Regularly assessing your overheads makes good business sense and earlier this year Richard Bunting, managing editor and GM of Luxury Travel spent time weighing up the expenses involved with publishing the quarterly title. Among them was the CAB audit.
“Being a printed magazine, you've got to look at all your costs,” says Bunting. “I'm really a big believer in the audit, personally, but we did think about not renewing.”
Bunting consulted clients and agencies to gauge their opinion on the decision. “I had a couple of meetings with clients and their agencies and we talked about the bigger magazine publishers and how they had cut their audit. And they said, ‘We stopped spending with them’,” he says.
Without any syndicated research or another credible way to quantify the number of copies in-market, the advice to stick with the audit was unanimous.
While the bulk of Luxury Travel’s advertising sales come directly from brands as opposed to through agencies, Bunting wanted to keep the door open to both avenues. “If the agencies are still using it then it makes sense for us to have it,” he says. “As a magazine publisher, one of your biggest challenges is credibility. For me, it's a no-brainer to keep it.”
Launched in 2000, Luxury Travel is distributed through multiple channels including direct to retail outlets through Gordon and Gotch as well as luxury hotels in Australia’s capital cities and doctor’s surgeries. Copies of the title can also be found in airports at lounges and newsagents as it appeals to a core audience of high net worth individuals.
The magazine’s key point of difference is that it focuses purely on luxury travel, unlike other publications that branch out into lifestyle fare such as fashion and beauty. Another unique feature of the brand is the Luxury Travel Gold List, reader-voted awards which saw 25,000 votes this year and have been described as the Conde Nast awards of the region. “It makes us feel proud because that's a yardstick globally as a travel publication,” says Bunting.
Bunting has been around the publishing block for several years and says the model has shifted as evidenced by Luxury Travel’s approach to advertising. Today, the title creates media plans for its advertising partners which span across print and digital to include web presence and email newsletters. “Trying to sell a page just for the magazine is a rarity,” he says.
As the evolution of the print business continues, Bunting sees the audit as a vital part of the process. He said: “Like anyone in print, we need to keep evolving. We need to keep making sure our distribution model is right and that it's also audited so that our advertisers understand they're getting through to an active audience who really is looking to travel.”
Date: 24 Oct 2017