New Publishing Tech
4 mins read

Q&A: RunMags Inc., helping publishers transition to a digitized operations model

RunMags, Inc. is a privately held U.S. company that describes itself as ‘the most comprehensive digital platform for magazine publishers ever offered in its price range’. Announcing an initiative to waive its monthly fees for the first six months for publishers who onboard now, WNIP caught up with CEO Robert Bergqvist to find out more…

Can you give us some background about your company?

Our company was founded in 2014 by myself and Johan Trusell, who are still the CEO and CTO respectively. We’re a team of global minds with ambitious plans to help magazine publishers compete. While at it we are also passionate about spending time with friends and family. RunMags operates as an office-less company with talented contributors all over the world.….many of us love to travel to live in and experience new cultures.

What business problem is your company addressing?

Media businesses face an almost unprecedented challenge related to business performance, training and development. Every aspect of publishing is pivoting towards a multi-platform, brand-centric approach embracing not only content creation and distribution but data collection and management, sales, ecommerce, events and so on. This is a world away from the approach that many publishers are used to and it requires a high degree of digitization, re-skilling and strategic hiring.

In parallel, younger generations are demanding that their employers offer a flexible work environment to empower modern lifestyle choices. The COVID-19 outbreak and demand for social distancing has abruptly forced change to a “New Normal” when it comes to conducting business with some, or most of the team, working from home.

What is your core product addressing this problem?

The company’s software platform, RunMags, is based on the idea that magazine publishing and business communications should be transparent, mobile and should let everybody be as productive as possible — whether sitting in an office or working remotely from anywhere in the world.

With RunMags, every employee can be digitally effective – automating client communication, selling advertising, attracting subscribers, managing production and processing payments. From anywhere…

Can you give some examples of publishers successfully using your solution?

Travel Media Scandinavia AB publish high-end travel titles, targeted at affluent travellers in the Nordic region. Their production operation includes four of their own magazines, published in print and on websites, as well as a number of custom publishing titles for customers who want to strengthen their brands.

Kjell Santesson, Travel Media’s Managing Director and Owner wanted to digitize the 12-year-old company and leverage cloud-based technology to create a cost effective operation, eliminate tedious administration and strengthen customer relations. Enter RunMags.

RunMags has placed the entire team on the same page with flat plans, contract management and customer communication tools readily available at all employee’s fingertips. The sales team can access the planned issues to consult with customers, create proposals and book ad space. By accessing contract data and uploaded adverts, the creative team can complete the layout and once the issues are produced, RunMags is used to issue invoices and follow up payments. It’s a comprehensive publisher solution.

For other case studies and examples, please see: https://www.runmags.com/case-studies/

Pricing?

RunMags is priced with an unlimited number of users in three different tiers, starting at $300 USD per month. Effective immediately, we will waive our monthly fees for the first six consecutive months for publishers who onboard with us (until May 31st). In addition, we will also waive our one-time $1,000 onboarding fee. This is what we believe we can do to help publishers survive an [potentially] imminent financial crisis.

We have customers in all our tiers, spread out like a bell curve with most of them in our House tier that allows for a maximum of six magazine brands.

What are other people doing in the space and why?

There are plenty of modern cloud-based CRM vendors, but none of them offer affordable and easy-to-deploy all-in-one platforms for magazine publishers. To implement Salesforce in a publishing business requires a major customization project, a significant upfront investment as well as a solid subscription fee.

Then there are two different tiers of legacy platforms for magazine publishers. The first tier (where RunMags compete) is led by the Magazine Manager and MagHub. The second tier is enterprise with solutions like Woodwing and Naviga. The tier that RunMags competes in was grossly underserved before RunMags entered the scene. Publishers were complaining about software “clunkyness”, lack of development and poor customer service. With RunMags entering the market, many vendors in our tier have been forced to invest in developing their platforms further, especially to support sales and marketing efforts, online portals, e-sign capabilities, etc.

How do you view the future?

The current outbreak of COVID-19 is having a profound effect on our society. From cancelling public events and restricting travel to changing how we shop and communicate, everything is changing day-by-day and minute-by-minute. And this is especially impacting how we work.

RunMags is built to support leadership in creating a transparent business model with clear decision-making processes. We understand that as a business leader, the thought of all employees suddenly working from home for weeks or months may cause anxiety, but we want to make it clear that good leadership as we transition to this period of remote work does NOT mean micromanaging.

If anything, now is an opportunity for leaders to build autonomy, deepen trust in the decisions made by individuals and teams, and improve transparency through enhanced communication skills. All supported by goal setting and performance feedback within RunMags.

Thank you.

Related posts

What's New In Publishing articles suggested by Bibblio
Helping publishers increase engagement, improve monetization and drive new audiences. Read more