“Fashion is not about looking back. It’s always about looking forward.”
Said by Anna Wintour, famed Vogue editor and caricature of a scary and demanding boss, about the industry she bolsters and celebrates on a monthly basis. Though said in relation to a magazine devoted to style and trends, the same can really be said about the magazine industry itself.
In the last few years, magazine subscriptions and sales have been on a steady decline. Over the first half of 2014, single sales of magazine issues are down almost 12 percent, per the New York Times. So how is an industry that’s hundreds of years old supposed to look forward and adapt to an audience that is accustomed to (and expects) information, content and images to be delivered quickly and free?
Well as Ms. Wintour states, it’s looking forward. Namely with digital versions of the magazines. But simply changing the medium from paper to print isn’t going to be effective because unlike the print industry creating a digital presence and growing a brand is no longer only in the hands of large corporations. Now anybody can become a fashion blogger, a sports expert or an interior decorator. Simply put – the competition is abundant and coming from every direction.
So the answer, however, lies not solely in digital versions of what’s printed on paper but in staying in front of the pack. In an over saturated community of bloggers, stylists and “experts”, magazines need to market themselves as the true experts and curators of their field (be it fashion, home design or sports).
As this article so eloquently puts, magazines needs to focus “…more [on] curation and less creation…as magazine brands become guides in a digital world overflowing with content.”
Here’s hoping that the industry can keep adapting and staying ahead of the game.
Marketing Minute is a weekly-ish post on marketing musings, rants, complaints and observations.