As media brands and their advertising partners prepare for a new year, they are strategizing to meet the demands of an ever-changing market. At min’s “breakfast with the minsiders” event Friday, a panel of agency executives and publishers met to discuss what each side needs to succeed and what consumers ultimately want.
Laura Frerer-Schmidt, publisher of Women’s Health, and Karen Kovacs, publisher of People, joined Scott Kruse, managing partner and print director at GroupM, and Jamie Rubin, SVP and group media director at Deutsch NY, to discuss a variety of issues affecting the relationship ranging from consumer demands on mobile and programmatic and native advertising opportunities to challenges in the RFP process and premium subscription models.
However, no conversation about the future of media publishing could begin without first discussing how the perceived “death” of print was delayed for yet another year.
“My team and I were thinking about how long people have been saying print is dead and it was in the 1980s,” Frerer-Schmidt noted. “It’s a viable business and it’s not going away.”
“The onus is on us to prove the investment is worth it,” Kovacs said. “We have numbers to go to market with and we can measure very specifically that advertising in our core brands including the printed medium drives our revenue.”
Revenue streams were a key discussion point as speakers dissected the RFP process, programmatic buying and targeted advertising solutions.
“I think we take a lot of care in not having a crappy RFP process,” Rubin said. “Maybe it’s broken in some places, but I think it’s on the agencies to do a better job.”
Undefined revenue prospects outline new opportunities for media companies, according to Kovacs.
“Media companies have proactive opportunities because the dollars aren’t set,” she said. “We can tie content to realtime moments—even if it’s seven months from now.”
On programmatic, both sides are still in the early days of deciphering strategies.
“You can’t say you’re going to do X and tell your finance people you’re going to deliver Y,” said Kruse. “We’re all in a situation where we’re trying to reinvent.”
For advertisers and media brands, the shift to targeted content marketing in a more significant way has affected how they interact with their customers.
“Ideas that were advertising-driven aren’t working anymore. It’s not what clients want,” Rubin said. “We’re shifting to a place where everything has a content angle attached.”
Kruse agreed, but noted, “The checklist [of what clients want] is growing, but the [revenue] pie is staying the same.”