How to Ramp Up Online Ad Sales
In his new role as Time Inc. Interactive’s general manager, Gordon McLeod oversees the online operations for the world’s largest publisher (more than 150 magazines spanning the globe). He is responsible for business strategy and operations at Web sites for big-name magazine titles such as Time, Money, Fortune, People, Sports Illustrated, and Entertainment Weekly, among others—covering everything from fashion to food to farming.
“We just see huge growth in online sales,” McLeod says. With online advertising on the upswing for many publishers, from consumer to trade magazines, McLeod says he’s excited about leading the effort at Time Inc. He honed his online-management skills as president of SI.com, the Web site for Sports Illustrated, from 2003 to 2005. Now, he says he’s ready to help to build online-revenue streams across all of the publisher’s Web properties.
Following the dot-com blowout at the turn of the century, many of the sky-high predictions for online advertising—once heralded as the knock out punch for magazine publishers—took a hit. But online revenues got back up, although wounded, with print publishers taking part in this round. Now, many of those headline-grabbing forecasts are back in vogue.
On the Rebound
Online advertising in the United States alone is predicted to reach $26 billion by 2010, according to market-researcher Forrester Research Inc. The Cambridge, Mass.–based independent technology research firm says online marketing and advertising will represent 8 percent of total advertising spending in 2010, rivaling ad spending on cable/satellite TV and radio.
McLeod is in the process of fine-tuning sales development, ad operations and Web analytics to help Time Inc. Interactive capitalize on this resurgent online-advertising atmosphere. He says part of the effort is simply “to staff up and get more people on the street.” He says there is also a push to get more of the company’s print sellers to peddle ads for online.