Meredith's Real Simple Rebounds From 'Unfortunate' Time Inc. Sales Structure
When you find yourself in a hole, the expression goes, the first thing to do is stop digging. That’s the approach Real Simple Publisher Daren Mazzucca is taking this year and going into 2019, as he looks to get the brand—which declined in ad revenue this year—back into growth mode.
Real Simple was hit hard by a 2016 Time Inc. decision to reorganize sales efforts into ad-category clusters, where salespeople would sell groups of magazine brands to buyers in verticals buckets, such as pharma, beauty, food, autos, and more. The theory was to encourage bigger sales ideas around multiple brands. In a July 2016 memo, then Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp said the restructuring would “allow the organization to unlock and scale innovation while unifying processes and advertising opportunities critical to our future.”
For many of Time Inc.’s brands, including Real Simple, the rolling series of sales overhauls didn't work. Real Simple ad sales declined significantly in 2018, Mazzucca says, and the brand dropped off the radar even for supportive marketers.