Below the Line: The Shift to Marketing Services: Some Say It's Brand New. Others Say It's Always Been Part of the Magazine Business. but Today, as Advertisers Act like Publishers, Publishers Are Beginning to Take on Agency Roles and Serve Their Clients in All Aspects of the Media Buy. but What Does This Mean for the Core Business of Content and Advertising?

By Kinsman, Matt | Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management, September 2010 | Go to article overview

Below the Line: The Shift to Marketing Services: Some Say It's Brand New. Others Say It's Always Been Part of the Magazine Business. but Today, as Advertisers Act like Publishers, Publishers Are Beginning to Take on Agency Roles and Serve Their Clients in All Aspects of the Media Buy. but What Does This Mean for the Core Business of Content and Advertising?


Kinsman, Matt, Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management


This year the publishing catchphrase is "marketing services" (with of course, a strong social media component). Depending on your definition, magazine publishers have always offered "marketing services," but today that increasingly has come to mean going beyond custom publishing and targeting "below-the-line" budgets ranging from direct marketing and lead gen to con sumer or trade promotion, events, search engine marketing and search engine optimization, video production, social media, even market intelligence. Increasingly publishers are bypassing the agencies to work directly with the brand on the marketing message.

"Media has fragmented to such a point that as consumers, we can choose whatever way we want to receive information," says Joe Pulizzi, founder of custom publisher Junta 42 and the Content Marketing Institute. "Look at what a marketer does today--they're involved in social media, Webinars, events, blogs, e-newsletters ... that's exactly what a magazine like FOLIO: does. The only difference for the most part is how marketers monetize content. The marketer monetizes it through the sale of product and services. Publishers monetize it through paid content or sponsored content."

This article looks at how publishers are defining marketing services and gradually ramping up to offer the same, from large consumer publishers such as Hearst and Meredith to smaller b-to-b players as well.

FRONT OF THE PACK

Hearst and Meredith are among the forefront of marketing services. For them, it's a balance between acquiring the necessary tools and talent, as well as ramping up internally.

Martin Reidy joined as president of Meredith Integrated Marketing (MIM) in September 2009 from Publicis, where he was president and CEO of Publicis Modem & Dialog. MIM has grown its capabilities with the acquisition of agencies that specialize in Web and digital development, such as mobile marketing agency The Hyperfactory. Today, MIM represents approximately 20 percent of Meredith National Media Group's $1+ billion in revenue.

MIM has taken over customer relationship management (CRM) programs for more than 200 marketers including brands such as Kraft, Wells Fargo and Chrysler. With Kraft, the relationship began with custom publishing and now includes four magazines such as Food & Family. Through Kraftfoods.com, MIM helped Kraft develop a database of 8.5 million opt-in consumers, which it taps into for a weekly e-mail campaign. "We helped launch their mobile application, the iFood Assistant, on the iPhone and the Blackberry," says Reidy. "Community development, blogger outreach and content distribution are key."

Meanwhile, Hearst is developing marketing services programs most notably with its June acquisition of digital marketing service provider iCrossing (at $325 million, one of the largest media deals of 2010). According to Hearst, the deal gives it "extensive global marketing capabilities," including paid search, Web development, search engine optimization, data analytics and mobile/ social marketing.

The new division--called Hearst Marketing Services--will be led by Hearst Magazines senior vice president Matthew Petersen. "We chose digital marketing services to focus on after an exploration of a number of marketing services because we felt it had the highest growth potential and dovetails nicely in areas Hearst has embarked on in the digital arena," says Petersen. "The relationship may start where you're doing one or two of those services then expand, but more and more we're being invited into digital agency of record assignments in an RFP situation or proactive basis."

Hearst is in the process of building out the full range of marketing services. "This is going to remain a standalone business and our job is to support that," says Petersen. "At the same time we are having the teams--iCrossing sales teams and other teams--across Hearst work together and collaborate. …

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Below the Line: The Shift to Marketing Services: Some Say It's Brand New. Others Say It's Always Been Part of the Magazine Business. but Today, as Advertisers Act like Publishers, Publishers Are Beginning to Take on Agency Roles and Serve Their Clients in All Aspects of the Media Buy. but What Does This Mean for the Core Business of Content and Advertising?
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