Meredith CDO Discusses Acquisition of ‘SwearBy’ Product Recommendation Platform
Last week Meredith Corporation announced its acquisition of SwearBy, a digital platform that crowdsources product recommendations from shoppers. The move demonstrates the media company’s further investment in ecommerce and affiliate marketing.
Home to national women’s lifestyle brands including Better Homes & Gardens, REAL SIMPLE, and Parents, Meredith properties already generate significant revenue through commerce content. In 2019, the publisher “drove over $1 billion in sales for its retail partners through its affiliate and shopper marketing efforts,” according to a Jan. 9 company press release.
The integration of SwearBy across Meredith digital properties will allow for more seamless inclusion of product recommendations in content, as well as provide valuable consumer intent data. SwearBy will also continue as a stand-alone property, where users can add their own product picks (a.k.a. “Swears”) and share on social media. The site enables social “influencers” to market products to their followers.
In the following Q&A, Meredith President and Chief Digital Officer Catherine Levene explains why Meredith acquired SwearBy and how it will benefit both readers and marketers.
What were the motivations behind the SwearBy acquisition?
We are always looking at building or acquiring products and services that help our female consumers in their everyday lives. At the same time, we are also laser focused on connecting our marketers with our audience in organic and authentic ways. SwearBy is an excellent addition to our digital offerings for both our consumers and our marketing partners.
How does this fit into Meredith’s larger business objectives?
Women prefer to get recommendations from people they trust – their friends, family or experts, like our editors. SwearBy is a platform that houses all of these recommendations and provides an easy way to share them with your own network. From a business perspective, in addition to being a great consumer service, SwearBy fits squarely into our suite of commerce initiatives at Meredith. Women are the most influential word-of-mouth agents for products, services and places they love. When women receive recommendations from friends, they are much more likely to purchase those products. Through SwearBy, they can do this seamlessly and easily.
Which brands do you believe will benefit most from SwearBy?
From PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly to REAL SIMPLE and Parents, SwearBy is relevant for all of our brands. Women recommend beauty and fashion products, baby products, work out routines, recipes, books, movies, TV shows, health services, home design, hotels and more. Our brands touch all of these categories.
How will readers benefit?
Readers will be able to see what our Editors swear by and then add those products to their own SwearBy lists, or directly purchase those products. They’ll also be able to see what other women ‘SwearBy’ as well as share their own recommendations.
This acquisition unlocks valuable consumer data – how does Meredith plan to capitalize on it?
Knowing what women are recommending in the here and now is extremely valuable. Our editors can use this data to see what is resonating with their users and get ahead of trends. The data is also beneficial for marketers to gain insights into how products and services are being viewed and shared by their consumers.
What does your timeline look like for integration and rollout across Meredith properties?
We’ll be rolling out SwearBy on a brand-by-brand basis as well as a stand-alone service. We’re working on timelines now.
Leah Wynalek is the senior editor for Publishing Executive and Book Business. She has worked at national magazine publishing companies including Trusted Media Brands and Rodale, where she assisted in digital content creation and strategy for Prevention.com. More recently, she used her multimedia skillset on behalf of clients as a content specialist for Philadelphia-based marketing agency En Route.