Digital Programme Director
For most of my time at EMAP I have been the designated ‘digital guy’ as I have the most experience in designing, developing, launching digital businesses. I am currently developing digital projects across three of the four divisions within EMAP – radio, lifestyle, and B2B. I am responsible for shepherding digital projects from strategic direction to idea generation, through ‘option-to-play’ development, and to launch if appropriate. I am currently spending most of my time on a pre-launch e-commerce project in the B2B fashion space.
Previously I was responsible for the profit and loss of a portfolio of consumer and business-to-business automotive media products that included magazines, websites, mobile offerings, database businesses, and events that deliver approximately £12M profit annually. In this portfolio of businesses it was my responsibility to manage the traditional products as efficiently as possible to deliver growth that could fuel new, cross-platform businesses. Two examples of the kind of work I did in that role are the expansion of the Parker’s Online Price Guide and the CAR brand.
The Parker’s print product has been in a state of decline for almost eight years and the launch of a ‘skunkworks’ website proved that there was a significant audience for Parker’s in the digital world. We redesigned the site using much of my experience in web heuristics, and integrated a cars-for-sale business. Traffic has now grown to 2M unique users per month generating over 20M page impressions – arguably the UK’s most-used consumer automotive website. Profits from advertising grew 110 percent in the subsequent 18 months and the cars for sale feature now makes up a third of the revenue of the site. This is generating £4M in ad revenue alone.
CAR Magazine is also a good example. This magazine, like most targeting men, has also been in decline for years. We decided to build a website that would compliment the magazine and vice versa – each taking advantage of their respective platforms. The magazine sacrificed a quarter of its pages, giving up news and listings to the website as the web was better suited and focused on deeper coverage and analysis and higher quality images and reproduction. And with the savings in postage, printing and paper we increased the quality of the paper and finishing of the magazine and made it bigger in format. We also launched the website using open-source technologies to keep costs low and hosted the site in the US where market conditions meant hosting costs were under £20 per month! Using connections of mine we were able to launch the new site for less than £4,000. The site now satisfies 370,000 unique users each month who generate just under 4M page impressions. Revenues for the website this first full year will be around $.5M. The magazine was repositioned upmarket out of the reach of Top Gear and the cover price increased by 30p. We have increased our global footprint for the brand by securing licensees in South Africa, India, Greece, Mexico, and Russia in the past 18 months. In terms of results, not only has the website become the de facto site for automotive buffs due to its breaking news and spy shots, but the magazine has earned an increase in circulation and won several prestigious awards for design and content. And the business? Increase in profit year on year of 34 percent -- the first growth in profit for CAR since it was purchased by EMAP.
·Member of the Specialist Executive, the EMAP Consumer Media Leadership Team, and the EMAP PLCLeadership Group.
·P&L responsibility for £34M revenue, £12M profit division
·Managed a team of 150 people including ad sales, retail, marketing, editorial, technical, and production staff
Strategic lead for digital efforts within EMAP Consumer Media, and primary source for helping guide the divisional Digital Directors