Meredith, publisher of brands such as Better Homes & Gardens, Eating Well, Parents and Family Circle, achieved an interesting milestone recently. The company reached an inflection point where its digital advertising growth outpaced print advertising declines, according to Jon Werther, president of Meredith’s National Media Group.
“It’s a great milestone for us as a company,” he said. “Digital is a growth engine for Meredith, and we’ve now enjoyed several consecutive years of organic, double-digit digital advertising revenue growth in a business that generated close to 40 per cent of our total national advertising revenue in our last fiscal quarter. We’re very excited about that.”
Total advertising revenue growth continues to be a key objective for Meredith’s National Media Group, and the recent inflection represents a key step in that direction, Werther said. “Both print and digital advertising continue to be significant revenue streams for us, and continue to work well together to drive better results throughout the purchase funnel for our marketing clients and agency partners.”
According to recent fiscal 2017 2nd quarter results, Meredith’s digital advertising revenue rose 16 per cent, and accounted for 38 per cent of total National Media Group advertising revenues. As well, the company’s share of total magazine advertising revenues increased to 13.8 per cent from 12.5 per cent.
“We’re at the point now where digital advertising has gotten big enough that it is growing the total,” said Mike Lovell, investor relations director at Meredith.
According to Werther, several factors continue to fuel Meredith advertising growth. The secret to Meredith’s success is a superfecta of elements that work together to help the company diversify its advertising and consumer revenue to more premium forms of monetisation. This drives better return on advertising spend for clients and agencies, and a better ROI for Meredith.
Meredith’s strategy focuses on the intersection of four pillars: best-in-class branded experiences, development and growth of an at-scale and highly-engaged female audience (with a particular focus on millennial women), differentiated first-party data, insights and analytics, and proprietary technology platforms.
“Those pillars collectively enable us to put the right offerings in front of the right consumer on the right device at the right time,” Werther said. Into 2017, Meredith’s objective is to continue to profitably drive advertising growth, he added.
Meredith has invested in experiences across channels. “Our objective is to be wherever the consumer is,” Werther said. “If her preference is to consume content in a physical format, then obviously we want to reach and engage her with our magazines; if it’s a more digital, mobile-first or video-centric consumption channel they’re looking for, again, we will reach them there.