Strategic Publishing:
Looking to the Future

Milan (Italy)
October 1999

ESOMAR Publication Series - Volume 233
The book comprises 220 pages. ISBN 92 831 1288 1


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This book explains that the pace of technological advances, predominantly the Internet, has opened new challenges for on-line publishing, advertising and distribution, but is unlikely to phase out the importance of paper-based media.
This book examines and gives substance to inspiring trends and developments. It identifies future challenges and opportunities for the publishing industry.
Examples are provided of the value added by marketing research to strategic decision making in all facets of magazine, newspaper and on-line publishing.


Rolf Speetzen, Chairman of the Programme Committee

Neil O’Brien, Managing Director, The Publishing Team, United Kingdom
Customer Magazine Publishing. The Rise of a Global Phenomenon


Seija Nurmi, Research Manager, MDC Media Research, Finland.
Virpi Nurmilaukas, Brand Manager, Karkimedia, Finland.
Helping Newspapers Compete with Electronic Media

Ana Lucia Fugulin, Media and Research Manager, DPZ Propaganda S.A., Brazil.
Maria de Fátima Atsuko, Media Planner, DPZ Propaganda S.A., Brazil.
Rose Mary Ikeda, Media Account Manager, DPZ Propaganda S.A., Brazil.
The Young Audience as a Future Reserve Market for Newspapers. The Case of Brazil

Charo Valencia, Associate Director, INNER Media & IT, INNER Strategic Market Research, Spain.
Paloma Fontcuberta, Research Director, INNER Strategic Market Research, Spain.
María Moro, Marketing Director, Axel Springer, Spain.
Coordinating Globality and Peculiarity. The Case of a Successful Adaptation in the Spanish PC Magazine Market


Fred Bronner, Managing Director, Veldkamp Marktonderzoek, The Netherlands.
The Dutch Media Experience and Values Study

Ada Giaquinto, Research Manager, Murdoch Magazines, Australia.
Michael Edwardson, Director, emotionWORKS; and Lecturer in Marketing, The University of New South Wales, Australia.
Ladd Wheeler, Professor of Social Psychology, The University of New South Wales, Australia.
Kip Williams, Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology, The University of New South Wales, Australia.
The Dimensions of Attractiveness in Women’s Magazines. How Different Attractiveness Types Position Your Brand

Giulia Ceriani, Semiotic Research Area Director, IPSOS-EXPLORER S.r.l., Italy.
Paola Furlanetto, Strategic Marketing Director, Optimum Media Direction S.r.l., Italy.
The Value of Women’s Magazines for Advertisers. Supporting Print Peculiarity in the Internet Age

Christian Stahl, Research Consultant, GfK Testmarktforschung GmbH, Germany.
Added Value of the Media Mix. Experiences and Lessons from an Experimental Test Market

Alan Smith, Research Consultant, FIPP, United Kingdom.
Take a Fresh Look at Print.
Building on the Media Multiplier Proposition


Angela Brooks, National Research Manager, Pacific Publications, Australia.
Interaction and Intensity: The More Interactive the Editorial, the More Intense the Relationship with the Reader


Fabio Franzoni, Marketing Director, De Agostini Rizzoli Publishing, Italy.
Ilaria Presotto, Project Leader, SWG Research Institute, Italy.
What Kind of People does the New Gulliver Address?

Marielle Luif, Market Researcher, VNU Tijdschriften B.V., The Netherlands
Winnie Moltmaker, Marketing Manager, VNU Tijdschriften B.V., The Netherlands.
Using Market Research in Early Stages of Product Development. Is There a ‘One’ Way?

Bruno Patierno, Managing Director, Scenari S.r.l., Italy.
Kenneth Tobyn, Consultant, Scenari S.r.l., Italy.
New Multimedia-Based Methods of Marketing Research for the Publishing Industry. The Case of Itaca


The days towards the end of a century seem to inspire an inflation of forecasts and predictions, and even more so when it comes to the end of a millennium. It is a good opportunity to look into the future, especially for publishing, which faces more and more competition from a growing number of media (which were themselves just a few years ago in the realms of fantasy).

The speed of change and innovation is increasing rapidly. Publishing will have to adapt to these innovations if it is to survive.

Many print media managers are plagued by the idea that the people of tomorrow will be glued to information screens, with the good old days of newspapers, magazines and books long gone. But is this fate really inevitable?

Strategic publishing implies in a first step a sort of stocktaking, a review of the actual situation with all tried and tested concepts within all its dimensions. This review can illuminate the way ahead and can reveal the concepts for mastering the future.

Where will this journey lead to and how will we know?

Comparing our situation today with the situation of five to ten years ago reveals a clear trend into a fragmented market with increasingly more target group-specific approaches. This reflects in parallel the increasing pluralism in our society.

The structures and mechanisms of the society become increasingly complex. The media have to understand this as a chance, an opportunity for their viability. Taking this into account, strategic publishing should find ways to serve these new specific markets with adequate offers. However, this is true for all media categories. To be on the winning team means to adapt to these conditions first and best.

If newspapers, magazines and books are aiming for a similar importance in the future, they will have to meet the increasing selectivity in demand. Tomorrow’s papers need to be more interesting, tomorrow’s magazines need to be more creative, and tomorrow’s books need to be more inspiring, more original and more exciting than those of today.

That is where strategic publishing will have to invest, the sooner the better. New ideas are required for new kinds of papers and magazines, all in view of increasing ecological questions. Ecological visions can be an important source of inspiration and innovation, as they are a challenge as well as an opportunity.

Returning to the present time, the prospects of print media are inevitably linked to the further development of radio, television and the so-called "new media". Using Germany as an example, advertisers and agencies are questioning the efficiency of television advertising. This is not only due to the fact that with 1.3 million TV spots per year, or 3,600 spots per day, TV advertising takes a cumulative total of twenty-six hours in a twenty-four hour day, but also because TV programmes are now becoming ever more rating oriented.

This means prime time programmes have to be as mainstream as possible, making it increasingly difficult for advertisers to reach their specific target groups. TV is captivated in a situation where the rating orientation steers away from future demands. This is a golden opportunity for print renaissance, in particular for magazines, as they were most affected by television commercials in the past.

Multimedia TV with its new forms of advertising like "advertainments" and "infomercials", as well as forms of advertising that enable the viewer to respond directly, can have an effect on both magazines and newspapers.

Newspapers are going to find themselves in direct competition with online services, as the latter’s selection option provides a very good advertising tool for smaller and classified ads. At least here the legislation allows the publishers to act on behalf of their papers.

Increasingly newspaper publishers have recognised online services as an additional marketing tool for reader involvement and additional income, at least in future. The majority of online users will be younger people, therefore online services can turn out to be a powerful tool to attract new readers to the "real" paper, especially in view of the fact that the younger generation does not belong to the heavy users of dailies.

Looking to the future will show that print and electronic media will be complimentary to each other. All the dramatic developments in the electronic field will offer new, until now unknown and untapped, opportunities for the print media.

Strategic publishing has to take care of the individual needs and wants of the readers. In many fields the current trend is "big is beautiful" and nobody asks what the customer actually wants. The individual is being forgotten in the race for the high grounds. The customer is being denied what he really wants.

Swimming against this current, keeping the customers satisfied, should be the main concern for strategic publishing in the near future. In doing this, strategic publishing has to take into account three dimensions:

Rolf Speetzen
Chairman of the Programme Committee