Publishing Executive October 2009
64% of marketers think brand building and demand generation are equally important, while 23% think generating demand is more important, and 13% say that brand building is more important.
In the midst of all the headlines last October detailing the deterioration of the nation’s stock market and banking system—not to mention the folding of more than a few consumer magazines—you may have missed this one: The Food Network launched a print magazine. Already well-established on TV and the Web, the brand culminated its multichannel integration by entering the print medium.
"We have found that most companies, when confronting cost reduction, tend to make cuts across the board. I believe most executives know that that's not quite right, but they resort to that." So said Cesare Mainardi—managing director of Booz & Co.'s North American business, and co-author of "Cut Costs, Grow Stronger: A Strategic Approach to What to Cut and What to Keep"—in a Harvard Business Publishing video interview exploring how to cut costs—strategically.
I have been talking for years about a possible new business model for publishers that I have termed, for lack of a better title, consortium publishing. The idea works like a cable TV plan—with tiered subscriptions starting with a flat price for a basic service and working up to a platinum package containing any and all available content.
Print ad revenue is still in an alarming free-fall, and journalists are getting laid off three times faster than the rest of the workforce, according to Unity’s 2009 Layoff Tracker Report. The onus is on publishers to find new revenue streams, and a profitable Web strategy is central to continued survival. And while many print publishers have tried to replicate their print profitability online, few have succeeded to date—at least in a large way.
Cesare Mainardi—managing director of Booz & Co.’s North American business, and co-author of “Cut Costs, Grow Stronger: A Strategic Approach to What to Cut and What to Keep”—is interviewed by Harvard Business Publishing about how to cut costs—strategically. There are effective and ineffective ways to reduce organizational costs, and, as Mainardi suggests, the difference can mean the success or failure of your business.
As a 28-year production veteran, you could say that Lisa Earlywine, vice president of production for Bonnier Corp., has found her niche. Beginning with a production position at The Blood-Horse in Lexington, Ky., Earlywine has spent her entire career in the niche consumer magazine market.
As a young African-American female who is an independent publisher, people often ask me where I found the guts to start a national magazine. Who in their right mind would take on such a task—a print magazine, no less—in this day and time? I always answer with a big smile and tell them that I have had a long-running love affair with magazines.
While most publishing veterans shudder at the thought of print publications being shuttered, the frequency of magazine closures surely seems to be increasing. But while closing down a print edition and keeping the title "alive" in digital form used to be viewed as a last-ditch effort to preserve some form—any form—of a magazine's existence, some publishers actually are thriving with digital-only publications.
When Phyllis Hoffman started her first magazine, Just Cross Stitch, in 1983, she knew a lot about needlework, but next to nothing about the magazine business. "We didn't even know what direct mail was. We did not know what rate base was," she says. "We just were having a great time."