Customers First, Platforms Second. ACT 5 Experience Day Three.

October 10, 2014

By Lisa Scott, Executive Director, PBAA (www.pbaa.net)

Day three – an exhausting, exhilarating, remarkably comprehensive day with great networking and collegiality and sharing as a bonus benefit. It featured 11 presentation segments, with 22 individual presenters, commencing at 8:15am after a Delta Blues night in Clarksdale, and ending with a celebratory dinner on the 30th anniversary of the Magazine Service Journalism Program at Ole Miss led by Samir Husni. Starting with insights from an integrated multi-platform diversified billion dollar media company, sharing the inspiring story of the travel startup which has in five years more than met its goals and is already giving back to communities, and then absorbing the frank and interesting insights and discussions on service journalism, advertising, editorial creativity and workflows, digital enhancements at retail, printing and more… all expected and superlative attributes of the Act Experience conference.

Dana Points (Content Director, Meredith Parents Network):

· Talking to millennial parents (huge benefit of Meredith Parents Network)- they are digital natives and great to learn from

· They move across 21 different sources of information monthly (a very fragmented diet of information)

· Burning question- I can get tips and instructions online- why do I need print?

· Readers/users view print and digital differently

· “I never would have searched for that recipe (online) but now (reading print) I can’t wait to make it”

· Print brings the unexpected to our attention

· Digital skates on the surface, print goes deep

· Print conveys permanence – once in the magazine, there’s no getting it back

· Patina of trust and authority in print

· Mags have benefited from digital – mags work harder than ever to hone print contact

· Digital

o Gives editors new tools to use

o Reawakened editors to the power of the list

o Allows editors to provide 360° service

o Has prompted more quick, accessible bites of content

o Print is now incorporating more people from digital- new “stars” of social media

· Now designing certain stories with the web’s new visual language in mind (make image “pinable”

· Pubs are “listening” on social media

· Craft of magazine making has become more important- looking at the visual energy of photos, and at flow of articles through the reading experience- example- section on “Life in a Special Needs World”

· Creative editors are bringing other platforms into print- perhaps not print some recipes- push readers online for those details (example- Rachael Ray’s “Your party in a pdf”

· Strong ideas fly or die based on whether they have a life beyond the page

· For great service journalism today

o Go against conventional wisdom

o Focus attention on and bring perspective to a topic

o Bring original research to a familiar topic

o Winnow down the seemingly endless amount of journalism- “the best” for the reader

o Compiling and curating service- e.g. Parents on Best Apps

· Use consumer information studies to evaluate print articles- Are they read? Do they appeal?

· Also evaluate via “pickup” on other media

· 90% of online content is not from the magazine.

Greg Sullivan (Co-founder/CEO AFAR Media):

· Five years since launch- 50,00 initial circ, now 250,000- achieved subscriber goal, got critical acclaim

· Started with a print produce, but aiming toward long-term, multiplatform media company

· AFAR’s digital strategy

o Not publisher focused

o Traveler focused

o Take advantage of digital capabilities

o Let our community help us

o Spirit of experiential travel

o Should be best inspirational and planning site for experiential travel

· Created app and online place for great travelers to share their experiences

o Everything is meant to be useable on phone, text, photos, maps

o 55,000 registered users, 87% of the content created by people other than AFAR’s writers, editors, sponsors

o Content saveable including on phones and offline

o Use lots of lists

· Last year published guides to 80 publications but also organized by passions

· Now building engagement and community

· They are now #1 Travel Website, #1 Traveler App- Lowell Thomas awards

· All is based on mag’s credibility, audience… and they are now adding curation

· Brand extensions:

o AFAR collection (of hotels and resorts)- first selected by editors, then listed

o AFAR custom publishing- content solutions, used by hotel chains, banks

o Learning AFAR- non profit… scholarships for travel for those in communities that might broaden their view of the world (opening perspectives and minds)

· Print is still driving revenues- perint ad $ is 50% of total revenue

Jens Henneberg (Executive Vice President and Editorial Director, Bonnier Group, Denmark):

· Bonnier Strategy 2014-17 is to “liberate ourselves from limitations of paper and frequency”

· Inspire passion, drive engagement

· Bonnier is a content company but take full advantage of new technology but entering much more complex operation with efficiency and cost savings constantly in mind.

· Example- biggest title- Science Illustrated

o Video

o Select and curate from you tube

o Work well on smartphones

o There is a purely editorial newsletter (have email addresses already) – this is part of the subscription, does not have advertising (must have reader’s permission if contains ads), weekly, 39% opening rate)

o Readers trust the brand

o Gamification taken from this brand- “Wake up call for the Curious”

§ Made for the waiting line- bored generation

§ 5 quizzes a day

§ Trivia and knowledge

§ Not an app- it’s HTML

· “Silver Bullet” doesn’t exist- tablets/emags are a supplement not a savior; 8-10% of subscribers read it

· Be experiential- title by title

· Hidden Success Factors (creative ideas won’t work if you don’t have these):

o Simple log-in

o One-click payment

o Managing customer data

· New workflows needed to coordinate multi-platform efforts

· Advantages of print- graphic, enhanced photos/images

· Print will still dominate in 2018 (still 75% of company circ and ad revenue)

· The challenge: to marry radical innovation with disciplined execution (Gary Hamel- WSJ)

· Note: in Denmark- subs are 85% of circ and very high priced- $11 an issue, pub invoices subscribers on the installment plan several times a year- this income can fund other platforms and projects

Steve Davis (President, Kantar Media’s SRDS)

Alysia Borsa (SVP, Data and Mobile, Meredith Corp)

Robert Hanna (Co-founder, Burst Media)

Katriina Kaarre (Publishing Director, Octavamedia Ltd, Finland):

· Changing ad buying dynamics- not by publisher or brand, but by audience- this is programmatic ad buying.

· Uses technology to get audiences- real time bidding through exchanges.

· Challenge is that it’s not the best inventory- pubs will reserve that for their best clients

· You can also buy an impression through a private (e.g. Meredith) marketplace; 50-75% of media buying is going that way

· First party data is data derived directly from the users- declared and behavioral- best quality

· Also data can be aggregated from other sources (third party)

· You still need to keep the brand story and have relationships with your big advertisers

· Native advertising- bringing relevant, integrated advertising to the consumer

· Content creators are frequently not the ones writing for native- instead coming from separate marketing services group- but basic editorial standards are kept

· Editorial needs to better understand the fiscal well-being of the company and understand how the business side/operations work

· Business model of print will continue to evolve- people will still want the print experience- valuable for consumer and for marketer

· Print is a very contextually relevant place to advertise

· There is more integrated opportunity for print across platforms

· There is advertiser reluctance to embrace over-55’s- should be more educated on print value

· Print is not the mother ship but is part of the “super-liner”

· The future is mobile- hugely exciting, location based, also future will be more personalized advertising for where you are. (there will be no banner advertising)

· Advertising will become more integrated, relevant, tailored, social. Also more creative and engaging- all due to continuing fragmentation in the population.

· Ads will come from many sources, there will be better expertise around it (and old style “advertorials” were frequently poorly done- native advertising is much higher quality)

Brian Hart Hoffman (EVP/Editor in Chief Digital Officer, Hoffman Media):

· Guiding Creativity- guides editors to relate their own families to give readers more on the people behind the brand

· Editors need to put themselves in their readers’ shoes- perhaps readers spend 2 hrs on each issue, 6 times a year- thus 12 hrs a year with the magazine- editors become fatigued by content and perhaps it repetitiveness- however this is embraced and considered a plus by the readers

· Readers like consistency- they don’t want too much change

· Examples- based on MagNet cover analysis- accidental use of basket of pumpkins on September Southern Lady cover has led to an ongoing tradition of variations of that cover image each September to great success

· Similar consistent cover on special- Autumn in the South, and on Southern Lade Holiday specials- always a wreath and always a best seller

· Create the product that readers tell you they want

· Columns and sections of a successful magazine can give birth to new magazines

· Keep talking with your readers

· There should be obvious alignment between your content and your advertising

John Puterbaugh (EVP& Chief Digital Officer, Nellymoser):

· Bridging the print and digital divide

· “Companion” or second-screen viewing is growing

· Activation details and examples

o Types of activation- QR codes, barcodes, watermarks

o Every page in Marie Claire magazine is activated

o Branded app will grab the image and then take you to lots of enhanced material

o Augmented media can be very expensive and has not been proved to be a lasting tool

· Print is branding; mobile turns interest into action

· Top 100 mags- 10% of pages are activated now

Note: reports on activation are available free on Nellymoser website

· Transition from “hold and hover” technology (awkward) to “Grab and Go” (easier)

· Retail applications- to make print “shopable”

o Kindle Fire phone pioneered “showrooming” technology- grab image from a flyer and product is found for sale on line and you can purchase it

o Target many apps for “shopping” their flyer and immediate purchase

o Magazines who impletment these purchase options should get affiliate fees

· There is audience targeting and location targeting

o Geofencing (location based ads)

o Geo-conquesting (based on competitor contact)

o Beacons placed in stores by retailers- will be recognized by your phone- can push notification

o Mobile has the ability to connect every piece of the shopper’s journey

§ Transactional

§ Social

§ Provides location

§ Persistent memory

· Publishers need to start with their business goals, then decide on which tools (not choose tools first)

· This all only works if consumer continues to trust the brand and thus is willing to “exchange information”

· Ad agencies are embracing interactive print

Roel-Jan Mouw (CEO, Woodwing, The Netherlands):

· It’s not print, digital, content first- it should be consumer first

· Uber model- the business is not new, but the focus on customer control and satisfaction is a game changer

· Sustainable multi channel publishing starts with:

o Organization

o Strategy

o Structure

o Control

o Consistency

o Customer

· Example- KLM decided that business travelers are their most important customers. They married user’s unique twitter account with their KLM profile- Traveler can tweet a request or itinerary change and make it happen within an hour seamlessly. (yet this social media innovation was advertised in print on the NYC Subway)

· Example- Sanoma restructured from 60+ titles to 17 brands- all are able of transcending into multi-channel brands

· Choice of delivery channel may not be the consumer’s choice, rather the result of (forced) changes in the distribution system (e.g. Jakarta newspaper can no longer be physically delivered due to traffic, so no more print edition)

· Data and digital channels are bi-directional

Tony Silber (Access Intelligence and Folio)

Mike Goldman (Editorial Director, Boys Life, Scouting & Eagles’ Call Magazines, Boy Scouts of America)

Elizabeth Y. Whittington (Managing Editor, CureMagazine.com)

Cathy Still McGowin (Editor, Birmingham Home & Garden):

· Editors are going bottom up (experiential) not top down (brand management)

· Readers want material that they need, that they can’t get anywhere else

· You need to multi-task; if you can’t do more you need to at least have an understanding of the other jobs

· Social media- different vehicles used differently by each editor/company based on their reader demographics, editorial category, etc. But need to constantly test social media since reader adoptability and adaptability change

· How do you give print stories a different life elsewhere (beyond the closed print ecosystem?)

Haines Wilkerson (Chief Creative Officer, Morris Media Network)

Craig Chapman (Producer, Real Foods, Real Kitchens):

· Video is vitally important in digital strategy-website, app, blog are incomplete without motion

· Editors- “start your day with digital”- think how the content carries over to digital with your morning coffee

· Where collaborated with Real Foods/Real Kitchens to develop a video production bible for Where editors (how to plan/edit/shoot video)

· Samir has created a magical living connecting point in these conferences, with real live discussion on challenges and innovative solutions

Bob Sacks (Precision Media)

Gil Brechtel (MagNet)

John Parke (Democrat Printing)

Dick Ryan (Publishers Press)

Gal Shweicki (Shweicki Media):

· “Totality” reporting should be avoided- the whole batch is not bad, but individual results can be

· Some title, some sectors are continuing to perform extremely well in a down environment- we should celebrate those

· When industries are in transition you get mixes of horror stories and success stories

· Lines on a chart suggest simplicity of results- this is far from true

· Print will be lucrative for those who get it right

· Scarcity and quality will define the great magazines of the future- the survivors in print

· Your future business should replace your current business before someone else replaces it for you

· Survivors- nimble. They change to meet the needs of publishers

· Publishing professionals cannot be simply trained as “specialists”- they need to be capable and trained in a variety of areas in the company

Tom Witschi (EVP Women’s Lifestyle Brands, Meredith Corp):

· Confident and excited about magazine business today

· Media brands are all about content and engaged consumers delivered on multiple platforms with multiple technologies

· Meredith audience growth: 2001- 68 million; 2014- 110 million

· Meredith sales guarantee for products- difference in spending in Meredith household compared to others

(average sales lift 10%)

· Build out your brand via:

o Real Estate

o Furniture

o Retail Products

o Floral Arrangements

o Digital Syndication

o International Media

· More than half Eating Well revenue from non-traditional media

· Art and Science of data- Meredith offers enhanced content and great data

· Goals:

o Move consumers to credit card auto renewal

o Increase price points for subs

o Bundle subs with premium services at a higher cost

o Increase online sub acquisition and renewal

o Encourage tablet adoption

· Cross pollinate where possible

· Unleash young talent

· There used to be a predictability to the magazine business; now changing constantly, and is unpredictable

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