April has been a whirlwind month for the U.S. with stay-at-home orders in most states amidst the coronavirus outbreak. However, this month also brings a milestone for the Towne Post Network: The 16th anniversary of the Geist Magazine, the first Indiana magazine that started it all for CEO and Founder Tom Britt.
Today, the Towne Post Network is a franchise system that publishes 18 magazines across Indiana and Kentucky highlighting positive stories throughout local communities. April also marks the launch of Towne Post Direct — an online store and one-stop-shop for all print, digital and social marketing ad packages available through participating Towne Post Network publications. This “virtual media kit” offers complete transparency in pricing and is available to the public for contactless, 24-7 access.
The concept is a first for the magazine industry and is generating positive responses and interest from small business owners with over 100 transactions in the first 15 days.“Response so far has been tremendous,” Britt says. “Since we launched, we’re already in the Top 10% of all new e-commerce stores using the shopify.com e-commerce platform. We’re the first magazine in the country to put our entire print, digital and social inventory online to purchase.”
Britt, who pioneered the idea, says the online shop is all about transparency and easy access.
“This tears down the curtain of pricing and puts it out there for everyone to have access to,” he says. “Historically, the print advertising industry has held its media kit as the holy grail – making it impossible to get pricing on anything without sitting through a sales presentation. With Towne Post Direct, our customers have 100% control over their buying experience. Small business owners can shop for integrated marketing packages, build their own marketing plan in our shopping cart, and control their budget in real-time.”
The Towne Post Network was founded in 2004 with a mission to tell positive community stories and support local businesses. Towne Post Direct, Britt says, was created with small businesses in mind. The online store provides an outlet for small businesses that are budget conscious and do not always have the time or patience to deal with salespeople.
“I’ve been in the magazine publishing industry for more than 30 years,” Britt says. “Pushy salespeople and confusing pricing is the norm. Print publications have not done a good job of adapting to digital, social, and mobile technologies. With us, we now include digital advertising in all of our print advertising packages, and we now offer digital-only products like digital business spotlights with custom landing pages, lead generation forms, social media promotions, online video production, and even a simple Facebook boost through one of our active local pages. We embrace change and integrate it locally for our customers.”
For more information on ad costs and options, visit TownePost.direct and start shopping today. Those who subscribe to the Towne Post Direct newsletter will also receive special promotions and discounts.
About the Towne Post Network
Founded in 2004, the Towne Post Network is a hyper-local magazine system with 18 franchise locations in Indiana and Kentucky. Each publication utilizes print, digital, video and social media channels to promote positive local news. The Towne Post Network is currently seeking franchisees in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois for development. For those interested in franchising and starting a community magazine, visit franchising.townepost.com.