BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Publishing ROI, Print isn't Dead, Frozen subs, Mr. Magazine, Big Data

By BoSacks Readers on March 17, 2015

BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Publishing ROI, Print isn't Dead, Frozen subs, Mr. Magazine, Big Data


Re: ROI Is Dead. A New Metric Is Needed // Time Inc: Rapidly Melting Ice Cube 

ROI as a concept is not dead, it's too basic to ever be dead. You expect a return on what you invest: he's not saying anything new. I have not seen or heard a modern marketer not consider that long-term customer experience is not part of their goal. The problem they've had is that engagement and experience enhancements often fail and do not result in increased sales. Pepsi tried to replace advertising with social media a few years ago. The metrics were stunning; the sales were awful. Well tally that up with most marketing efforts.


 This is why ads change, and PR change, and so many other aspects of communications are adapted as the marketplace changes. He mentions Starbucks as understanding the new paradigm. That's a great example -- what makes Starbucks unique is that they are usually the first major business in their category to act first on the latest technologies, in a business to create a trend and not respond to one. In the business of overpriced liquids, they know that they must do all they can to make their product of high quality, interesting, and convenient. ROI is not dying. It's always in the context of the communications tools of the time. It's the ROI of the total communications effort that matters. It always has. It always will. Good marketers have always known that.

(Submitted by an Industry Consultant)


Re: ROI Is Dead. A New Metric Is Needed // Time Inc: Rapidly Melting Ice Cube  

Morning Bo,  ROI may be wounded and there is a clear need for a new metric. A problem is that something like 46% of marketing efforts are never measured, so how to replace something that has yet to be fully used, perhaps that is the very reason???? I wrote an article a few years back that offered a formula that included D+E2=DROI, or dialogue plus engagement (2 is an integration media multiple) = Define ROI. Defined meaning the definition of ROI varies on the purpose, media and target demographic. You publish great stuff, always one of my first opens each day!

(Submitted by an industry Analyst)  



Re: BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Proof that Print is Dead and Why it Should Be

you know i'm a loyal reader, and usually agree.   i'm a former logistics guy (xxx), newsstand and circ guy (xxx), publishing generalist (xxxx xxx xxxx , but you're focusing on the wrong stuff.    print isn't challenged (dead is the wrong word) because of timelines.    it's challenged because we haven't figured out what great content will resonate with readers regardless of delivery timing.    we haven't figure out how to measure the power of those ads to driver consumers to purchase the brands who make the whole ecosystem possible; we haven't explore the alternative, e.g. Cooks Illustrated, of having consumers pay for everything.      we thought consumers wanted to read on the iPad (similar rants on 'Apple messed up the "newsstand" elsewhere -- that's NOT the problem), and they don't in numbers that matter.


if we as a collective industry of magazine brand leaders, and even newspaper leaders, really want to tell the true....we need to figure out what print is GOOD at, and do that.     we need to articulate what print is GOOD at (for advertisers) and sell that.

(Submitted by a Senior Publishing Manager)


RE: The 9 week Frozen cycle 

bob, I hope this finds you well. It has been a long time. I read your newsletters as often as I can. You are a GREAT service to our industry.

I must say your rant about the Frozen pub struck me in such a powerful way. I hope Mary Berner reads it because we deserve to fail if we cannot compete

(Submitted by a VP Marketing)

Re: The Social Role of the American Consumer Magazines
It was interesting to read Professor Husni's latest essay on the role of magazines as "educators" of society, and thanks for sending it.   When George Washington told publisher Matthew Carey that periodicals were "happily calculated... to preserve the liberty, stimulate the industry, and meliorate the morals of a free and enlightened people" he was referring to both magazines and newspapers.  At about the same time Washington wrote to Carey he also wrote to another correspondent, "I have such a number of Gazettes crowded upon me (many without orders) that they are not only Expensive, but really useless; as my other avocations will not allow me time to Read them oftentimes, and when I do attempt it I find them more troublesome, than Profitable..."  In essence Washington was saying that he liked periodicals that interested him but found ones that didn't interest him useless.

 This really is the crux of the matter on the question of whether magazines educate the public.  A magazine's value comes from meeting its audience's passions and its advertisers' marketing needs.  A magazine that does a poor job of serving its readers is very unlikely to educate anyone.  On the other hand (as you've pointed out frequently) an information source that serves its readers well will gain their attention in any medium... print, digital, or broadcast. 
 It's worth noting that media whose stated mission is to educate the public, such as NPR or PBS, use digital and broadcast but not print.  As to whether printed magazines are the only way to discover "things that you've never heard of before or even thought about," as Professor Husni put it, I wonder whether he's ever used Flipboard, Google Play Newsstand, Pulse, Feedly, or any of their competitors.  I love printed magazines as much as the next guy, but it really isn't 1983 anymore.
(Submitted by a Publisher and Official BoSacks Cub Reporter)  

Re: The Social Role of the American Consumer Magazines
I think you both have a point. For all the serendipity of the digital world, there is also the fact that media companies watch the behavior and interests of people and then push more of the same at them. The result can be a decreasing diversity of thought that people might come across. For example, a recent Italian study showed that on Facebook, conspiracy theorists tended to look only at conspiracy theory pages. Part of that is because of the inclination of people toward what they like, but Facebook will also filter results to tailor them to users. Are digital technology and the manipulation of information streams completely at fault for the intellectual balkanization we see in the U.S. Not by themselves, but I suspect they play an important role.
(Submitted by a Writer)

RE: BoSacks Speaks Out: When Is Publishing's Big Data Too Big
I don't disagree that there is a downside to this. Abuse of power has been most egregious on the part of governments, though, which are much harder to punish than companies. I fear this much more than I do corporate abuse. 

Companies that have had problems with their collection or use of data tend to suffer the consequences, e.g. Companies that mishandle/lose control of credit card information. That's a healthy tension, which is why I think the market will find an equilibrium. 
(Submitted by a Publisher) 

Re: How's the Media Industry These Days? Confused
Every new revolution for media involves executives thinking of new ways to get advertising revenue or monetize content directly.  The smart media companies of the future will sell products and services against their content.  It confuses me why so few media companies don't see this.
(Submitted by an Industry Advisor)

RE: BoSacks Speaks Out: Why Moving Magazines Online Is a Must for US Publishers 
My definition of a magazine is that a magazine must have these six characteristics: it is Metered, Edited, Designed, Date-stamped, Permanent, and Periodic. This approach is broader than just ink on paper, and leaves room for the inevitable changes that technology constantly brings us. Technological changes that I might add are not anywhere near their end. -Bo Sacks. 

 This explains why magazines will NEVER thrive online. 
1.       online is not metered
2.       online is not edited in the sense magazines are edited
3.       online is not designed in the sense magazines are designed
.4.       'This month' is meaningless online so date-stamped is pointless online
5.       online is not permanent
6.       online is not periodic in that it never stops 
Just thinking inside the cover while looking out at the web ...
(Submitted by a Publisher)

  Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: Why Moving Magazines Online Is a Must for US Publishers
Bo, I commend you for continuing to highlight the issues impacting the magazine industry. In some ways it feels I'm morbidly watching a train wreck. The magazine industry (especially as defined by Samir) has been sunsetting for years. The move to mobility has been evident for those paying attention for a decade but has picked up significant pace over the last couple of years.  The definition of content and how it's consumed continues to change - those who cling to past definitions will become irrelevant while innovators who seize the opportunity to adapt and take advantage of the current means of production and distribution will see great success.
(Submitted by a industry entrepreneur and editor) 


By BoSacks Readers| March 17, 2015
Categories:  Readers Speak Out

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