Print will continue to thrive, says Rishad Tobaccowala, Publicis Groupe’s chief innovation officer and CEO of its newly launched DeNuo consulting arm.
"What you won’t hear from me is that print is going to die. Print is a dinosaur," Tobaccowala told more than 100 magazine professionals during a "Meet the Innovators" luncheon today at New York’s Harmonie Club.
Still, Tobaccowala says consumer magazines, whose employees made up the bulk of those attending the luncheon, "will want to do something" to stay competitive.
"There’s no this or that anymore," he explains. "You can’t go all print, you can’t go all digital or you’ll go broke."
Recognized for innovation in marketing media companies and products by Time, Newsweek, Adweek, and Advertising Age, Tobaccowala was chosen to speak at the first ever "Innovators" luncheon, sponsored by the Magazine Publishers of America, because he thinks outside of the box and is widely admired for his innovation in digital and online media, says MPA’s Nina Link.
"Our focus [for the luncheons] is largely, though not exclusively, on digital projects and the changing business model for publishing," she says.
Still, Tobaccowala said digital is dogma. "My company’s been doing for 14 years what everyone now is calling new media," he says.
To succeed, consumer magazines, Tobaccowala says, need to stick together on issues such as privacy and publishing rights. "Magazines need to hang together or they will hang separately and die."
Magazines also should hire the best and brightest, find cost-effective ways to increase circulation and focus on quality content. "People are buying audiences and selling them really lousy things," he says. "There’s too much information, too much noise. The editor is your most important asset."