http://www.quantummedia.com/projects/operations | Printed on: July 24, 2017
Project type: OPERATIONS
Served as transitional CEO for a women’s specialty magazine group
On behalf of investors and the board, a Quantum Media member served as acting CEO of a magazine publisher specializing in women’s books. The consultant reviewed operations and created circulation and business plans for this troubled company. She focused on marketing strategy, cash management and cost control, and new business development.
A key to the successful sale of the business was the consultant’s development of a radical (ad-free) circulation strategy for one of the major publications (900,000 paid circulation) and a high-growth, innovative circulation strategy for the other major publication (1.5 million paid circulation). The consultant managed operations and protected assets until the business was sold one year later.
Built a production and manufacturing infrastructure for a consumer magazine
A specialty women’s consumer magazine engaged a Quantum Media member to develop its in-house production and manufacturing-purchasing department. The consultant:
- Evaluated the magazine’s pre-press, print, and paper needs
- Negotiated new pricing and established new cost-saving systems that resulted in material savings very quickly
- Identified areas in the workflow that needed improvement and implemented the practices that would provide maximum efficiencies
- Identified the appropriate suppliers/partners to accomplish the magazine’s long-term goals
As the consultant worked with the company, she was able to build the appropriate infrastructure for the successful production and growth of their magazine.
Assessed a publication purchase and assisted the new owner with the re-launch
A potential buyer of a niche consumer magazine engaged Quantum Media to create a realistic assessment of the market as well as a projection of future revenues and expenses for the publication. After purchasing the magazine, the buyer retained the consultant to advise on various aspects of the re-launch, from setting up the departments to establishing new systems for managing finance, production, advertising, fulfillment and circulation. The consultant continues to advise the buyer on publishing strategy.
The magazine has performed closely to the consultant’s projections of both revenue and expense. A year later, renewal percentages are up 20%, and the subscription base is up 26%. Both continue to improve.
Served on the Board of Directors and performed the role of Chief Business Advisor for a web and multi-media design and content firm
A prominent designer who has worked on a series of very hip publications over the years started a web and streaming media design agency and content origination company. A Quantum Media member joined the Board and is on retainer with the company to do a wide variety of tasks, including setting up the company’s budgeting and accounting systems, working out pricing and cost accounting issues with the staff, and helping with general business strategy. The media design business was immediately profitable and is on a growth track with web and wireless content development.
Advised a video “reality” company on how to leverage its success in broadcast for a web business
The largest independent documentary producer for cable TV has been a growing and very profitable enterprise for over 15 years. The owner wanted to use his core competency to profitably move to the web. The Quantum Media consultant worked with the CEO on the business strategy, wrote the initial business plan, and helped hire the staff (CFO, VP, Marketing) for the parent company that would run both the video and the streaming video businesses. The consultant continues to be on retainer as the business - now a full-fledged Internet brand that compliments the video production business - continues to build.
Provided general circulation and consumer marketing advice to a major consumer sports publishing group
Over a period of several years, Quantum Media members have advised the circulation director and staff of this publishing group that includes a 1.5 million circulation paid magazine, a group of trade publications, and a 200,000 controlled circulation special interest publication. After a strategic review of the publishing group’s business, Quantum made recommendations that both strengthened the market position and helped circulation profits materially. Several successful initiatives included:
- A new sub-acquisition marketing format that reduced costs by 11% while simultaneously providing much needed demographic/playing data about new subscribers
- A new sub-acquisition program called “endorsed subs” that allows the company to replace previously sold, more costly subs
- Leading a discussion with the editor and encouraging use of new editorial sections/supplements to appeal to a broader spectrum of the target audience. Subsequently, the resulting new editorial section ranked in the top 5 “most read” sections of the magazine
- Offering a wide-range of advice on topics such as marketing partners, strategic partners, subscription marketing on the web, subscriber loyalty, subscriber and reader research, pricing tests, customer service programs, premiums, direct response creative, renewal series, reader segmentation, database marketing and acquisitions.
Critiqued marketing programs and created in-house report systems for an art magazine
The owners of an art magazine engaged a Quantum Media member to examine and advise them on their circulation/marketing efforts and fulfillment operation. Working with the Circulation Director, the consultant critiqued new and renewal marketing programs and proposed changes to improve response. She also assessed the fulfillment operation and developed in-house reports to monitor both the marketing efforts and the fulfillment processes.
As a result of this project, renewal rates almost doubled (an increase of 77%), improvements to a holiday campaign tripled the expected response, and the overall base was thereby able to grow 30% since the beginning of this project. With the new reports and systems in place, the publication also now has the tools to build on those gains and quantify their successes.
Served as Interim Circulation Director
For a large consumer title as well as a membership publication, a Quantum member managed all circulation areas for over a year. She managed ratebase, oversaw the staff, ran the circulation models, created and updated projections, managed expenses and revenues to budget, oversaw a conversion already underway to a new fulfillment house, set up new marketing campaigns and tested successfully, refined circulation reporting systems, aided the CEO with hiring of new circulation staff. She also assisted with finding a permanent hire for the circulation director position.
The Quantum member was rehired by the same company after a few years when they again needed interim management for a new transition.
Divested a division for a global publishing company
A Quantum Media member served as acting president and publisher of a 30-title magazine group for an international media conglomerate. She created a turn-around plan, directed the plan’s implementation, and successfully sold the business-all within one year.