Starting a Magazine

For 13 years, I was privileged to serve as an editor at PC World magazine, the last four of which I spent as editor-in-chief. PC World’s success in print and online provided me with resources that most editors would envy. We had a team of more than 50 editors, writers, designers and product testers. Our editorial budget let us devote months to investigative projects when we thought the payoff would be worth it. And, in recent years, as we ramped up our ambitions online, we had a dedicated team of talented Web developers who turned our ideas into reality.

Mike Baicher came to see me recently. If his name rings a bell, it's because I've written about him several times. He first approached me more than 12 years ago, looking for advice about how to expand his family-owned trucking company. Since then, he's come back whenever he has a problem he needs help with. The problem he had this time was a pretty big one, and he was about to compound it by making a fundamental negotiating mistake -- a mistake that can prove especially costly in an economic environment like this one.

In the days ahead, managers and employees of the Hyatt hotel chain will be doing favors for some of their customers. Maybe they always did them, but these favors will be different: they will be what Hyatt Hotels’ C.E.O., Mark Hoplamazian, has called “random acts of generosity,” like unexpectedly picking up the tab for your hotel-bar drinks or hotel-spa massage.

For months, I have argued that a down economy can be a great opportunity for companies to try something different or start something new. I don't mean to minimize the pressures and setbacks that are part of unleashing real change in tough times. If all you've got is a spreadsheet filled with red ink and dire forecasts, it's easy to be paralyzed by fear. But if you've got some leadership nerve, and can muster a few good ideas, then hard times can be great times to separate yourself from the pack and build advantages for years to come.

* Marketers need to be cognizant of what their search information tells a prospective visitor
* Choose your keywords wisely and make sure they appear on each page
* For each 200-250 words of text, each target term should be repeated two or three times

It’s imperative that you begin now to create the digital products that will eventually replace your physical products

The last 15 years in the publishing industry have seen a revolution in marketing channels. Publishers now sell more products and generate more revenue on the Internet than from any other source.

Here’s the Mequoda Manifesto: Over the next 15 years, publishers will transition to delivering exclusively digital products. And that transformation will be twice as gut-wrenching as the shift to online marketing.

Article Highlights:

* You have to articulate what each medium is supposed to do, and for whom it is supposed to do it
* Don't ignore your audience, and don't heavily rely on technology
* Social networking is a tactic and a strategy, and you need to know the difference
* Don't get unduly focused on the CPMs of your plan

Article HIghlights:

* Use your emails to offer a glimpse of your website
* If you have multiple offers, send more than one message
* Personalize the message as much as you can

A reader recently asked me, "How do you deal with an incredibly full inbox that makes you feel like a jerk?"

I'm happy the question asks, "how do you deal." An inbox is as personal a space as an underwear drawer — we all have one and are all embarrassed by both its organization and contents. Thus to tell someone how to manage their inbox could be perceived as an intrusion into their undergarments.

And that would be inappropriate.

What is appropriate to share is my own principles of inbox management:

Article Highlights:
-Focusing on business objectives and KPIs is key
-Refine your dashboard and look beyond the "hits"
-Tag your individual campaigns and test continually


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