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CEO Perspective: Rich Maggiotto

By FOLIO: Staff

Rich Maggiotto, President & CEO
114 Sansome Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: 415-494-2700

What will the print-media industry experience in 2010? Will this be a year of cost reduction or growth?

The print media industry will have a busy 2010; challenged to grow, while demanded to reduce costs to survive. This demand fuels a revolution in reading, reshaping our industry forever. The print media industry will need to find a profitable balance between paper and pixels. An advertiser’s interest in paying for impressions in print will be challenged when translated into digital. New business models will rise. We won’t find solid ground in 2010, but will make strides leading to a positive 2011.

What one technology will be transformative?

None of them. Full color, e-reading devices may aid consumer adoption for digital transformation, but, a device is only a device. Publishers must prepare and present content, advertising and engaging ecommerce across any technology to successfully evolve. I suggest each company practice an approach we call “Thrive-ival.” Thrive-ival happens when a company focuses on the core skills that make them the strongest. For success with everything else, they make smart partnerships. In this reading revolution, no publisher will be able to survive as a one-trick pony. Companies should not strive to solve each new-world issue, but instead, define an approach enabling them to work with core partners and create unprecedented consumer experiences. Thrive-ival drives successful transformation.

Will the Web be strategically central to the industry?

Of course! Leverage the web for what it’s good at: being a driver. Print readers and web surfers have different goals in mind. To suggest a great print publication can be pasted inside a website template and drive the same compelling engagement and advertising support is silly. The web works best as a bridge. Websites need to be considered as crucial, dynamic drivers bridging online and offline interaction. The web is mobile now, encompassing Wi-Fi enabled devices including video-game consoles, and mobile phones with 24/7 access. Regard the web as the usher of your digital publication’s stickiness and success. Use it to guide the consumer deep inside your highly qualified, precious content. Keep them enamored with your commitment to long form, beautifully designed stories in a way that builds brand loyalty and stewardship like never before. Make the web work for you.

What skills do publishers need to succeed in this era?

A combination of courage and focus. While the recession may subside, the transformation of our industry has just begun. A reading revolution has begun. Only publishers with the courage to define success in ways not yet unearthed will succeed. Focus on what really matters: our consumers. Our readers will guide us down the road to success. The rewards will be large if we just have the courage to accept change and drive forward.

Is this a great time to be an entrepreneur in this business or a terrible one? Why?

I’m biased, but I think it is always a fantastic time to be an entrepreneur. Zinio started at potentially the worst time: when the dotcom bubble burst. The ability to remain entrepreneurial has fueled our growth and success almost 10 years. My insistence to remain aware of market and consumer needs, and service those needs in an exceptional manner continues to drive growth. Being entrepreneurial has an advantage. That advantage is an undying driver called passion. Netflix and Zappos, will go down in history as success stories driven by passion that fueled consumer adoption. Entrepreneurs have the passion to work through any challenge. Many times it is exactly challenge and formidable odds that drive the best results.


By FOLIO: Staff

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