Canadian Magazine Industry News
13 May 2008,     TORONTO
Where will the strong print brands be five years from now?
Rogers Publishing CEO Brian Segal gave a speech yesterday.

It was the kind of talk that causes the Naomi Kleins and Neil Feinemans of the world to pull their hair out: To succeed, “content-providers” (or“Magabrands”) need to offer marketers “differentiated multi-platform solutions that allow the advertisers’ brands to surround the target audience.” In other words, if you’re only offering print, you’re not offering enough. This was the crux of a presentation from Brian Segal, president and CEO of Rogers Publishing Ltd., delivered yesterday on the opening day of the Canadian Marketing Association’s national convention and trade show at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto.

The once-clear dividing lines between media, advertisers and agencies have been blurred, Segal said. Today, advertisers are a growing presence in the media business (custom publishing) and media businesses are doing more and more creative marketing. (“Three or four years ago a company like Rogers would have received around 10 RFPs,” Segal said. “This year we’re probably going to receive over 600.”) Consumers, meanwhile, aren’t hanging out in the same places they used to and are less receptive to disruptive and irrelevant advertising than ever before.

The solution for both marketers and media, Segal said, is a multi-platform approach. “Where will strong print brands be five years from now? They will be anywhere the consumer is,” Segal said, invoking The Magabrand Revolution, a concept that was the theme of last year’s American Magazine Conference. (Magabrand: “a magazine that's found a way to extend the power of its brand beyond the printed periodical.”)

Rogers Publishing, for example, offers marketers something it calls the 360 Advantage, where clients can target consumers through a wide variety of media, including magazines, events, e-newsletters, word of mouth, virtual trade shows, websites and custom publishing. Direct partnerships between media brands and marketers, such as the ones between Today’s Parent and Lipton, Flare and L’Oreal Fashion Week and Hello! Canada and KitKat and Aero singles—especially those that have multiple “touch points”— are mutually beneficial, Segal said.

During the question period, Segal was asked how content would be divided across different mediums in the future. “All of our content-providers—what we used to call editorial people—will become medium-agnostic,” Segal said.  

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— M.U.
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