More reaches out to Smart Talk-ers

In a move calculated to extend brand awareness and provide multiple cross-marketing opportunities, Meredith Corp.’s More magazine has signed on as a national sponsor for Smart Talk Media LLC’s 2009 speaker series.

The series, “Smart Talk Connected Conversations,” is aimed at successful, confident women, many of whom fit within More’s core demographic age group of women in their 40s and 50s. Smart Talk will be able to use Meredith’s 80 million-name database and national advertising heft to promote the series via direct mail, e-mail, viral video, in-book ads in More, online ads and word of mouth campaigns. In return, More and its advertisers will have a noticeable presence at each Smart Talk event.

“We’re going to collaborate with them on really expanding their markets because the woman they speak to is, demographically, a strong More subscriber,” said Janet Donnelly, consumer marketing director for More. “The psychographics look the same as well, so we’re collaborating on the database side, on the subscription side and really on the overall branding. There are a lot of opportunities to cross-promote between the two assets because we are so comparable, and, from my exposure to the Smart Talk audience, they are so incredibly confident and connected and just vibrant — and that’s the market we speak to.”

Errol Menke, executive chairman of Smart Talk, agreed, adding, “Meredith was a logical choice for us to partner with, in that they have a strong pulse of a demographic that is a significant target relationship with Smart Talk patrons. And the advertising base they bring is one that certainly is in need of, and looking for, alternatives to print and alternatives to Web to tailor a communicated message to a particular customer base. Our patrons are probably the best, in terms of demographics.”

Smart Talk audiences will be able to sample More and sign up their friends for magazine subscriptions at the events. The magazine is also exploring cross-promotions with Smart Talk ticket sales. The goal is to grow More‘s circulation — already 1.2 million — along with its Web traffic and overall visibility.

“Over the course of the years we’ve been doing this, we’ve reached 1 million women who are influential in their communities, families and relationships, so this partnership gives Meredith a focus group opportunity to talk to, listen to and learn from 100,000 women throughout North America over the course of six months,” noted Diana Deibler, director of business development for Smart Talk. “That type of access and insight is incredible. We provide a vehicle to tailor specific interactions and connections with customers, rather than a blanket message that overshoots on both sides.”

Event marketing is a touchstone for Meredith, which also sponsors the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament, the AVP volleyball tournament and the More Marathon, to name a few.

The Smart Talk program, with help from Meredith, is launching an aggressive growth strategy, with plans to expand from from six cities this year to nine next year and 15 the year following. New cities will be added to the roster based on community profile analytics from Meredith’s database.

Ticket sales for Connected Conversations are by subscription only —  no individual event tickets will be sold. Outreach will start with current series holders in September, and then will roll out to lapsed series members before going out to targeted new prospects. The series will kick off on January 14 in Cincinnati, followed by stops in Des Moines, IA; Wilmington, DE; New Brunswick, NJ; Milwaukee, WI; and Minneapolis, MN.

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