Reimagining The Women’s Magazine: The Redbook Way. Jill Herzig and Mary Morgan Reinvent Redbook for 21st Century Women

March 12, 2013

REDBOOKIn the magazine media industry, listening to your customer – that audience of one – is vital. You have to have large ears and an open mind. There’s no other way to approach success for your publication without the people who occupy the head offices of the magazine having the previously described features.

That being said – Jill Herzig and Mary Morgan, editor in chief and publisher/chief revenue officer respectively, of Redbook Magazine, redefine those characteristics as they embarked on the latest “reimagined” magazine.

Herzig and Morgan have researched and surveyed their audience and discovered what they want: a down-to-earth, reality-based magazine that is a handbook for fashion and style for today’s busy woman. So they’re giving it to them, reinforcing the belief that if you give them what they want, they’ll find what they need.

I had the opportunity to meet Jill and Mary at the offices of Redbook magazine, at the Hearst Tower in New York City. The new Redbook just arrived. The April issue (on the newsstands today) ushers a brand new magazine, reinvented and reimagined. The new cover design and approach scream at you, wow you and stop you in your tracks. A job very well done, and it shows.

I started my stream of questions and the answers were dashing back in stereo, in unison.

TEAM REDInvesting in this new print version in a digital age was never a quandary for the two visionary’s at Redbook’s helm, recognizing the progression of crossover high-fashion into retail marketing as their key to the door of the consumer’s fantasy-turned-reality. And ascertaining that print magazines are still the rainbows that lead to that particular pot of gold as no other medium does. It’s a relevant concept, with relevant content, for a relevant customer, something that must be in place when you reinvent any entity for the buying public. Herzig and Morgan recognize that fact.

Redbook’s new face belongs to any age group of women, but as Herzig said, “I would say that she’s a woman in her 30s and 40s and she can be from any town in America.”

Knowing their audience and marketing that percentile is very important to her. It’s the foundation for Redbook’s new structure and it has to be a sturdy and felicitous one for all involved.

While they know the print reinvention is paramount to the success of their venture, they also recognize that print and digital must coexist in today’s world. It’s an absolute.

Enter a new mobile app that makes shopping from your smart phone simple: the technology of Eye Capture. With Eye Capture you can take a picture of the entire activated page and are offered a screen full of images and magazine-approved links of content that’s directly related to what’s on that page. Every page and not just a few selected pages in the magazine are digitally integrated. Herzig and Morgan are very excited about the simultaneous debut of both the app and the new Redbook Magazine. To them, this is how print and digital can work together to bring the reader the most enjoyable and memorable experience ever. And after all, isn’t that what magazines are here to do?

In the scheme of things, what Redbook is doing is very important to the magazine media industry today. They are paving the way for other publications to realize the potential of making a niche for your magazine. Targeting and redefining your audience and then pairing the results up with a digital package that goes hand-in-hand with your print entity is the answer to a lot of questions out there today about how to make magazines more successful and relevant for the reader.

No matter how old your magazine is, creativity and good leadership are always essential to keeping the brand alive and going. I left my interview with Herzig and Morgan reassured that there are some leaders in the magazine media industry who are still full of passion, emotion and yes, gutsy moves based on some solid connectivity with the customers.

To read my entire interview with Jill Herzig, editor in chief, and Mary Morgan, publisher and chief revenue officer, of Redbook, click here.

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