We have just finished up a season of conferences, summits, and trade shows in the industries we serve – publishing and membership associations. One of the things that sticks out the most for me at these meetings are the stories of how organizations are increasing their revenue. There appears to be no end to the tactics people have employed to multiply revenue by creatively looking for opportunities for repackaging their content, extending their brands, and thinking outside the box about new value propositions. One publisher we know sells design furniture on a website which extends the brand of their design magazine. Now that’s creative thinking. I don’t know many publishers who sell furniture.
Publishers, especially those in the B2B space, have been experts at diversifying …
I am excited to announce that Members Advantage, our new membership offering, is available this August. Consultants, clients, and prospects collaborated with us to produce a top-notch solution, suited for large, complex organizations as well as smaller clubs.
AdvantageCS has long been recognized for excellent publishing software solutions. First developed in the late 1970s for a book publisher, followed by a magazine publisher, Advantage has evolved into a suite of products which manage everything from digital entitlements to subscriptions to ebook sales to conference registrations to continuity series to donations, and on the list goes.
And now we’ve enhanced our membership management capabilities to meet the needs of enthusiast clubs, non-profits, professional associations and …
I will assume that a good number of the readers of this blog are parents, and that you will be painfully familiar with the “work/parenting” balance we strive for in life, which at times seems so elusive. I guess such a balance would be easily attained if both work and parenting would only require part of our energy, the sum of which would equal less than 100%. But it so often feels otherwise. Being a parent of toddlers, teenagers, or twenty-somethings is terribly demanding, though in vastly different ways.
Being a manager in your company is not dissimilar. It is demanding, and if you are doing your job well, it can be terribly demanding. You have many plates to keep spinning, and some of these are urgent and others are not urgent but certainly important. It’s difficult to balance …
Here's a Third Alternative to Consider
Guest post by Daryl Berver, COO of Agora Inc.
Throughout my career heading operations for Agora, I’ve always struggled with the question of centralized versus decentralized applications, and never more-so than in the past year. Which is preferable? More efficient? Traditional knowledge says you centralize for efficiency and decentralize for innovation.
Centralized applications are cheaper for the business if you have different operational units in the company. Most publishing companies are smaller groups within a larger business, and this type of application structure is rather common. Looking at things from a high level economic view, it’s easy to see why. Centralization reduces needless redundancies between applications, saving …
It's the week between Christmas and New Years and I'm reading lists of things that happened in 2015 and will happen in 2016. It's always enjoyable to be reminded of things that happened earlier in the year that we've already either forgotten or filed away into that part of our memory that can't quite remember exactly when it took place. (Like one's last dentist appointment once more than 5 weeks have passed.) What's much more fun, and risky, is to predict things that will happen in the future. It's risky, because the predictor is likely to be proved wrong. It's fun because the expectations are so low for being right!
So here are mine:
Publishing will continue to be unpredictable. I know. It's almost cheating to say this. But there is more truth to it than immediately meets the eye. …
One of our traditional movies to watch around this time of year is the revered "White Christmas" starring Bing Crosby and friends. For those unfamiliar with the story, things begin to go wrong when the nosy housekeeper eavesdrops on a conversation but only hears 1 side of the message. She draws her own conclusions and sets off a string of events which produces the main tension in the storyline. Since it's a movie, it all ends well and they live happily ever after. But the movie has supremely good examples of all kinds of problematic communication:
misunderstanding what the other person said
misunderstanding what the other person didn't say
beating around the bush
talking about two different things and missing one another
and the list goes on …
In October, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the FIPP World Congress in Toronto, Ontario. (FIPP is the Federation of International Periodical Publishers, in case you are not in this space.) This magazine congress is held every two years in a different country, and is attended by hundreds of magazine publishers from around the world.
As one of the sponsors, AdvantageCS had the opportunity to provide a 100-second pitch of our product. This is a brilliant idea on the part of the FIPP team to allow sponsors to explain their product or service but to keep it brief. In fact, these 100-second pitches are placed between major presentations and become a bit of a game, which keeps the audience in their seats.
Most publishers don't like to be "sold to" but the attendees can't resist …
The current panic in the marketing world about ad blocking is being eclipsed by thoughts such as those found in this excellent piece. As marketers, we at AdvantageCS have found native advertising to be a great vehicle for getting the word out about our products and services.
What are your thoughts on this hot topic?
Is it just me, or is everyone experiencing more use of their smartphones? These "mobile moments" are becoming more frequent in my life, at least. A year ago I hadn't installed my bank's app and did all my banking on my laptop. Now I do all my deposits using my smartphone and find myself checking balances there more and more. A couple of years ago I thought I'd never use Facebook on my smartphone...but I almost never use it on my laptop now. Recently my wife was writing a long email on her smartphone and I asked why she doesn't use the desktop so she can edit more efficiently? Her answer was that the desktop was upstairs.
I guess that's what the word "mobile" means, after all: able to move. Our mobile phones can be with us all the time. I see more participants in meetings looking at …
On a recent trip to England, a group of us took a hike up a hill past a flock of sheep. Sheep are so charming: pleasant to see on the side of a hill, not terribly wild or boisterous, and very compliant when it is time to get their wool sheared. At one point, the farmer pulled up to a corner of the very large field the sheep were occupying and they started bleating and running toward the truck. They clearly were trained that this was feeding time, and responded with the enthusiasm of my 19-year-old son under similar circumstances. This was, without meaning to sound too trite...so stick with me here...an example of when it's a good idea to follow the flock. However, we all know that sheep are, in fact, too compliant for their own good, and can walk willingly to be slaughtered. That' …