Corner Office:: Say Media CEO Matt Sanchez on Building A Robust Digital Infrastructure
We ended up studying the video platform and got very focused on the ad technology piece of that: How do you help brands tell stories? How do you create rich experiences that are about emotion and that are beautiful and clean and really accountable when driving attention?
So we were trying to innovate, but we were stuck inside the hole on the page that the publisher allowed the ad to live in, and we couldn't really break out of that. We began seeing opportunities to create much more engaging experiences for readers -- experiences that would work a lot better for marketers, as well. So about three-and-a-half years ago, we said, "You know, what was once blogging is turning into all these great independent publications, and those publications all need scaled business services. There's an opportunity to build a modern media company around this emergence of great lifestyle brands."
And if we can do that by controlling the entire experience -- not just the advertising experience, but by giving editors tools to create really beautiful content and in a way that's standard across a bunch of publications -- then you can build something super interesting. That's what we've been focused on for the last three-and-a-half years.
Are you referring to the development of your publishing platform Tempest?
Right. And as I think about the next couple of years, what starts to put more and more distance between some of the more innovative digital publishers and the rest of the market is this kind of "whole product" approach, where you're thinking deeply about reader, editor, and marketer, and how you build your end product.
Tempest is an advertising solution, a content marketing solution, and an editorial solution all in one. At the end of the day, that should feel like one magazine to the reader. And so we're really starting to say, "OK, forget where the market's at. What's right for the reader and for the marketer if you think about how content consumption is changing?"
Related story: 14 Ways to Enhance the Marketing Power of Printed Magazines
Dan Eldridge is a journalist and guidebook author based in Philadelphia's historic Old City district, where he and his partner own and operate Kaya Aerial Yoga, the city's only aerial yoga studio. A longtime cultural reporter, Eldridge also writes about small business and entrepreneurship, travel, and the publishing industry. Follow him on Twitter at @YoungPioneers.