Like a Rolling Stone

I love magazines – the feel of the pages, the drama, the design, the imagery, the surprise … and the ads. Even more than magazines, I love music. My Ipod is filled with sound that inspires me. Last week, I put these Lovemark elements together on a visit to Jann Wenner’s iconic Rolling Stone magazine in New York. It was fun to meet publisher Will Schenck and his team, right opposite Radio City Music Hall.

I’ve had a 40 year love affair with Rolling Stone – going right back to the first issue in November 9 1967. The magazine is a great mix of Mystery – think of the iconic covers (their offices have every cover there has ever been on the walls). Then there’s the place it has had in quality pop culture throughout the years; Sensuality – the design, the legendary inspired photo shoots; and Intimacy – the new, smaller, format; that sense of familiarity between reader and magazine.

But it’s tough times in the magazine business. Advertising revenues are down, audiences are fragmenting, and the magazine glut grows even as titles close. On the way up is digital, interactive, user driven, new providers. Those advertising revenues need to be attracted back.

I’ve been involved with advertising all my life. And there are five truths about advertisers that I know you need to remember if you’re serious about sending advertising revenue North:

1. Advertisers talk metrics, but need Purpose.
Advertisers don’t like to be confused. They like to know who they’re talking to and where they are going. The desire for Purpose has only grown stronger in these turbulent times.

2. Advertisers talk presence, but need Creativity.
It’s not just about showing up in the media. And it’s not about recall. It’s about placing a brilliant idea in the perfect media so it connects. Advertisers need your creativity, not just your space.

3. Advertisers demand sales, but need Partners.
Partners who appreciate the complexity of their business. Partners who can help them sell and connect. Lovemarks research has shown that purchasing decisions are overwhelmingly emotional. For cars, it’s 63% emotional. Food – 75% emotional. And magazines? 85% emotional!

4. Advertisers cry out for digital, but need sisomo.
Sight, Sound and Motion. The digital revolution is transforming marketing, entertainment, communications, technology. But this is not about tools and technologies. It’s about the fastest, most exciting way to get emotional connectivity. Sisomo is the way to attract friends, fans and followers.

5. Advertisers want to be liked …. and hope they can be Loved.
Francis Ford Coppola said: When I review a new wine, a new gourmet food product, I ask only one question… Will people love it?

Visiting Rolling Stone was a great day, but I’ve just got one question. The location, the people, the titles were great – and next time I visit I’d love to be blasted with full on Rock and Roll!

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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