Home' The Channel Magazine : The Channel April 2016 Contents 42 | The Channel
TC: Did you expect Collective Hub to be where it is now,
back when it was first launched three years ago?
LM: I launched the magazine back in February 2013 with only
three staff members who had never worked for a magazine
before. We now have 20 full time staff in our Sydney office
and we’re currently looking to fill seven other roles. It’s been
an absolute whirlwind; we thought the magazine would be
successful, but we never knew it would grow to this size in
such a short period of time. Our average retail sales per issue
figure for the third year of trading is over 35 per cent higher
than the second year average. We now ranged in 37 countries
globally. We are growing at an exponential pace, and that is
something not a lot of other magazines ever achieve.
TC: Collective Hub is going strong and even expanding
despite current industry trends. How has staying
innovative boosted your success?
LM: Staying innovative and constantly thinking of creative
new revenue streams has been imperative to our growth.
My team and I always try to simplify things and then think
laterally—what do people want to read about, where and
how would they like to read about it—and then we build from
there. The beauty of our brand is that it is now multi-platform,
giving our community multiple touchpoints—the print
magazine will always be the centrepiece.
TC: How do newsagents contribute?
LM: The newsagency channel is extremely important to us,
representing more than half our total retail sales. Newsagents
got behind us from day one and have been very supportive,
ensuring that copies are on display in the correct category,
making it easier for our community to locate us as well as
displaying our basic point-of-sale supplied with every issue. I
still get a kick out of seeing our posters on display and make
a point of popping into the local newsagents during my travels
to say hi and thank them personally for their support.
TC: You are known for your entrepreneurial spirit
and business success—do you have any advice for
newsagents who are looking for innovative business
ideas/new ways to attract customers?
LM: I’m forever grateful for the incredible support I receive
from the newsagency industry. One tip I have for newsagents:
become a destination that people want to visit. Think about
experiences you can offer that are more appealing than
subscriptions and downloads. Consider holding events and
drinks evenings, and having special offers—I would just be
constantly thinking about what bricks and mortar stores
can offer that others cannot. What newsagents can offer
is an awesome destination, fabulous welcoming personal
service and recommendations—really know your titles so
you can make recommendations and upsell. I think what
newsagencies have over everything else is the ability to
humanise the experience. I always think a perceived problem
or an increase in competition leads to the most exciting
times. With Collective Hub, I entered a market that potentially
had everything going against it. People told me things like
“print is dead” and “you’re competing against 5500 existing
titles” etc. Despite this, we responded to the market in
a way no one else had, and it worked. I would suggest
newsagents read my books Daring & Disruptive and Money &
Mindfulness—they are basically blueprints of everything my
team and I have done with Collective Hub to be innovative.
TC: Do you have any marketing/visual marketing tips for
LM: Creativity is key! Ensure that you have a social media
presence for your store. We have a large social media
community who often share their joy when they have located
copies of Collective Hub and/or my books in store and will
tag and comment where these have been purchased. This
offers a massive opportunity to increase your followers
and awareness levels of your store and its offerings. Dual
placement with my books also offers an opportunity to cross
promote between book and magazine buyers
and increase your basket size. We are currently exploring
some book/magazine bundling opportunities for 2016 so
watch this space.
Collective Hub is distributed via Gordon and Gotch.
The Channel spoke to Collective Hub’s innovative founder
and Editor Lisa Messenger, to find out how her publication
is performing three years since its launch. We also asked
how and why she thinks newsagents should stay innovative.
Here’s what Lisa had to say.
Daring, disruptive and innovative
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