El Clasificado’s Journey from Startup Magazine to Multi-Platform Media Company



Each month we highlight a great niche magazine that is super-creative, goes the extra mile for readers, or just really does what it does so well that we have to share it. This month’s Niched Out Magazine of the Month is El Clasificado. Over 25 years this magazine (started with the founder’s personal savings!) has grown to over half a million copies per month through innovative distribution and by transforming into a multi-platform media company with $20 million annual revenues!! Here’s the El Clasificado team’s story in their own words:

El Clasificado

Innovative distribution and media integration have driven huge growth for El Clasificado

Much has emerged from the business plan that Martha de la Torre (CEO/Founder) first drafted in 1988 for a small Spanish language publication called El Clasificado, which Joe Badame (COO/Co-founder), now her husband, financed with his personal savings and capital raised mostly from family and friends. During that time Martha saw a need for a free classified publication in Spanish through which the Latino community could buy and sell their products and services. With that need in mind a niche was discovered and Martha began a great adventure.

Since 1988, El Clasificado has been connecting buyers and sellers in the grassroots Latino market with a unique business model blend of classified and display advertising. Although mostly a shopper, El Clasificado always includes editorials on health, education, family advice, consumer literacy and stories about local heroes and role models.

The key that sets the publication apart from its competitors is its well-organized distribution system. For instance, El Clasificado was the only Spanish-language publication distributed through catering trucks, it was the first free publication in Spanish to contract with major supermarkets for distribution, and the first to place street racks throughout Los Angeles. Now, El Clasificado distributes 500,000 magazines in 22,500 locations and can be found in 290 cities spanning from Central to Southern California. Also, El Clasificado has its zone publication model, which divides the magazine into groups by zip codes. This model gives clients more pricing options and flexibility for a more strategic advertising experience by targeting geographic service areas.

In addition, Martha de la Torre’s initial idea for a Spanish language publication has emerged from a weekly magazine of classifieds into a flourishing multi-platform media company with print, online, mobile and event marketplaces for Latino communities. Beginning in 2006, the company developed a more robust product portfolio. It includes Quinceanera.com, which targets young Latina teens via print supplements, expos and web; Su Socio de Negocios, a niche brand that focuses on US Hispanic entrepreneurs through its website and expos; AlBorde.com, which targets the trendy bilingual Latin rockers via web and special events; and Pacoslist, a Hispanic business directory.

Today, El Clasificado is not only the nation’s largest free weekly Spanish-language classified, but also a successful multiplatform media company that serves Latino communities emerging throughout the U.S. The company has been rebranded as EC Hispanic Media and generates revenues close to $20 million per year, has a weekly print readership of 1.5 million and close to 9 million page views to its web, elclasificado.com.

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Success Story: Renaissance Publishing Thrives in the Big Easy with The Magazine Manager



New Orleans is back and more vibrant than ever. The city is growing again and tourism is booming. More restaurants are opening than ever before, the city is the third most popular place to film movies, and in just 18 months it will have hosted the SuperBowl, both the men’s and women’s Final Four, and many more national sporting and cultural events.

Award-winning local publisher Renaissance Publishing is uniquely positioned to grow with the region and cover all the action. With six local publications, including New Orleans Magazine, they can cover all the region’s action. Exploding restaurant scene? They are the only local publisher with three food writers. Major sporting and cultural events returning that need coverage? They are custom-publishing pros covering the arts, sports, ports, and more. More digital-age readers? They have apps, digital editions, and social media pages.

To better position Renaissance Publishing to flourish with the city’s recovery and growth, CEO Todd Matherne turned to The Magazine Manager in 2007 to integrate and streamline his publishing properties. The Magazine Manager’s web-based system combined customer relationship management, ad order entry, and billing management into one system. This integration allows Renaissance Publishing to easily add new custom publications and cross-promote products to customers.

Plus, the new system made information accessible from anywhere, updated it in real time, and offered plenty of server space for the future. Now sales people in the field can create proposals on the spot and Renaissance Publishing’s 27 employees can easily work from satellite offices.  The Magazine Manager’s credit card integration allows Renaissance Publishing to easily promote and sell magazine subscriptions via customized web forms without a lot of extra time and effort. More streamlined systems and integrated products lets the Renaissance Publishing team spend more time selling ads, creating great content, and reaching out to readers.

Todd and his team are very excited about what the future holds, both for the city of New Orleans and Renaissance Publishing.

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This post is part of the March issue of Niched Out News.

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