Melissa Platt joined the Waitapu Group with the sole mandate of developing the digital experience for our School Road Publishing business. Last Friday she launched our new WOMAN+ digital platform. We chatted to her about this exciting new venture, the benefits to advertisers and the new smarts we have added to our group’s capability.
Q1: What was the ah-ha moment for the move to get a fully integrated rich media content channel up and running for Woman Magazine.
Being primarily print focused meant that the business was missing out on major opportunities, not only to reach a wider audience and build a community, but also to gather key data and insights from them. Both magazines, Woman and Thrive are really strong products in their own right, but without a digital presence they were far from reaching their full potential. The decision to centralise and create WOMAN+, a more cohesive, inclusive digital hero brand, was the next natural step to building, understanding and catering to our community and audience. It is designed with an always-on approach to creating and publishing digital content across the platform, as well as through our social media channels and email marketing.
Q2: How does the digital editor differ from the print editor?
I see a digital editor’s primary objective to build a community through content and connection. The most effective way to do this is to gain a deep understanding of the people in your community as well as those you want to attract to your community. Being setup to get the right data and metrics from your platforms means you can be agile, targeted and relevant to your audience and you can actually reach them. Creating digital content, and the way in which we consume it, is always evolving and a digital editor will need to be light on their feet to quickly adjust and change direction based on the data, insights and a healthy dose of intuition too. A digital editor is a connector. They leverage the data, content and channels in such a way to connect people to brands, businesses and initiatives. They are the drivers of collaboration and partnerships and ultimately growth and success which will be crucial to our advertisers.
Q3: What is the vision for Woman+ in the next 12-18 months?
Never get complacent. To always be evolving, growing, learning and pioneering. The more we learn from our audience the more relevant, valuable and inspiring the content we can deliver to them. The beauty of digital is the freedom of movement, without the physical space limitations. In the digital world we don’t need to turn off or pause, and we have the ability to create, publish and promote content through multi-sensory formats like video, audio and photography – across multiple channels. Using our resources at the Waitapu Group we are able to turn around quick and beautiful content which we can use across unlimited digital space and multiple channels – including social and CRM. This gives our advertisers greater reach, engagement and exposure to our highly engaged audience.
Q4: Who are the women we are targeting?
The WOMAN+ digital platform has been designed to add another dimension to our portfolio and to include more voices and broaden our audience. The beauty of digital is its audience based, and not defined by age groups and life stages. Audiences self create to a degree. They gather and unite around similar aspirations and desires that are relevant to them today. We want to speak to an attitude not an age group. Our diverse range of content categories and pillars will adapt and evolve as we grow with them. Digital never stops, it is never done. I personally thrive on change, that’s why I love it so much.
Q5: What “smarts” are we employing to make this platform really work hard for our readers and our advertisers?
Everything we do will be with the purpose of generating data that we can learn from and act upon, effectively and efficiently. Whilst being optimised for SEO and Google Analytics, our platform has also been carefully set up to capture a host of user data from high level metrics around page views and reach, to granular details specific to individual content pieces. As our traffic and reach begins to grow, so too will our need for tools to help us connect with wider communities and networks. We want to be able to target our own content, and that of our advertisers, to the audience effectively and authentically. It’s all about understanding and through the data and the community we are building we want to open up a direct channel of communication for our advertisers from emails to newsletters, to social media conversations, live panels, bespoke surveys and so much more.
Melissa joined the Waitapu Group with the sole mandate of developing the digital experience for our School Road Publishing business. This has seen her lead the project to build a dynamic multichannel brand experience across print, digital and social media, launching WOMAN+ to sit at its core.
Her expertise in setting up and running high performance ecommerce content production operations across fashion and lifestyle has taken her around the world. As the founding Production Manager for ASOS and Selfridges in London as well as leading retail businesses across the UAE, Melissa understands what it takes to create high quality content, at volume and at pace, while delivering an exceptional customer experience across multiple channels.