How new media confuses publishers

Today, publishing marketers are generally confused and misdirected by new technology. We see very little successful advertising around.

But that, unfortunately for the company’s bottom line, is not widely acknowledged nor addressed. Why?

The lack of effective marketing and renewal strategies are disguised by the modern marketers’ supreme knowledge of how new technology – social media etc – works. It’s all exciting and it’s rapidly changing – which is great for conversation and important updates at meetings. Thus you get young marketers who know – for the first time – more than their company bosses about media platforms, technology and programming etc.

But they know little about profit and ROI.

What do the company directors do? They listen to the marketers.

And so as the marketers misdirect those who hold the budgets, they are themselves misdirected. A great deal of money and time is being wasted.

That is why, for example, so much marketing for publishers has been delegated to third party marketing and fulfilment bureaux websites to sell subscriptions. That, on the face of it, sounds reasonable because magazine companies delegate their newstrade sales to a distribution company. Unfortunately, that parallel does not exist. Not in the real world, anyway.

Subscriptions marketing requires day-to-day budgetary control to succeed – marketers must quickly spend more where response is good and to immediately cut where not. It’s a money / investment thing.

Very little bespoke subs marketing is being carried out these days by publishers — but no other industry has fallen into this trap.

As far as I can see the only way to solve the problem of assessing new media opportunities is to continually ask the question asked by managers in every other industry: “What ROI are we going to achieve with this?” And insist on monetizing every bit of effort spent, wherever and whenever it is.

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