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2014 Media Supplier Perspective: Part 1

Magazine and media vendors weigh in on the top priorities and trends of 2014.



By FOLIO: Staff
12/12/2013

 

The exhibitor floor at FOLIO:’s annual MediaNext event is likely the one place to experience the full breadth of services for the magazine media industry. It’s also a unique opportunity to take the pulse of the market from the perspective of those who are on the front lines driving the changes in technology and adapting to what publisher clients—and their audiences—are demanding from the marketplace. Here, we present part one of a collection of commentary from some of the top media service providers straight from the show floor of MediaNext 2013.

 

ADVANTAGE COMPUTING SYSTEMS
Cindy Mikol
Marketing Director

1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
Consolidating, outsourcing—we are a fulfillment software business so it’s a little different than some of these other vendors. They want to try to get more functionality in one place. They kind of want one stop shopping. More people are asking us can you just do everything. They don’t want to have a server and hardware people. They want someone to provide it soup to nuts. That’s what we are hearing.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
We are trying to be bullish. We are working really hard to adapt to the changes in the industry and it looks like we can do it. It looks to us that there will still be a place for our kind of software—at least for the near future. I don’t know beyond that what is going to happen to the industry, but I don’t think it’s going to go away. We are certainly are seeing less new business opportunities than we have in the last five years, but business is still good and we are getting new clients. Unfortunately a lot of them are in Europe, but that’s ok. The clients are a lot more global. We have to be bullish on it. It’s our life blood!

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
Significant not in a good way was the drying up of advertising in the business-to-business market. That just cut off a whole area of clients for us. But people want more business intelligence and we work to provide information on that. That’s a trend.

LITLE & CO
James Keogh
Business Development Representative

1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
It’s too early to say that. It’s kind of hard to answer that.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
The publishing industry has a lot of subscription and recurring billing and we as a payment processor that specializes in pay commerce and helping clients with recurring billing with value added services that mitigate risk of losing transaction and publishing is a good niche for us because they have a lot of subscription models and we can help maximize their return on investment.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
The push to go digital; the continued push I guess I would say.

SUPERIOR MEDIA SOLUTIONS
Bill Walker
CEO

1.What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
They need to figure out how to balance their legacy business and their digital business. They are really excited about how Superior Media Solutions is helping them do so.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
It’s in my blood. I have been around it for so many years. My wife is the president and COO of Vance publishing and I am a believer.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
[It’s] the trend toward mobile, which in the magazine business means more tablet than smart phone. And the ability to expand the content that’s deliverable—integrating not only data, but other functions—functionality I should say.

ATTIVIO
Karthik Chelladurai

1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
Actually we are here today to know their top priorities. We don’t know yet. I think there are certain areas where we can really add value like being able to monitor a brand’s intelligence—the information that is positively or negatively impacting a given brand, or being able to monitor a personality in the unstructured world of social media. Or how to you keep a handle on things since there are so many tweets and blogs that spread very fast.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
We are bullish because there is a big transition to the digital moment. The digital consumption is happening because of the tablets and other devices that are in everyone’s hands. The consumption is happening and to be able to give them a personal experience when they consume digital publishing, that requires a lot of technology to provide that experience and this opens new opportunities for software companies like ours which brings disparate information together on one dashboard, so we are extremely bullish on the industry.


3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
The one thing that we are seeing a lot of is the ability to get a handle on social media. A company’s perception is good or bad just by people tweeting or writing about them. How do you keep a handle on that? In publishing I think that is a very big deal. 


THE MAGAZINE MANAGER, MIRABEL TECHNOLOGIES
Andy Balch
Vice President, Sales and Marketing

1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
They are very interested in digital solutions and executing the multiple digital disseminating of their content and being able to do that with the resources on hand and trying to get some revenue out of it.


2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
Publishers have all the credibility in the world with their brands and their products and there is an opportunity to reach a broader audience whatever the platform is.


3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
I would say the proliferation of mobile devices and being able to connect off of systems with tablets and smart phones and enabling the sales team to be so much more productive.



INQURY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Marc Highbloom
Vice President and General Manager

1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
For what we do I would say its lead generation.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
We’re not! Magazines have to do a better job. We were just talking about how Google changed up how they do their site and content is king, so if you are a large publisher and you have great content you are ok. But for everybody who is a small business now, Google doesn’t care about your key words any more; they care about your content. Magazines need to do a better job at providing content online and building their brand.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?

For us it would be reinventing ourselves and providing more services for the magazine clients that are out there and integrating with other technologies that are more advanced. It’s keeping pace. We reinvented our systems and for the directories that we build for our clients we went out of house and integrated with more advanced third party systems. You can’t just build a single platform any more you will get killed. You have to integrate with Google, DoubleClick, and all these other technologies; otherwise you are dead in the water.

CUMMINGS Printing
Mark Nakos
Sales Manager


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?

I would say the top priority is looking to monetize their online/ digital presence.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
There is no substitute for good content. Readers and customers are thirsty for good content.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
It kind of ties into the first question; people are still searching for that magic bullet to make all the capital that they are investing with their online presence and trying to capture revenue from that. It’s the conundrum. People are throwing a lot of money at the space and not really getting a return for it.

MERIT DIRECT
Danielle Zaborski
Vice President, Data & Media Services

1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
They want smarter marketing. Everyone is vying for the same marketing dollar, so they have to be very smart in how they are spending those dollars.

2. Tell us why you’re bullish on magazine media.
With many publications ceasing, it’s a different atmosphere. There are fewer players in the game and the smaller players are a little more vulnerable in terms of ad spends and exposure in the market place. The competition is fierce. It’s a different environment, but it is always going to be a viable channel. A lot of publishers are going online, but publishing is not going anywhere. It may shift to a digital forum, but it is by no means dying.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
Again, going back to digital, I think a lot of major publishers and smaller niche publications are trying to transition people to a digital version or shifting completely to an online only model—obviously with the mobile units being key. All industry data show that mobile and tablet readership is up and that is something that all smart publishers will key into in order to keep their business viable moving forward.


MEI
Craig Roth
Senior Vice President, Sales

1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
They are still transitioning to digital.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
We are bullish on the media in general. We don’t look at them as magazines, we look at them as part of the whole communications market place. They are all community experts and they are all becoming media agnostic and we are a supplier to that initiative. Thankfully we are very successful and our clients by default are very successful.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?

I think the acceptance that information doesn’t have to be in the form of a piece of paper.

DIGARATI
Kevin Kennedy
Vice President

1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
I would say the two major challenges that we are seeing that people want to solve are: Number one, how to you monetize things appropriately? And the second challenge would be, how do you distribute to multiple devices like your computer, your tablet, your smart phone, without having to use three different solutions to do that? Can I distribute to all those platforms from one place and then monetize across those platforms?

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
When I think about magazines I think about content. I think in terms of content rather than just in terms of magazines. It’s a point of gathering that will always appeal to like-minded people. I am still bullish on the way of consuming content in the way of a magazine is still going to be the way of the future. But we have to continue to evolve in how we distribute that content and get it into the hands of people and allow them to consume it in ways that are convenient for them.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?

It’s hard to say because there are too many things going on at the same time—better ways of distributing content on mobile devices. It leads back to those challenges. I think the trend is monetizing on platforms like mobile.

WRIGHTS MEDIA
Michelle Wolf
New Business Development

1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
The top priority is to generate more revenue through existing assets.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
What better place is there for people who are creating content, are protective of their brand and who better know the value of their brand? That’s a perfect market for us. We work with content creators. They are well aware of the value of their brand and how that brand can be leveraged to create extra revenue.


3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
For the 1400 brands that we represent, it’s taking those existing lists. Publishers are finally realizing not to give away those assets and to monetize them. The editorial is for the reader; the brand is for the marketer, really. We have gone from ancillary revenue to substantial revenues for a lot of our publishers and that’s a big deal.

REALMATCH
Rod Garcia
Inside Sales

1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
Creating new revenue.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
We find that it has a readership that is very loyal and they haven’t really begun to monetize their audience. I also think with the shift to mobile there is an audience shift.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
The shift to pay for performance model, the evolution of e recruiting has changed dramatically from the inception of newspapers. It shifted from offline to online. You had your newspapers and job board and then you had your job aggregators and Linkedin and now you have more of a pay for performance model where your employers are trying to gage on one specific avenue to capture their job seeker audience rather than to pay for 20 different licenses and have it all over the place.

IPACESETTERS
Keith Strehle
Account Executive


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?

Primarily [it’s] price point, making sure of quality and also concerns about the new DPA regulations.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
We think there’s excellent opportunity for growth with the ability for email marketing.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
The changes in DPA regulations and also the FCC wireless regulations.

KNOWLEDGE MARKETING
Suzanne Dunham
Regional Director of Sales

1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
It’s Integrated data—the ability to look at their disparate data across all their different audiences. If you think about how Suzanne attends the MediaNext conference, she also receives FOLIO: magazine, she also subscribes to the e-newsletter. The problem is all of that data exists in silos today and they are trying to figure out the best way to put them together. Looking at the demographics from a behavioral and textural standpoint and then enabling everybody across their organization—from marketing to sales to editors—to really leverage unified data and create a more stable and better partnership with their advertisers.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.

Because, believe it or not, we look at it as one of the most innovative industries out there. If you think about how traditional magazine publishers went through a stage of digitizing their brands, they have gone from transforming their sales mythology, their partnerships and their technologies, going from being circulation centric to audience centric and that is a sweet spot for us because we can help publishers to look at their data differently and having a unified data base, which is different than its always been. So it’s a great spot to be in.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
I think it’s similar to these other two areas, the transformation in marketing methodologies [and] sales methodologies. I think in 2013 everyone is going from talking about how to leverage their audience differently to actually doing something about it. So we are seeing that as a trend, taking action to integrate data and leveraging their gold mine of an audience in a different way—a full 360 degree profile of their audience members.

FRY COMMUNICATIONS
Cheri Stryker
Sales Team Leader


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?

I would say cost savings and further revenue.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
I don’t think print is going to go away just like radio didn’t go away. I think that Fry Communications has a lot of sexy print to offer and we are continually investing in our company to make brands more attractive.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
We have something new. We have the Komori cover press. It’s one of a kind in the United States. I think it’s a big door opener for our company. It does special effects with your printing all in one pass. It does dye cutting, embossing, spot UV, foil and it really has helped our publishers stand out in the newsstand area and also in advertising.

OMEDA
Don Ross
Client Service Manager

1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
From my viewpoint it is how to manage all the various data that they are getting from all their various silos and products, whether it is magazines, newsletters, webinars, website activity and behaviors. How do I manage that?

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
Content is still king. And magazines are just one delivery method, but it’s still a reliable one.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
You are probably asking the wrong person, I really don’t have a good answer for that right now.

PUBLISHERS PRESS
David Marx
Regional Sales Manager


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?

Not specifically just to do better. They want to attract more ads, more efficiencies and look for additional revenue streams.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.

We are very bullish on the industry. It is still the preeminent media to deliver content.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
Looking for additional revenue streams using their content.

LESTER
Lisa Pistilli
Director, New Business Development

1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
It’s building circulation and audience development and engagement within their own budgets, while complying with current audit regulations and government regulations.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
The subscribers still want to read content that is relevant and what I am seeing here is to getting editors and publishers to provide relevant and up to date content for their readers.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?

The DPA changes and rules and the TCPA legislation were the most significant development—TCPA being far more important.

NXTBOOK MEDIA
Marcus Grimm
Marketing Director


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?

Cross platform publishing. The want to take their content to as many platforms as possible so that they can deliver audience to their advertisers and maximize the value to their advertisers.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
We are bullish. Magazine publishers in particular—the niche magazine publishers—provide tremendous focused value for their advertisers. And while the Internet is a great way to do brand spending, the reality is that those advertisers who serve a niche business (and there are a lot of them) do best if they can find a magazine that serves their core audiences.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?

I think that most publishers made the transition to mobile and tablet devices. Cross platform publishing has definitely hit the main stream. Those publishers who said a year or two ago that we are going to wait and see how it plays out are no longer waiting.

STATLISTICS
John Papalia
President, List Management

1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
Mainly, to be more successful, make more money and move more into the social media world.

2.Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
Although it has to evolve, the magazine business will always be there. Human beings like magazines. They like the whole aspect of printed or digital content.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?

I would say the whole increase or use of portable devices. Everyone is using iPhones and iPads these days.

By FOLIO: Staff
12/12/2013







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