8 Ways to Ensure E-commerce Earns Dollars Without Burning Your Brand
Publishers have been tapping into e-commerce technologies for more than a decade now, embracing them to sell subscriptions, complementary publications and promotional items directly related to the brand. Today, publishers are pursuing more complex e-commerce models that present much higher revenue potential-when done well.
But this isn't a tale of publishers merely appealing to audiences for a bigger percentage of their disposable income. The new e-commerce models benefit the audience, too, by providing readers with an opportunity to dive deeper into the rich brand environment already ingrained in most magazines and extend their relationship in pace with their content consumption.
Mary Berner, president and CEO of The Association of Magazine Media (MPA), offered some perspective on all this recent e-commerce speculation: "If you look at publishers -- Meredith, for example -- they have always leveraged their brands to build huge and robust businesses. The Better Homes and Gardens brand has many tentacles in terms of commerce. What I think is different is the direct tie-in to the actual content. I believe that's the opportunity. It's contextual buying, and I think that's very exciting," says Berner.
Publishing Executive spoke with Berner and a slew of other magazine industry leaders about emerging e-commerce strategies and how to leverage a strong magazine brand. Here's a selection of their sage advice.
1. Diversify The Organization
When Michela O'Connor Abrams joined Dwell Media in 2002-first as a consultant, and then as president and publisher-she and owner Lara Hedberg Deam agreed on one important tenet: Dwell Media was not going to be just a magazine publisher. "We agreed to build a company based on an audience, not only on a magazine platform," says O'Connor Abrams.
What this focus has allowed the company to do is branch off in other directions, diversifying the business -- building a consultancy, for example -- but always relying on the community's needs as its guidepost.
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