From ACT 6 Experience With Love: Linda Ruth Reports — Scott Coffman, Lumina Media: Media is Hard–But Worth Pursuing. Chapter 10.

May 2, 2016

Scott Coffman “We’re not in an easy business,” warned Scott Coffman, Senior VP and General Manager of Lumina Media. “Media is hard.”

He was speaking to the group of students and magazine professionals at MIC’s ACT 6, and went on to say that, despite the difficulty of the landscape, there exist opportunities and potential for publishers speaking for and to passionate and enthusiastic readers. Lumina Media creates product in several categories, including pet, farm, and auto, which reach enthusiast audiences.

As an example of how Lumina addressed today’s media challenges, the publisher re-launched the 50-year-old brands, Cat Fancy and Dog Fancy, in association with the Catster and Dogster websites. The move enabled the publisher to create a print and digital brand that has more history and authority than the parent sites and a more updated, engaging, and immediate voice than the print parent. With a more relaxed style and tone, which evoke a best friend or family member giving pet advice, sales on the newsstand have doubled.

Coffman believes that, like Lumina, other publishers who are rising to meet the current media challenges can counter the downward trends. The challenge is to move confidently and aggressively to grow sales to support the newsstand channel. But our approach needs to be a long term one. We must look past the next two or three years, and think in 30 year terms.

With other ACT 6 speakers, Coffman suggested that publishers find out where their most targeted readers shop and work with those retailers to create partnerships. Get with the retailer to take a look at their marketing plans with an eye for identifying synergies and opportunities. An example he mentioned was Tractor Supplies’ Chick Days, an annual opportunity for publishers and editors to develop content to support retailer plans. Remember, Coffman cautioned, to involve the wholesaler, who has to implement whatever program you agree upon.

Retailers today look for content to support their digital and social sites, so a possible partnership might include a promotion via publisher’s social media to bring customers to partner stores. Retailers are aware (though it never hurts to remind them) that specialty magazines drive sales of other products carried in their stores. They may work with you by providing data to analyze that supports the value of these magazine partnerships for both parties.

Watch Scott Coffman’s presentation at the ACT 6 Experience below:

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