The event, featuring a multitude of celebrity guest presenters, spoke to over 250 advertisers and marketers, unveiling the company’s theme for 2018, “The Year of Doing.”
Jon Werther, Meredith National Media Group president, tells Folio: that along with theme, the company has launched three content-driven platforms: “Form Good Habits,” “Start Something New,” and “Fuel Your Passion,” with each platform featuring various programming across Meredith’s brands.
“What we’ve seen in the last year is that there’s really been a significant evolution in consumer mindset, calling for a return to the fundamentals of happiness, a desire to regain control, a desire to make things happen,” he says. “Those are things that really sit at the heart of our brands. We’re effectively harnessing their power to reshape the conversation around audience’s passions and help them to achieve daily and dream big, which is our mission.”
Werther noted examples of upcoming content initiatives, such as “IRL (In Real Life),” an editorial franchise for Parents featuring articles, slideshows and videos, as well as “FitCity” – Shape’s new video series.
“IRL is a Parents-anchored program really designed to talk about the emotional journey of parenthood in an authentic way that’s funny and forgiving,” Werther explains. “FitCity is a video series that extends not only on our digital assets but to linear TV as well, and there’s really a focus on under the radar fitness, food and travel across the U.S.”
Other examples of programs include “Make Up Master Class” from Martha Stewart Living, a program on the use of makeup products, as well as “The Dirt” from Better Homes & Gardens, targeting beginning and experienced gardeners.
Werther (pictured) says that in a majority of cases, Meredith’s programs do have marketing partners, but the company commits to them regardless.
“The reason we do this is because we believe in them—they’re really part of the fabric of our brands and our heritage, and they matter to the women we serve.”
Werther notes that Meredith’s pitch to advertisers is constantly evolving as it grows and builds relationships with consumers and advertising partners.
“Something that people may not know about us is that we actually have been a people-based company for a long time,” he says. “We have a vast amount of interest data, and we are always focused on understanding our consumers’ interests and intent, whether it’s remodeling a home, raising a family or training for a marathon.”
Looking ahead for the coming year, Werther emphasized Meredith’s cross-platform focus, spanning from print, digital, video (including live programming, VR campaigns and 360 degree video), and social.
“From a video perspective, that continues to be a key focus for us, particularly from a technology perspective,” Werther adds. “We’re currently producing more than 10 Facebook Lives weekly and have more than 115 premium series running across our brands that have generated more than 1.4 billion views with an audience of 160 million consumers, so we continue to innovate in those areas.”
At the BrandFront Presentation, the company also shared results of a new accountability study for the pharmaceutical category in its Meredith Sales Guarantee program. Announced by newly appointed chief data and insights officer Alysia Borsa, the study found a 22 percent increase in prescription sales.