Their Print Ad Revenue Is Growing. Want to Know Why?
With the publishing industry changing on what seems like a daily basis, how is it that some publications are actually finding ways to increase their print advertising revenue in the past two years? Publishing Executive went behind the scenes with four publishers who have done just that to find out what they’re doing “right.”
Steve Reiss, vice president and publishing director of Modern Salon, came on board in 2009. Since then, the property has seen excellent growth, with double-digit ad revenue increases in both 2010 and 2011, according to Inquiry Management Systems (IMS) ad-tracking reports. As the head of a business-to-business (b-to-b) publication serving the salon and beauty industry, Reiss had the challenge of really immersing himself in the industry he serves and demonstrating that he “gets it,” and “gets them.” “I came into a family-owned business … with an idea for a holistic approach and a big picture,” says Reiss. “All of the work that was set in place that [first] year has paid off in 2010 and 2011.”
When Reiss says holistic, he means it. As a b-to-b publication, the most important aspect was to truly understand the salon business from the ground up. This meant getting heavily involved in industry associations and events, and spending considerable time with both advertisers and readers. “We had one of our editors enroll in beauty school,” recounts Reiss. “She made it all the way through and graduated, which brought a whole new perspective to our editorial.” Reiss believes that taking the time to really understand audiences—and adapting products and services to their needs and behaviors, instead of trying to sell what they had—has helped customers and readers view them as a “friend in the business.”
In addition to taking greater advantage of advertiser interest in digital products, this approach has dramatically increased Modern Salon’s print business, Reiss says. “Companies who weren’t working with us in the past may start working with us on digital projects, but eventually start running print with us as well as we work closely with them, develop relationships, and have a chance to showcase our capabilities,” he says. “The same is true for companies who only want to reach specific segments. They may start with us since we are the only people offering that specific segment, but as they decide to reach other audiences they expand the relationship to our other brands.”