales team have taken over the last 18 months, and Raoul Monks, Founder of Flume Training, who worked with the Lloyd’s List team, explained the research behind their approach.  Together they proposed some revolutionary ideas for publishers keen to make a similar digital transition. (more…)

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Posted in advertising, b2b

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What publishers see as biggest opportunities & challenges: new research

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

In the Specialist Media Insights research earlier this year, we asked 130 publishers what they saw as their biggest opportunities and challenges.  This provides a unique insight into how specialist media owners see the world right now.

Whilst they can glimpse the potential of digital platforms, online interaction, repackaging content and enhanced ad propositions, there is still a fear of new competitors, making the wrong technology choices, and traditional revenues evaporating before digital grows to replace them.  Plus a real skills gap especially in sales and technology. (more…)

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Posted in advertising, b2b, business strategy, content, marketing

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Five megatrends for 2013 that publishers can’t ignore

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

How will your publishing business evolve in 2013?  Here’s five megatrends that you must include in your plans for this year - and some suggestions for what you can do about them…

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Posted in advertising, b2b, business strategy, consumer, content, marketing

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Seven Steps to a lucky 2013 for specialist publishers

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

So how do you think the post-Christmas mobile world will affect how your audience wants to consume and pay for content?  Now that a third of adults in the US own an e-reader or tablet, will British consumers be far behind?  What does all this mean for specialist consumer or b2b publishers - and how can you get your niche media business onto a winning streak for 2013?

Here’s my 7 steps to help niche publishers improve their luck this year. (more…)

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Posted in advertising, b2b, business strategy, commerce, consumer, content, marketing

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How Dennis have made The Week a success on mobile: top ten lessons for publishers

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

News weeklies are one of the few magazine categories that are growing in print.  And The Week is a long term publishing phenomenon with an incredibly loyal subscriber base.  They rarely change the design template as it causes uproar among their loyal, longstanding and definitely mature subscribers, whose common refrain is “don’t change a thing.”

So not an obvious candidate for an iPad edition - and yet The Week has been a storming success on mobile, with 132k downloads of the UK edition, impressive commercial revenues and high star-ratings on itunes.

I was lucky enough to chair a seminar session with both Kerin O Connor, CEO of the Week, and Julian Thorne, MD of their subscription bureau, Dovetail, earlier this month and gained a great insight into how they did it and which of their learnings are applicable to other publishers: (more…)

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Posted in advertising, business strategy, consumer, implementation, marketing

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Creating innovative ad campaigns in specialist markets

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Finding new revenue sources in specialist media markets is tough: cover prices in print are capped by competitive pressures and subscriptions need to be keenly priced.  Circulation volumes are often limited, and rates for standard ad units are under pressure.  But niche publishers have a great asset in their passionate communities and strong reader relationships, and with the right approach this can be harnessed to create innovative ad campaigns for relatively large advertisers and bring in incremental revenue.  I was impressed by the story of how Military Times created a campaign for Intel, and think it has many lessons relevant to other specialist media businesses. (more…)

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Posted in advertising, consumer

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Media Pioneer: how Factory Media grew app revenues 26%

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Many publishers are considering putting their magazine content into apps , to tap into the worldwide audience on Apple devices and increasingly android too.  But how to work out what to charge for and how to grow revenues?  Action Sports publisher Factory Media seems to have hit on a winning formula.  They are the latest Media Pioneer, for their impressive 26% growth in app revenues.  Here’s my take on the key reasons for their success: (more…)

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Posted in advertising, business strategy, consumer, content, marketing

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Top tips for ambitious media businesses in 2011

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Over the last year, through my consultancy work, and running the Specialist Media Show, I’ve spoken to many specialist publishing businesses who are rapidly taking their publications into digital, events and other new businesses.  There seems to be a new mood of optimism, of engagement with the new opportunities, and many who experimented in 2010 are now seeing their reach and revenues expand.  So here are my top five tips for ambitious consumer specialist or business to business publishers, who have big plans for 2011. (more…)

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Posted in advertising, b2b, business strategy, consumer, content, events, marketing

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Secrets of successful commercial partnerships in specialist markets

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Growing commercial revenues from online publishing has provided a conundrum for specialist media businesses - they don’t have the volume of inventory to be attractive to ad networks and the CPMs are derisory - and their small commercial teams often lack skills to sell across multiple platforms.  But at the Specialist Media Show conference last month, delegates heard from specialist media owners Duncan Tickell of Magicalia and Paul Hood, latterly of Emap and now at Mirror group, and gurus such as Chris Parsons of Q5 Partners, on how to create simple, clever campaigns that grow clients’ business with tips that can be applied to niche markets. Here’s the top 5 insights: (more…)

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Posted in advertising, b2b, business strategy, consumer

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