The Luxury Letter Blog


Publisher Spotlight: Boston & Philadelphia Magazines
February 3, 2009, 2:37 pm
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This month we are featuring Boston and Philadelphia Magazines.  The sites provide valuable and interesting information to visitors to the two cities from where to eat, shop and stay to what to do with your time.  Ian Zweig gave us some insight into the two sites.  Check out his answers to our questions here.

Biography:
Ian Zweig is the Online Marketing Manager at Metro Corp, publishers of Boston Magazine and Philadelphia Magazine.  He has spent his entire working career in the online advertising field helping companies grow their web business.  Ian received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Boston University.

Adcision:  Please describe a typical visitor to your site — what he/she is like, what motivates them to visit, what engages them while they are there.

Ian: Since we own two City/Regional Magazine websites, a typical visitor comes to our site for lifestyle information.  They want advice on where to dine, the scoop on the fashion scene and the VIP insights on events.  In sum, these are the socialites of Boston and Philadelphia.  They come to our site with a certain mindset, which enables us to engage them in a personal manner.  They don’t come looking for general news, sports or weather, our readers come to plan their dinners, weekends, social activities, and shopping escapades.  Our highly qualified audience sees our site as a destination based on our expert advice and recommendations.

Adcision: Do your sites have any unique features that you’re proud of?

Ian: I’m proud of every part of our sites.  The largest asset to our site is the flexibility in programs offered and ability to work with our advertisers.  As with many sites, we offer the standard IAB ad displays or newsletters, but in addition we offer insightful customized programs for our users.

Adcision: What do you wish more people knew about your “publication”?

Ian: Our magazines provide a local perspective that is independent and authoritative.  We understand that our online audience wants information fast and easy.  As long as we continue to respect our readers, we provide a great advertising channel to reach consumer through a trusted environment.

Adcision: Have you heard of any interesting transactions that have occurred as a result of your site?
Ian: The most recent testimonial we received came from one of our Wedding advertisers.  Here’s the story: Our wedding section has a place where the newly-engaged can post their engagement on our site.  We have a company who sponsored this section of our site to reach brides and soon-to-be brides early in their wedding planning process.  By being contextually relevant in the wedding section, and connecting with the mindset of the users, our sponsor was able to land two deals in their first month.  Nice story, huh?  Here’s the moral: When we create customized campaigns we try and align content and mindset to connect our users and sponsor.  It’s easier to drive results that way.

Adcision: How do you get your content?


Ian:
All of our content is created by our dedicated, hard-working, sagacious staff of writers and editors.  All of our magazine content is put online.  Additionally, online editors are the backing to our rich database of listings, our original blogs, and other online packaging.

Adcision: What’s the best article (or feature) that you have ever run on your site … and why do you think it was so popular (Please include a URL if possible)?

Looking back at 2008, our most popular feature article on Bostonmagazine.com was ‘Best Places to Live’ (http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articles/the_best_places_to_live_2008/ )and the most popular feature story on Phillymag.com was ‘Single in Philly’ (http://www.phillymag.com/articles/single_in_philly_where_is_the_love/).  I think these two articles were particularly popular because they contain intuitive, fresh content that you can’t find anywhere else.  It shows that we know how to connect with our readers in a timely fashion with stimulating content.  Also, we allowed our readers to engage with the content not just by reading the text, but by creating interactive slideshows that organized all the information in a user-friendly, fun fashion.  Talk about alliteration…

Adcision: Please share some demographic information about your audience (i.e. average home value, average HHI, male/female ratio, etc.)

Male/Female – 45/55
Avg. HHI – $115,000
Avg. Age: 38
Top Hobbies: Dining, Traveling, Performing Arts, Shopping, Socializing

We did also ask our readers to provide their credit card limits, but you’ll have to take me out for lunch to find out that highly coveted information.


Adcision: What is the best source of traffic on your website?

Ian: The most popular section on both our websites is ‘Best Of’.  Every year our editors choose winners in hundreds of categories ranging from ‘Best Brunch’ to ‘Best Party Dress’ selection.  Our three other heavy hitters are the main lifestyles sections: Dining, A&E and Fashion/Style.

Adcision:  Is there anything else you would like to add?
Ian: Of course, thanks for asking.  I would like to emphasize that looking for your target audience doesn’t mean looking at the largest websites. It means looking for the right people who you feel will buy your product.  Doing the extra work to figure out where your customers are online will pay dividends and make you look like a superstar when you show the results to the boss.  It’s amazing how a little extra work can go a long way.



Publisher Spotlight: Deal Breaker, Above The Law, and Fashionista
January 7, 2009, 3:05 pm
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by Hibben Silvo, Editor

This month we are featuring not one but three new publishers, Deal Breaker, Above the Law, and Fashionista, all published by Breaking Media.  The three sites provide valuable and interesting content to visitors with an enthusiasm for business, law, and fashion.  Breaking Media’s Publisher, David Minkin, gave us some insight into the three sites.  Check out his answers to our questions below:

David Minkin’s Bio: After graduating from Brown University I went to work at Forbes.com in ad operations.  From there I went to CFO.com where I managed business operations then later east coast ad sales.  From there I proceeded to run online sales at Institutional Investor and then finally left there after co-finding Dead Horse Media (later known as Breaking Media).

Adcision: Why did you launch Deal Breaker, Fashionista and Above the Law and what need has it fulfilled?

David:
Breaking Media has launched and operates three sites including DealBreaker.com (launched 3/06), AboveTheLaw.com (launched 8/06) and Fashionista.com (launched 1/07).    DealBreaker launched with a mandate to bring a new edge and independent voice to financial news with content aimed specifically to professionals in the finance industry.  The content is meant to be insightful, groundbreaking, funny and to challenge the conventional wisdom.   After seeing such success with DealBreaker we later rolled out AboveTheLaw, which caters to the legal industry.  Later we launched Fashionista.com, which isn’t quite as industry focused, but is still very insidery.

Adcision: Which three brands are you the most proud to have run on your site?

David: Target, Bloomberg, British Airways

Adcision: If you could only have one advertiser on your site, which would it be?

David: Target – I love them. Beautiful creative and the team at their agency is a pleasure to work with.

Adcision: Give me an example of something your readers discovered on your site that they probably wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

David: In terms of DealBreaker and AboveTheLaw we routinely scoop other sources with bonus compensation data (which is obviously very important to our audience).   And on Fashionista we announced Arlenis Sosa as the new face of Lancome literally weeks before any other source.  We’re good with getting scoops.

Adcision: Please describe a typical visitor to your site — what he/she is like, what motivates them to visit, what engages them while they are there.

David: Of course the typical reader depends on the site.  With regards to DealBreaker and AboveTheLaw the average reader is 30, extremely affluent and very well educated and most likely male (this is especially true on DealBreaker).  Fashionista readers tend to be around 25 years old, relatively affluent and very cosmopolitan.  Across all three sites about 40% of our readership is in New York.

Adcision: What do you wish more people knew about your “publication”?

David: The Breaking Media sites are the go-to destination to reach a young, upscale audience of professionals in major cosmopolitan areas.  Very few sites have such a high concentration of these influential players.  I want brands to know that we excel at engaging this audience and we do it successfully day in and day out.

Adcision: Can you namedrop… any well-known persons engaged with your site?

David: We once received a letter from Warren Buffet’s assistant disputing an argument we put forward on DealBreaker.com.

Adcision: What is the best source of traffic to your website?

David: Google.  But we’re regularly linked to by all major publications that cover fashion, law or finance.

Adcision: How do you get your content?

David: We have an incredible team of editors who are very networked within their respective industries.  A lot of our larger scoops come from tips sent in by our readers which are then corroborated by the editors.

Adcision: What’s the best article (or feature) that you have ever run on your site … and why do you think it was so popular (Please include a URL if possible)?

David: DealBreaker’s http://www.dealbreaker.com/2008/10/dear-investor.php post is great because it demonstrates the type of information that many financial institutions wish was kept hidden.  In many ways it’s this sneakiness among institutions that led to the financial mess we’re currently in.  One of the goals of DealBreaker is to shine a light on the darker corners of finance.

And of course I love that we broke the “Arlenis Sosa as face of Lancome” news on Fashionista.
http://fashionista.com/2008/09/confirmed_arlenis_to_lancome.php

Adcision: Please share some demographic information about your audience (i.e. average home value, average HHI, male/female ratio, etc.)

DealBreaker readers: 89% male, median age 30,  $246k average HHI
AboveTheLaw readers: 64% male, median age 30, $143k average HHI
Fashionista readers: 94% female, median age 26, $71k average HHI

Adcision: What is the most vexing issue facing your business right now?

David: Although we reach a very valuable audience because our readership is so niche we’re too small to be listed in @plan and thus we miss out on many RFPs from the big agencies.  Also, some of the more old school brands still think “blog” means a guy sitting in his pajamas writing in his mother’s basement.  These brands don’t realize that Breaking Media has 10 full-time employees on staff and is funded by a team of investors.

Adcision: Other than your own, what are some favorite luxury oriented sites you like?

David: These sites aren’t explicitly focused on luxury but I enjoy theatlantic.com and nymag.com

Adcision: What is your definition of luxury?

David: Something inessential but conducive to pleasure and comfort. That also happens to be the American Heritage Dictionary’s definition.

Adcision: Where do you see the industry headed?

David: I think online publishing in general will have some interesting growing pains as display advertising (in the form of standard banner units) because less valuable to advertisers.  Where that leads I’m not sure…

Adcision: What are your goals for 2008?

David: To make our sites the go-to destination for people wanting the inside scoop on the finance, legal and fashion industries.



PUBLISHER SPOTLIGHT: INTERNET BUSINESS LAW SERVICES (IBLS)
November 4, 2008, 2:32 pm
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Publisher Spotlight:iblspicture

Each month we will be featuring luxury consumer websites, ad agencies, marketing firms and the people behind their success. This month we interviewed Ana Penn (right), founder and CEO of Internet Business Law Services (IBLS).
By Hibben Silvo, Editor

Every game has its rules, and Internet Business Law Services (IBLS) is the keeper of the Internet’s.  In the vast expanse that is the world wide web a framework of policies has been established to ensure that its players play fair.  Their website describes them as, ” the leader in keeping everyone who uses the Internet apprised of the global laws and regulations that affect their online experience.”

With every advertising dollar needing to be carefully spent, sometimes thinking outside the box is the best game plan of all.  IBLS may not be the first to come to an advertiser’s mind when planning a luxury campaign but they couldn’t be a more perfect fit.  With an average House Hold Income of $200k and an international reach that extends to 200 different countries IBLS is a site that will ensure your ads are catching the attention of the exact calibur of consumer your campaigns are targeting.

Ana Penn, IBLS’s founder and CEO, was kind enough to answer some of our questions:
Publisher Questionnaire

Adcision:
Why did you launch _IBLS_. com and what need has it fulfilled?

Ana: IBLS was launched in 2000 because there simply wasn’t anywhere to go to find out what the laws and regulations of doing business over the Internet were.  We have fulfilled the unique niche of easy to read and understand E-commerce legal information and online education for business and legal professionals from around the world.
iblsscreenshot
Adcision: Which three brands are you the most proud to have run on your site?

Ana: Horchow, Christies and Five Star Alliance.

Adcision: Give me an example of something your readers discovered on your site that they probably wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

Ana: How easily understood our legal summaries are when written in non-legal ease by some of the worlds leading attorneys.

Adcision:
Please describe a typical visitor to your site — what he/she is like, what motivates them to visit, what engages them while they are there.

Ana: The typical visitor to the site is a high level business executive or government official who is looking for answers to an E-commerce legal question, or is looking to increase their knowledge in a variety of E-commerce law fields.  They typically stay due to the diverse amount of proprietary content and network of professionals that they have access to.

Adcision: Does your site have any unique features that you’re proud of?


Ana: We have many unique features on our site that we are proud of.  First of all, our “Digital Library” is the only one of it’s kind.   All of the legal summaries are written by E-commerce experts from all around the world and they are in non-legal ease so that they are easily understood by all business people, attorneys and government officials.  We also have the only online masters degree program in law that is approved by the ABA (American Bar Association).

Adcision: What do you wish more people knew about your “publication”?

Ana: How easily accessible the information is, which can save companies thousands of dollars on attorneys fees or fines and link them directly to the experts who wrote the articles.

Adcision: Can you namedrop… any well-known persons engaged with your site?

Ana: We have had two separate U.S. Federal Trade Commissioners fly out from Washington to be the keynote speakers at our 2 global conferences.  We are also preparing to publish a traditional book on E-commerce taxation with Oxford University Press, who are the oldest publishers in the world.  We anticipate the book coming out in March.  Lexis Nexis, Westlaw and EBSCO are also some of our legal publishing partners that we are proud to be associated with.

Adcision: What is the best source of traffic to your website?

Ana: Our bi-weekly Internet Law News portal, it has given us great exposure on all the major search engines and gained a very loyal and growing readership.

Adcision: How do you get your content?

Ana: From our over 450 law firm charter partners from 42 countries.

Adcision: Please share some demographic information about your audience (i.e. average home value, average HHI, male/female ratio, etc.)

Ana: Our average audience member is approximately 45, 65% male and 35% female with a HHI of $110,000


Publisher Spotlight: Lift Magazine
October 7, 2008, 1:36 pm
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Publisher Spotlight:

Each month we will be featuring luxury consumer websites, ad agencies, marketing firms and the people behind their success. This month we interviewed Tanya Ryno of LIFT Magazine.
By Hibben Silvo, Editor

Tanya Ryno claims that she is in pursuit of the 25-hour day, well with several years under her belt as a producer for Saturday Night Live, a writer for Weblogs Inc., a photographer, a movie on the Sundance Channel, and a phenomenal fitness website to boot, I think it’s safe to say she has found it. Tanya is the founder of a site called LIFT Magazine; it is dedicated to those with a keen sense of adventure and a zest for fitness and the outdoors. Lift features the most up to date and top of the line fitness equipment and gadgets along with spotlights on individual athletes (both professional and amateur), fun facts, and other outside-the-box tidbits (Lingerie Football League anyone?).

Tanya took a moment out of her 25-hour day to answer some of our questions about herself and LIFT. On a second thought, she was most likely also running a marathon, cooking dinner, and scouring the web for great new articles to share with the site’s followers. Here are her answers below:

Biography: As an established film/tv producer, an entrepreneur, a photographer by hobby and a writer who is continually in search of the 25-hour day, I live by my own motto by working hard and playing harder.

Adcision: Why did you launch lift-magazine.com and what need has it fulfilled?

Tanya: I originally launched LIFT Magazine to help out my husband’s business … but it soon took on a life of its own and expanded with an audience that kept coming back for more.

My mission is to give a fresh perspective and strong voice to any product or person that brings exciting innovations to our lives and encourages us to get off our lazy asses and enjoy the luxuries that life has to offer.

LIFT quickly became a web magazine for the adventurer in all of us (not necessarily the gym goer) — urban men and women who work hard and play harder. And, LIFT readers have reached a time in their lives when they have the means, passion, health, and experience to enjoy what life has to offer. They love challenges, appreciate quality, and pursue excellence.


Adcision: Which three brands are you the most proud to have run on your site?

Virgin Charter, Johnny Walker and Diane Von Furstenberg

Adcision: If you could only have one advertiser on your site, which would it be?

Virgin Charter or any advertiser that represents a lifestyle filled with fun … a product that represents the exciting side of luxury.

Adcision: Give me an example of something your readers discovered on your site that they probably wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

I often give examples of motivation that you won’t find anywhere else … fitness isn’t about living at the gym, it’s about living at your peak, no matter what stands in your way. It’s about obeying the alarm clock, peeling yourself out of bed, and finding that extra hour most people think they’ll never have. I show you how other successful people do that, and I do it without preaching.

Adcision: Please describe a typical visitor to your site — what he/she is like, what motivates them to visit, what engages them while they are there.

I stated this above, but it most accurately describes my reader: , LIFT readers have reached a time in their lives when they have the means, passion, health, and experience to enjoy what life has to offer. They love challenges, appreciate quality, and pursue excellence.

Adcision: Does your site have any unique features that you’re proud of?

Well, LIFT TV is coming soon. But other than that, the content is what I’m most proud of.

Adcision: What do you wish more people knew about your “publication”?

That it’s not only interesting but it’s funny. I try to write with a sense of humor.

Adcision: Have you heard of any interesting transactions that have occurred as a result of your site?

A number of my readers actually purchase items that I post about. I’m always surprised to hear that someone has bought something and mainly because of the way that I wrote about it. – This shows me the power of the written word and reminds me of the pressure to be as accurate as I can when writing about something I like.

Adcision: Can you namedrop… any well-known persons engaged with your site?

Specifically I know of a few celebrities who have visited my site and I know that a number of other popular sites, constantly contact me for design advice.

In regard to celebrities, often the ones that I interview write to me stating that they enjoying reading my site … I hope that they continue to come back.

Adcision: What is the best source of traffic to your website?

Referral links. Other sites who link to my posts. Women’s Health Magazine, REAL SIMPLE Magazine, ASKMEN.com and Kineda all have LIFT Magazine listed in their “Blogs we love” section. I always receive a lot of traffic from them.

Adcision: How do you get your content?

Research, research, research! And, now that I’ve grown, I’ve actually started to create original content by interviewing people that my readers are interested in.

Adcision: What’s the best article (or feature) that you have ever run on your site … and why do you think it was so popular (Please include a URL if possible)?

My most popular articles are articles about products.
http://www.lift-magazine.com/journal/airboard-freeride-180-forget-what-you-thought-you-knew-about.html
and
http://www.lift-magazine.com/journal/fitflops-can-a-shoe-tone-your-butt.html

I believe it’s because people are looking for honest answers about products before they decide to purchase or not.

Adcision: Please share some demographic information about your audience (i.e. average home value, average HHI, male/female ratio, etc.)

50/50 Male to Female … infact, Male readers have increased by 20 percent over the last year. In a survey that I once ran, the average reader was high income of $75,000 plus.

Adcision: What is the most vexing issue facing your business right now?

Trying to figure out how to integrate video into my format and expanding my network … I’m in the process of starting another upscale blog called CANVAS … it will be a daily look at modern beauty (i.e. plastic surgery and beauty).

Adcision: Other than your own, what are some favorite luxury oriented sites you like?
Justluxe.com
Portfolio.com
LuxuryCulture.com

Adcision: What is your definition of luxury?

It’s a lifestyle choice, something that is an indulgence rather than a necessity … something that is hard to obtain, but worth the effort.

Adcision: Where do you see the industry headed?

No matter how the economy turns, there will always be a high-class market. It’s about BRANDING.

Adcision: What are your goals for 2008?

To expand my brand and my network … to continue to provide interesting subject matter to an audience who is looking for it.



Publisher Spotlight: Spire
September 3, 2008, 1:35 pm
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Each month we will be featuring luxury consumer websites, ad agencies, marketing firms and the people behind their success. This month we interviewed Janet Kraus and Suzanne Aaronson, Co-founders of Spire.
By Hibben Silvo, Editor

Trust is the most crucial part of any relationship, and Spire is built on just that.  Whether you’re renovating your bathroom, planning a safari or simply want to purchase an elegant wedding gift you can rest assured that the tips and suggestions on Spire will lead you to nothing short of the best.  The site’s ‘about us’ section describes them as “the leading social resource for affluent people.”  With a long history of good taste and an insistence for quality, the co-founders, Janet Kraus and Suzanne Aaronson, search the world for high-end goods and services for their members to reference.
Janet and Suzanne took some time away from their quest for the best to answer some questions about their site and how they perceive luxury. Check out the interview below:

Co-Founders:

Janet Kraus (left): As CEO, Janet drives Spire’s vision and culture. She came to Spire by way of Circles (the leading provider of concierge services), the company she co-founded with Kathy Sherbrooke and recently sold to Sodexho Alliance. While at Circles, Janet oversaw the company’s growth strategy, including the creation and ultimate spin-off of Spire as a stand-alone company and simultaneous purchase of Suzanne’s Files.

Suzanne Aaronson (right): As Curator, Suzanne leads Spire’s editorial team and countless unpaid international contributors in skimming the world for quality lifestyle finds. Suzanne’s passion for “finding the best and leaving the rest” began in her early twenties. Over the years, tips from savvy friends and notes from international hotspots grew into a prolific, in-demand knowledge base and eventually evolved into Suzanne’s Files, a successful business with an impressive international following.

Adcision: Why did you launch spire.com and what need has it fulfilled?

Suzanne: We felt that the highly affluent who are time starved and deeply value in-the-know insight were not being well served in the lifestyle arena.  Although there are some one-way static print resources, before we started there were not any on-line resources that combined highly vetted and culled recommendations with the social elements that make the web so powerful – people tapping into people.  There was no resource like this that could be tapped anytime/ anywhere.

Janet: Also, it was clear that while many premium and luxury brands were beginning to realize that their customers were on-line; very few had really made the big leap into the world of online marketing beyond search.  We felt that we could create an online media property where premium and luxury brands could really feel safe testing and learning with real customer engagement.  Although there has been a lot of talk about this, we believe the techniques for doing this are in the infancy and there is so much more room to help brands really connect with their customers – current and future.

Adcision: Which three brands are you the most proud to have run on your site?

Janet: We are really very new – our new site has been live since June – and frankly we are very excited by the breadth, quality and variation in size of the partners we have engaged with – from Ritz Carlton Club, Amex and Forbes, to the Adventure Collection and Luggage Forward, to Mutual Art, Black Tomato and Vivre, we are excited by all of them because part of our value proposition is that we can help drive engagement for premium, upscale companies of any size.

Adcision: Give me an example of something your readers discovered on your site that they probably wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

Suzanne: Every day consumers will discover something new on Spire to resonates with their passions or answer a burning question.

From a perfect day in Mallorca, a perennial summer hot spot and the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands … to the world’s best Hot Air Ballooning outfitters and experience.  From the world-leading kids’ museums- wonderlands for art, innovation, adventure and imagination to choice custom home wine cellar designers for the connoisseur wine collector.  And from eco-intelligent appliances for home and garden to a 5-Star hotel with an innovative holistic wellness center for those with chronic back pain in Aspen.

Adcision: Please describe a typical visitor to your site — what he/she is like, what motivates them to visit, what engages them while they are there.

Suzanne: Spire.com subscribers & members have one thing in common across their ages, sexes and nationalities:  They care about what is high quality and unique.

Whether a 32 year old professional on the rise, a 38 year old stay-at-home mother with two children, or a 52 year old hedge fund manager – every one of our customers seeks “the best” and has his or her own definition of “best.”  Every loyal customer of Spire is seeking a shortcut to quality information.  Everyone wants the inside scoop.  Everyone wants the information that a friend — who went there, did that or researched that — has to offer.  The Spire customer most values opinion and recommendations from those s/he can relate to.  People like them.  The Spire customer DOES NOT want to spend endless hours figuring it out him- or herself.

Our customer is uniquely engaged on Spire.com with both the in-the-know InsightTM provided from other members AND the vetted, authoritative pithy files that we curate.

Adcision: Does your site have any unique features that you’re proud of?

Suzanne:
We are proud of the way that we blend vetted lifestyle content (our Files) with members’ perspectives. This “blended approach” is simple and authentic in its concept as it   mimics the everyday behavior that the “Cultivated Consumer”  – someone who both “researches” for third parties AND relies on the insights of people they trust.


Adcision: What do you wish more people knew about Spire.com?

Suzanne: The more active target audience members, the more useful Spire.com becomes!  If a member invites his/ her friends and they do the same, and those friends do the same and so on and so on … you trigger the “network effect” and tap your 6 degrees of separation.  Once this starts to happen, you truly are able to “get to’ any piece of info that will help you to live life well.

Suzanne’s Files are highly differentiated from any other lifestyle content available in the published world.  They are 15+ years of collecting tid bits and discerning people’s insights to present this basket of only the great stuff – leaving out the rest, that is the noise . . . and even telling you the little things – good and bad that help you to make the final decision.

Adcision: Can you namedrop… any well-known persons engaged with your site?

Suzanne: We value the privacy of our members but feel comfortable saying that there are several business “celebs” who are members of Spire.com – real leaders in their sectors, be it Finance, Fashion, Arts, Design.  They value that they can be anonymous and yet tap “people like them”.

Adcision: How do you get your content?

Suzanne: I tap my own personal experience, trusted worldly friends and increasingly our growing “International Collective” of professional experts and insiders (all unpaid “passionistas”) who provide personal feedback/insights as well commentary and ideas for future Suzanne’s Files. Our contributors live & travel in various small and large markets keep us abreast on their finds, opinions and feedback of companies, products & services we cover for SFiles

Adcision: Please share some demographic information about your audience (i.e. average home value, average HHI, male/female ratio, etc.)

Spire:
•    Age:  early 40s
•    Income: of 60% $200k+, 27% over $400k
•    Assets of $1 million+
•    Degree Educated
•    55%/45% — Female/Male Ratio

Adcision: What is your definition of luxury?

Suzanne: Luxury is an over-used, over-hyped, all-over-the-map word — what is Luxury anymore and to whom? Logically the word means different things to different people, at various life stages.
Personally, I find it a silly word now – but it used to mean so much, and sound so good. So, it begs the question: What is Luxury to you? I can tell you what it means to me — and many YAWNS* out there, (Young & Wealthy But Normal) (source: Robert Frank, WSJ Wealth Reporter/ Richistan Author) “Luxury” is truly high quality, craftmanship and/or artisanal, simple beauty, those things that I don’t get or have daily…it is an experience I remember with color, a way my body felt or reacted to a physical challenge or a new depth of relaxation; it’s the freshest of air, and the most perfect summer peach or bright winter sun in a snowy place. A child falling asleep on you is a Luxury, to me. YAWNs are down-to-earth, have integrity; they are less interested in the what and more in the how and why. Read the rest of this entry



Publisher Spotlight: Art Info
August 6, 2008, 1:22 pm
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By Hibben Silvo, Editor

Each month we will be featuring luxury consumer websites, ad agencies, marketing firms and the people behind their success. This month we interviewed ARTINFO.com, one of our newest publishers. Their site is a major hub for all things art and culture related, and what’s more lux than that Dali hanging in your foyer?

It’s called culture theory. It states that culture is what separates us from other species. If by virtue of the fact that a doodle can render upwards of seven figures then this theory must hold water. ARTINFO.com is a tribute to this phenomenon we call culture, most specifically art. From widely known artists, such as Picasso, to lesser known local artists the site compiles a wealth of information on everything including events, international art news, an art market, artists’ directory and basically anything else a savvy art aficionado could ever conceive of. The site is created by Louise Blouin Media, a cultural media group that also produces other publications such as Art & Auction, Modern Painters, Culture & Travel, Gallery Guide and Museums in New York and produces art price guides.

Don’t believe me? The National Post quoted that “it’s sometimes difficult to find a high-brow use for the internet, but I think surfing the Art Info Web site to take in a round-up of fine-art gallery exhibits across the world, or to see what the latest Chinese Ming dynasty painting is selling for, would qualify as such a cultured pursuit, don’t you?” The beauty of the site is that it’s a resource for artists, collectors, and anyone with even a basic interest or knowledge of art.

ARTINFO.com took the time to answer some of our questions, check out the interview below:

Why did you launch ARTINFO.com and what has it fulfilled?

We re-launched ARTINFO.com in May 2007 because we saw a need to create a global destination for the arts with comprehensive listings of artists, museums, and galleries and the latest on-the-ground news reporting. Our audience is collectors, dealers, gallery directors/owners, and art world influencers and tastemakers.

The goal of the website re-launch was to provide our core audience, such as high-net worth collectors, with one-stop resource for arts and culture information in it’s many forms. We have exclusive features that cater to their needs. We know this is important—we have a strong user base with a high percentage of repeat visits.

The re-launch was also a new brand direction, with a completely new look and feel. We sought to address the changing needs of our audience. And through user research discovered that we could build a better product that more directly suits current arts and the art market on the internet. ARTINFO is as dynamic and global as the cultural scene it covers.

Give me an example of something your readers discovered on your site that they probably wouldn’t have known otherwise.

At the Sotheby’s Contemporary Auction sales last month, the two and a half hour sale generated a total of £94,701,550 ($188,853,831), just short of the £96.6 million pre-sale high estimate. Ten records for highest lots sold at auction for individual artists were set. All of these records are searchable in our Art Sales Index, ARTINFO’s auction lots database tool, which is free to anyone who visits ARTINFO.

The Art Sales Index is a tool that allows individuals to search lots at auction dating back to the 1920’s. Unlike some of our competitors, ARTINFO offers our database free to the public. And although used predominantly by collectors and auctions world professionals, the tool itself provides a wealth of information about artists their works of art; about historical market data, documenting the creative practice over a broad period of time.

ARTINFO is part of Louise Blouin Media—the international art publisher with strong titles such as Art+Auction, Modern Painters, Culture+Travel, Gallery Guide and the Art Sales Index and Gordon’s Data Publications. The strength of our offering is that ARTINFO reaches into all of these areas through our extensive editorial coverage, breadth of categories and depth of insider knowledge within the areas of arts and culture.

The other unique characteristic of ARTINFO and Louise Blouin Media products is the lifestyle component —there’s an awareness that important media shapes markets mindsets.

What are your goals in 2008?

ARTINFO has the unique position of having the ability to create high impact luxury opportunities by mapping the dedicated interests of our audience segments to focused areas on the website. Interest in art has grown into a cultural movement. Over 60% of museum directors cited increased attendance to art museums last year. What this means to us is that we look towards our audience and our advertisers to benefit from this expansion. We measure success by our ability to provide a fresh way to explore the arts and culture online through news, features, and arts related information.

Our goals for 2008 are to continue to build on the strengths of Louise Blouin Media print products, further expanding our online platform. We are extending the reach of our core online offerings to provide focal points for travel and auctions content, as well as meaningful contextual links amongst the depth of content we already have online. New and ongoing efforts to develop podcasts, video, and other new channels will provide a new means of delivering our content to our audience. ARTINFO is a content matrix and the possibilities for delivery are infinite.

A new energy has changed the world of art. There are record levels of investment; a heightened interest, especially from the affluent market; and a consumer mindset that prizes meaning over material. As art becomes more deeply integrated into fashion, society, and popular culture, our challenge becomes harnessing this energy into a meaningful experience for our visitors. And the internet is quickly becoming THE platform of communication.

Who is your audience?

Our highest segments of registered users are collectors, artists, and gallery owners and directors. Over 42% have a household income greater than $100,000, with 10% spending over $100,000 or more collecting art per year.

The strength of the ARTINFO audience is that we have high-net worth individuals who are not only collectors driven by the analytical aspects of the market like indices and trends, participating in the auctions world and global art fairs; but who are also passionate about the arts and the way that the arts impact humanity.

ARTINFO has a strong base in the US and the UK but reaches an international clientele with representation in all parts of the world: Asia, Europe, the Americas, the Middle East; and Africa.



Publisher Spotlight
June 30, 2008, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Publisher Spotlight

YUREEKAH

The World’s First Ever Search Engine For Online Media Professionals — Free Service Enables Real Time Competitive Analysis of Online Advertising By Devin Herbers, Editor

It’s true, time IS money. (!)Yureekah, the world’s first search engine for the online media industry, allows you to identify where all your competitors are advertising, thus saving you time AND money. Why didn’t someone come up with this before?

Fortunately for us, Vishal Sharma and Devaraj Southworth came to the rescue by founding (!)Yureekah in April of this year. The site allows you to search through ads that run on millions of portals hourly and use that information to decide how to advertise in the portals that best fit your brand — irrespective of geography, language, and time zone.

(!)Yureekah’s mission is to organize the world’s online advertising information and make it universally accessible and useful. More
specifically (!)Yureekah will serve as a single gateway for all online advertising, and as a real-time
information resource for the millions of online media professionals, advertisers, and
small business owners.

I had the opportunity to ask Vishal a few questions. Check out his answers below:

What is your definition of Luxury?

I believe that luxury is a piece of perpetuity here on earth. This is a aspiration, a dream to which we are always striving. Since perpetuity on this earth is not actually possible, it is a dream that we pursue even though – or perhaps because – it is unreachable or never enough.

However the day you realize “I’m worth it”, it becomes accessible and it’s a whole new world. You seem to live in a world of reality and enjoy yourself and luxury would be habit versus a necessity.

What advice do you have for Luxury Marketers?

It is an interesting time for luxury marketers as the consumer today believes that he is worth a life which he wants and hence there is potentially a huge market for them than ever before. The Web2.0 propels this mood as well. I suggest luxury marketers must see this as a great opportunity and allow
consumers to talk amongst themselves . A lot of brands today are getting into corporate blogging which I think might be good as it allows your consumers to share their views and this allows them what I call “spiral marketing.”

The future will also see a lot of social media behavior and this is where Luxury Marketers need to device mass strategy versus individual consumer acquisition strategies. The future also calls for a lot continued viral branding efforts which would include carrying the same message across online, out of home(OOH) & mobile platforms.