Driving Revenue with Successful Directory Programs. Featured Guest: Heidi Spangler, GIE Media
Recently named to the Folio: Dream Team as b-to-b Circulation Director, Ms. Spangler is the Director of Circulation and Database Operations at GIE Media. Ms. Spangler’s career has taken her to various publishing organizations, including Ziff Davis, Chilton Publishing, Penton Media and GIE Media, where she held roles including circulation director, sales manager and database director. Ms. Spangler is a frequent guest speaker at FOLIO: and ABM events.
Q: What are your views on directories as sources of new revenue?
A: Directories can create advertising in the form of listing enhancements (bold, outlined, etc.) for a price as low as $35.00 or in the form of full page ads at a much higher price. There is also revenue associated with the sale of the product. Once the data is compiled they can be produced at a relatively low cost and advertisers know it’s a year-round reference for their customers.
Q: Did you encounter any surprises in the creation of your directory programs?
A: One of the surprises that we encountered was just how difficult it is to take circulation data and convert it to a directory file. The format of the data in circulation is entirely different (no punctuation, all caps, and different abbreviations). The directory is an editorial product (typos matter) and there was a lot more file cleanup involved than we had anticipated.
Q: Is there any single piece of advice you’d offer to help circulation professionals understand their role in generating new revenue?
A: I think it’s important for circulation professionals to realize that we see a lot more in our industries than we realize. Watch response trends from your subscribers closely and think about what they mean. We recently noticed an increase in the number of subscribers that indicated they recycle plastic in one of our markets. We launched a new directory with this information. It’s also important to realize we have more regular contact with the magazine audience than even the editors do and we know how each audience responds. If we are aware of the activities in other departments, we can offer our own experience with each market.
Q: What is an organization’s biggest challenge in creating new sources of revenue?
A: Maintaining staff levels during a period of growth is always a struggle. New ideas can’t be put into action if there aren’t enough people willing to take on the extra work.
Q: If you weren’t a publishing professional, what would you most likely be doing?
A: I’d like to be a park ranger or something where I got to work outside.