Their Print Ad Revenue Is Growing. Want to Know Why?
Departures, the American Express Publishing luxury lifestyle and travel magazine, is up 22 percent in ad revenue for the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter in 2011. This double-digit increase follows a 45-percent increase in ad revenue for all of 2011, according to Steve DeLuca, vice president and publisher. DeLuca attributes much of his magazine’s success to a qualified readership and circulation. “Departures is an exclusive benefit for American Express Platinum Card and Centurion [best known as ‘the black card’] cardmembers,” says DeLuca. “Departures is not available on newsstands, and our advertising partners love that it is only delivered to the most affluent homes in America. There is no waste for luxury marketers.”
With this qualified audience, Departures has an advantage, but even more pressure to deliver. With a readership of 1.1 million, Editor Richard David Story and his team have taken advantage of the ability to focus their editorial content on the lifestyle of their readers, because they know who their readers are and what they do. DeLuca believes in a relationship with readers and clients. “Our editors ‘talk’ with our readers, not down to them,” he explains. “It’s like a club. One of our popular pages is the ‘You Tell Us’ page, where readers share what they have discovered in terms of new products or during their travels. This is an important page that reflects the voice of the magazine.”
In terms of clients, DeLuca believes that they each require a different approach, but he is finding that unlike many advertisers, his clientele isn’t shying away from print. “We approach each client differently and focus on what each is trying to achieve,” he explains. “Very few of our clients say they don’t want to be in print; rather, they just want to learn how to use it more effectively and, if possible, layer digital into this conversation. The fact of the matter is we all need to work together. And a real differentiator for us is results. Clients see tangible ROI (store traffic, purchases, etc.) from the ads and marketing programs we build together. A good example of this is our eExclusive program where readers learn about exclusive product offerings in the magazine and then go to our website to find out how to buy them. This was very successful in 2011.”