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LP3.1 Assignment: Ogden Publications Strategy

Integrated Marketing Communications at Ogden Publications

Integrated marketing communications is all about
consistency. For some companies, that’s pretty simple—slap your logo on the
press kit and you’re good to go. For Ogden Publications of Tulsa, Oklahoma,
it’s a little more complicated. The small publishing house has 13 titles,
ranging from Mother Earth News and Natural Home to Cappers, a magazine about traditional American values and rural
lifestyles, and everything from Motorcycle
to Utne Reader, a
collection of articles about art, politics, and everything in between. In
addition to its magazines, the company also offers merchandise and electronic
companions to its titles.

It has been difficult to present an Ogden
Publications “look,” although brand manager Brandy Ernzen and Cherilyn Olmsted,
Ogden’s circulation and marketing director, consider this one of their many
priorities as they take marketing at the company to the next level. “Each of
the titles is so unique that they have their own brand identity,” says Ernzen,
but the common thread throughout all of Ogden’s offerings is that “we tell
people how to do really cool things.” For Ernzen and Olmsted, the focus is on
raising the bar on promotions, events, and ad sales as well as driving traffic
to their Web properties and increasing circulation and awareness for each

As brand manager, Ernzen leads the charge to
help maintain the integrity of all the public relations and marketing efforts
at Ogden. It has actually become a pretty big job in recent years. The
do-it-yourself trend started about ten years ago and has been energized by the
increasing interest in environmentally and socially conscious consumerism and
green living. These trends have sparked tons of interest with the company’s
core audiences as well as a new, more mainstream, demographic, but Ernzen is

“I work really closely with all the different
editorial staffs as well as advertising and the media,” she says. “You’re
making sure everyone on the different [marketing] teams is aware of what’s
going on.” She is constantly running between the circulation department at Herb Companion and to the book warehouse
to ask about a new cookbook or gardening guide to identify opportunities for
tie-ins. She might then look for a green event or seminar on exotic heirloom
tomatoes to raise awareness for their magazines, books, and products. That
triggers a press release and, before you know it, “you can really maximize what
you’re doing to get the most results,” says Ernzen. “There are higher newsstand
sales and people are buying that product because it is a full campaign.”

Communicating with consumers is really only one
part of Ernzen’s job. “Internal communications is also a big part that a lot of
people don’t think about,” she says. The company recently developed an
electronic newsletter to let people know what’s going on in the company. “That
way, everybody’s on the same page.” Ogden is not publicly traded, yet, like
publicly traded companies listed on the stock market, it must extend the same
consistency in communications and messaging to investors and the regulatory
agencies watching over the market.

As Ogden continues to develop each magazine’s
website, a whole new series of challenges await. The websites are really
another product rather than a Web version of the print counterpart, and finding
an appropriate mix of content, editorial voice, and design style consistent
with the branding of the print magazine can be challenging. “We’re trying to
have fairly loose standards, right now,” says Ernzen. “Start small and evolve.”
The first plan of attack is to nail down the design standards, including
colors, fonts, and use of buttons, icons, and layout. A larger Ogden style
manual and training session is in the works for the ad sales department,
production, the rest of the marketing, and PR team so everyone will be working
from the same standard. “Right now, I’m that person,” says Ernzen, “who takes
care of everything and makes sure everything is lined up like it should be in
terms of what logos we’re using and colors and the whole nine yards.”

From BOONE/KURTZ. Contemporary Marketing, 14E. ©
2010 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning, Inc. Reproduced by permission.

  • What are some
    of the key customer touch points for Ogden Publications?
  • How does
    Ogden Publications use integrated marketing communications to provide a
    consistent message across these customer touch points?
  • How does
    Ogden Publications benefit from using integrated marketing communications
    to respond to the actions of their competitors?”

The paper must be researched using at least two scholarly
or professional marketing resources, as well as the textbook. 
The references must be cited and properly placed on the reference page using
APA formatting. 

Please send me the references links as well.