Associated Media Publishing (AMP) recently partnered with mobile-first digital agency, Thumbtribe, to launch ampDigital.
The joint venture will focus on bespoke content creation in multiple formats (video, social, long-form content) as well as digital and mobile development and innovation (web/mobile applications, CRM programs, SMS).
“An obsessive audience-centricity is always our starting point, and our success has always been a reflection of the incredible content our teams create. ampDigital will continue along these lines – but it will also be able to offer data-driven results and an ability for brands to reach consumers,” said AMP CEO, Julia Raphaely (left).
ampDigital will offer access to a large, engaged audience (through the AMP brands, alternative media channels, and point-of-sale and wi-fi solutions) as well as consumer testing for insight and optimisation.
Raphaely said the launch of ampDigital was prompted by the huge transformation in the industry. “It made sense for the next ‘S-curve’ of our business to partner with someone with a complementary and fully digital/mobile mind-set – someone who would help us take advantage of the digital opportunities that are presenting themselves based on the insights from our audience,” she said.
Ability to innovate
The decision to partner with Thumbtribe, a proximity performance digital agency that designs and develops digital marketing campaigns, mobile applications, adaptive and e-commerce websites, bespoke platforms and lasting CRM programmes, allows ampDigital to strategically move faster and increases their ability to innovate with more digital solutions for clients and the consumers who engage with their brands.
“We’ve worked with Thumbtribe for a few years on various projects, so we had an established base to start from. They have a very performance-driven methodology that dovetailed with ours. In addition, they’ve done a lot of work specifically around wi-fi and till-point integration, which aligns perfectly with where we are taking our business,” said Raphaely.
Elrike Lochner (left) is the newly appointed general manager of ampDigital who joined AMP last year as head of digital. Coming from a traditional agency background, Lochner was surprised and impressed at the speed with which ampDigital is able to create content.
“The ability of AMP to deliver content that performs to an audience that is engaged is mind-blowing,” she said. “The team’s deep understanding of their audience across platforms, together with the digital data and insights, quickly helped me identify that we were lacking the technical resources and alternative channels to deliver targeted content to consumers and to help clients reach their audience effectively. The most satisfying bit about this is that we can do this in record time and at a competitive rate. To me, ampDigital is a modern-day digital partnership that will assist brands whose desire is to communicate more effectively with their audience,” said Lochner.
Although it’s early days, Lochner said client feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far. “All assets across the AMP brands’ digital channels are a product of ampDigital and the great results, quick turnaround and innovative solutions have been very well received,” she added.
The big question for publishers is whether content creation will take over from traditional advertising as an income stream in the future. Raphaely said it already formed a large part of the AMP group’s income.
Trusted relationship with audience
“Because the digital environment is so fast-paced, clients and brands appreciate the quick turnaround and competitive rates we’re able to offer. The fact that we also have such a close, trusted relationship with our audience helps us to validate ideas as part of the content creation process,” she said.
“Plus, having all the skills in house – and the platforms to communicate with consumers directly – gives us the ability to turn relevant content around very quickly. We are also working on other innovations based on the principles of connecting clients with consumers,“ she added.
AMP, a privately owned publishing house, was founded 33 years ago by renowned editor and publisher, Jane Raphaely, and is now headed up by Julia Raphaely, her daughter and CEO of the company. It attracts more than 1.2 million readers each month through its print titles and more than eight million users through its online properties. The company’s portfolio includes COSMOPOLITAN, House & Leisure, Good Housekeeping, Goeie Huishouding, Marie Claire and Women on Wheels.
ampDigital is jointly owned by AMP and Thumbtribe, and has offices in Cape Town (head office), Johannesburg and Durban.
Bettina Moss is an inspirational writer, motivational speaker, GlowCoach, intuitive counsellor, mentor and presenter in the field of personal growth and development. She founded GloWoman in 2010.