Not much to say here other than EVERY company out there should be taking the same approach and formulating a digital strategy. Hopefully, you have read the interview I did with Aaron Shapiro, CEO of HUGE, a Digital Marketing Agency and author of the book Users Not Customers, because this is exactly the shift he is writing about. In the case with Time Inc., no doubt that once they get the ball rolling the other publications will follow if they arent already underway.
By DAVID CARR
There have been creeping indications that the magazine business isn’t really about magazines anymore. In 2010, Hearst Magazines bought iCrossing, a digital marketing agency, and the company has since christened publications that have no print version. Every day, my in-box swells with announcements that this or that glossy now has an iPad app, nearly all of them trumpeting “amazing interactive features that take you far beyond a traditional magazine experience.” Over and over we are told that a magazine is really just one vehicle for a brand that scales across platforms.
But all of that is pretty small beer compared with last week’s news that Time Inc., the largest magazine publisher in the United States, would be run by Laura Lang, who was the chief executive of the digital advertising agency Digitas. Talk about your loud and clear knock on the door. That digital future we are always talking about is here.
It’s a bold hire and Ms. Lang has an excellent reputation, but it’s a bracing moment for the print romantics among us. Time Inc., the home of Olympian brands like Time, People and Fortune, will be run by an executive who would not know a print run from a can of green beans.
As recently as, well, the day before Ms. Lang was hired, it would have been unthinkable that a large consumer magazine group would be run by someone with plenty of experience buying ads for clients, but with no experience selling them. But Ms. Lang knows other things that could come in handy, including how to use multimedia and social media to increase reader engagement in a way magazines rarely achieve.
- Time Inc. names Laura Lang CEO (marketwatch.com)
- Digitas CEO Laura Lang To Head Time Inc. (paidcontent.org)
- The Media Equation: At Time Inc., a Leader to Help It Fit the New Digital Order (nytimes.com)
- Digitas CEO Laura Lang to Be Named Chief of Time Inc. (allthingsd.com)
- From Woman to Watch to New CEO of Time Inc.: Laura Lang (thenextwomen.com)