Under Diana Kay’s watch, NewsLifeMedia’s lifestyle division is flexing its experiential muscle, as events continue to be big business for brands such as Vogue. Here, she tells Magazine Networks about some of its most high-profile efforts in recent months.
Note: this article was contributed by Magazine Networks.
As the marketing director for NewsLifeMedia’s lifestyle brands, experiential marketing is a powerful tool for Diana Kay (pictured above).
Overseeing marketing efforts for Conde Nast titles Vogue, GQ and Vogue Living, along with Buro 24/7, Inside Out and Country Style, she says it’s a diverse group of titles, “dynamic, fast-paced and fabulous in their own right”.
Kay gets the opportunity to work on events that range from the entertaining to the inspiring.
One of the more intriguing experiences she has been involved with is Vogue Codes, a series of events designed to encourage women to pursue careers in engineering and technology.
“Coding is the hot new language. Instead of learning French, young girls are learning code,” Kay explains.
Calling on influential voices in the tech industry, Vogue Codes is looking to fill the gap and prepare young women for the estimated 25,000 jobs which are expected to emerge in the technology industry in the coming years.
Vogue Codes may seem like an unusual fit for the brand, but Kay says Vogue’s reputation has the power to create change.
“We’ve taken the strength, authority and integrity of the brand and turned that spotlight on a movement like women in technology,” she says.
Vogue Codes is just one of many events on Kay’s calendar. Others include Vogue Online Shopping night, GQ Online Shopping Night and Vogue Fashion’s Night Out.
The events form an overarching experiential retail growth strategy and are an important instrument to drive sales of the print products Kay is charged with marketing, as well as their digital extensions.
Kay is particularly proud of Vogue Fashion’s Night Out, which has won numerous awards since its launch in 2010. This year’s events unfolded earlier this month in partnership with American Express and produced impressive turnouts.
In 2016, more than 340,000 consumers flocked to the Sydney and Melbourne central shopping districts demonstrating the strength of the brand’s customer engagement. The 2016 events were responsible for $4 million in incremental retail economic impact.
Following the success of these live experiences, Kay expects to see further growth in this area in the next 12 months as she and her team look to expand their footprint beyond Sydney and Melbourne, dropping events into locations such as the Gold Coast and Adelaide.
Kay’s role, of course, extends beyond events, and she says there are never two days the same as she and her team oversee brand and digital marketing activities, from gauging organic content traction to paid investment on social platforms.
While magazine brands in the past may have called upon agencies to assist in their marketing efforts, today this often all falls to the publisher.
“Gone are the days of leaning on external advertising agencies to come up with our messaging. We are the heads behind our brand messaging,” she says.
With the focus having shifted to multiplatform brands, Kay says the word ‘magazine’ has been replaced by ‘brand’.
“We rarely just use the word. Our brand is our connection to our customers,” she explains
Sales, marketing and editorial come together
Success for NewsLifeMedia’s lifestyle division comes down to synergy and communication across departments, according to Kay.
“I feel very fortunate to work in a division where we are united in our approach. It definitely wasn’t the case in previous roles I’ve held in the media,” she says.
Kay’s colleagues inspire her daily and their success is thanks to the cohesive vision of editorial, sales and marketing and sponsorship departments.
She believes NewsLifeMedia’s rapid response to the digital revolution of magazines has given her a leg up as the industry continues to evolve.
Although the landscape is ever-changing, Kay is optimistic about the future, and sees experiential marketing and cross-department communication as key. These approaches have played a role in the success of the brands for which she plays guardian.
“We’ve created this incredible connection with our customers through the heritage of our brand and the platforms that we operate on,” she says. “The future of our business looks exceptional.”