VNU Business Media’s travel and performance group has corralled five more of its magazine brands under one "gateway" Web site. Launched early this month after a year of planning and construction, Managesmarter.com aims to leverage common market coverage among the titles as well as provide a one-stop-shop for advertisers hungry for a broader audience. If all proceeds accordingly, online revenues for the site’s five titles are estimated to double in 2007.
"Conceptually what we were hoping to do was leverage each of the brands within a single Web site for a more diverse and broader information package and offer advertisers a chance to target a wider audience," says Michelle Schiano, marketing director for the travel and performance group, who added that much of the impetus for the new site was borne out of advertisers looking for a turnkey purchasing opportunity.
Prior to the launch of Managesmarter.com, each of the five magazine brands — Incentive, Potentials, Sales and Marketing Management, Presentations and Training — were managed under dedicated Web sites. Collectively, Schiano says traffic should see an immediate boost of 10-15 percent in coming months as a result of harnessing the potential of the sites in aggregate.
Schiano notes that the portal strategy is the preferable business route for her group. "It’s very much the direction where we see our business going in — providing a more turnkey solution for advertisers and readers. We have seven brands within the group and we’re looking for opportunities to leverage one off the other," she says.
Mimegasite.com, also part of Schiano’s group and launched in late 2005 as a meetings and event planning portal, effectively absorbed MeetingNews and SuccessfulMeetings into its own brand. Managesmarter.com is set up differently in that it maintains the individual magazine brands within the site. "It has been a balancing act in how much we promote Managesmarter.com versus the other brands because we’re promoting a whole new brand," says Schiano.
Group publisher Jackie Augustine is expecting significant revenue growth from Managesmarter.com. "Based on our model, we’re expecting about 100 percent revenue growth for 2007," she says, and adds that the site has opened up significant cross-selling opportunities, a strategy that wasn’t necessarily pursued among the five individual sites. "This will have a lot more page views than one brand and we can go out to market with a bigger vision for everybody."
The portal, or gateway, concept has been on a rebound, with Conde Nast (Epicurious.com, Concierge.com, et al), Time Inc. (CNNMoney.com), and Advanstar (DentalProducts.net), among others, developing sites that fold multiple titles into one umbrella-brand that targets a broader market.