Here’s Where Publishers Will Be Investing in 2018

FOLIO: talked to ten publishers and industry partners (including Jim Elliott) to see how they plan to get the job done in 2018.  Here's an excerpt:

Jim Elliott, President, James G. Elliott Co., Inc.

Investment planning must grow out of each individual publisher’s specific situation, reflecting their goals, resources, history, skill sets, market environment, and much more, so there is no single best strategy. However, there are some general considerations that pertain to each of the major publishing sectors, as follows:


That largely depends on where they have made past investments—and how successful those have been. Most publishers today actually have a fairly large menu to select from when it comes time to consider revenue strategies and related investments. But an honest appraisal of existing resources—those created from past investments – generally cuts the menu length pretty quickly. For example, if a publisher is making a living exclusively from advertising—print and digital—and then senses, for whatever reason, an opportunity in events, he or she obviously has to consider the resources needed to create a profitable event business. Likely, previous investments in advertising won’t be of much help.


Anything that more directly connects the buyer—the publisher’s audience—and the seller—the publisher’s prospects. B-to-B publishers have always had a market that is heavily focused on “lead gen.” B-to-B marketers never needed to embrace the “accountability” battle cry heard in the consumer space because so many of the B-to-B marketers sell direct and actually use advertising results to fuel their business. They need sales leads—and the more efficiently they get them, the better. If the investment isn’t helping to improve the delivery of the audience to marketers in some way the publisher should probably save the money.


Marketing—by far. Most associations have terrific assets they could bring to bear for their marketing partners, but few actually can deliver on the promise. The reason isn’t necessarily that they can’t package or deliver the assets; it’s often that those same assets are used for multiple functions within the organization. If a publisher could help the organization achieve a better balance in use of assets—and more creative and productive uses of those same assets—everyone would benefit.

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