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When Is a Magazine Not a Magazine?

  |  June 24, 2011   |  Comments

Aren't we better off looking at ways to capitalize on the benefits a digital magazine can offer, rather than reinvent them?

In my last column, I proposed the $10 million question. What would you do if someone gave you $10 million to start a magazine? I received some very interesting answers and suggestions. Among them, many people suggested that a magazine, in its current format, cannot survive in the digital world long-term. Along with that statement, a number of digital content publishers spoke to using the money to create networks of people who are fans of topics and engaging them in discussion around those topics. Hmm…isn't that what a magazine already does?

I found it interesting that, in a digital publishing environment, so many people are trying to reinvent the wheel. Paginated media, written by true content experts, organized and shared with a community of fans is the essence of what a magazine is and always has been.

Aren't we better off looking at ways to capitalize on the benefits a digital magazine can offer, rather than reinvent them?

This is the exact question I took to the CEO of VIV Publishing, the creators of the exclusively digital magazine VIVmag, of which I am the EVP and CMO. In our world, VIVmag faces a dual challenge:

  • Break through the clutter of the digital- and device-driven work while simultaneously strengthening the brand (with no paper presence)
  • Create a compelling experience for our readers that capitalizes on all of the benefits the digital medium has to offer (in app shopping, 360-degree images, quizzes, etc.)

As we pondered how to make the most of our business, we discovered that a reinvention of our magazine wasn't the answer. In fact, in a digital world, the magazine becomes an even more critical core of a successful broader publishing and media entity.

In a digital world, the magazine is the bridge that unites passionate readers through a bond for curated content. This bond is demonstrated through a socially vocal outreach that commands a new kind of digital community. A network so strong that there is a fusion between connections and conversations based on complementary content inside the issue. And this phenomenon is more powerful than most of us in publishing and advertising realize just yet.

With VIVmag, we believe that the marriage between the magazine content and the magnificent women that read, explore, and engage with it is so powerful it actually drives women to make social decisions to emulate how they feel when they read VIVmag. So much so that we have even created a program to celebrate the phenomenal readers called the VIVmag-nificent Woman Program. It launches today, and you can explore a bit of some of the VIVmag-nificent woman program (or even nominate a magnificent woman you know) or just check out the magazine by going here.

I hope that this program can inspire everyone in publishing to explore the magnificence that your own magazine can add to the digital ecosystem in new and unique ways.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition.

Prior to her role at NOOKTM Jeanniey launched a wearables fashion technology company called Ringblingz. Before getting into the wearables business, Jeanniey was the chief marketing officer (CMO) of Zinio, where she grew the business by more than 427 percent, into one of the largest global digital newsstands. Other notable roles in her career include her involvement as the executive director and senior partner at OgilvyOne, where she led the digital Dialogue business and worked with Fortune 50 brands including IBM, Unilever, and American Express, and being a general manager at Grey Direct. At Grey Direct Jeanniey launched the first email marketing division of a global advertising agency. Prior to her time in advertising, Jeanniey spent seven years in retail leading a variety of groups from Consumer Relations and Operations, to Collections and Digital at JCPenney.

One of Jeanniey's favorite times in her career was when she founded the Email Experience Council (which was acquired by the Direct Marketing Association). Jeanniey is a recognized "Women in Business," a frequent keynote speaker, and has authored three books and launched a number of companies ranging from entertainment to technology and fashion.

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