The Association of Magazine Media

Associate Member Spotlight: MNI Targeted Media Inc.



Rob Reif
President, MNI Targeted Media Inc.

Robert Reif is the President of MNI Targeted Media Inc. (MNI) and its two business units, MNI and Harpoon Digital. MNI specializes in multimedia targeted advertising, in more than 40 prestigious national magazines, and partners with top-tier national and local online media brands to deliver highly targeted online and mobile campaigns. Harpoon Digital partners with agencies and advertisers for their end-to-end media strategy and buying, providing a unique and powerful perspective that adds value to each custom-built plan.

Rob has been in the media business for over 25 years working across brands and publishers. He has witnessed some amazing changes as the digital industry has grown.

1) How does your company partner with MPA members to help them succeed?
MNI Targeted Media Inc. partners with both print and digital properties to provide solutions to our brand and agency partners.

On the print side of our business, we are able to sell ads in the book in over 200 DMAs. We partner with 10+ publishers to help them tap into different revenue streams and monetize their business among clients looking to heavy up a national buy in their top-performing markets, or support a regional or local buy in the markets that matter most.  On the cover, we target to a specific audience list (like CEOs, CIOs, Nut Buyers, Turf Users, etc.). When it comes to Cover Wrap advertising, our programs are incredibly targeted and we use advanced data and analytics to deliver a niche audience for our advertisers.

The largest portion of our business is the digital side. We act as a digital media planning and buying agency for our clients, delivering solutions across our own proprietary programmatic, data, local, social, and search products, as well as partnering with publishers and vendors directly.

2) What is the hottest media brand today? What are they doing to stand out from the pack?
We’re big fans of Spotify, both personally and professionally. Spotify has heavily invested in improving their use of personalization and recommendation features for its consumers. Like many companies, the music platform captures data in order to paint a clear picture of consumers’ interests and habits, but it doesn’t stop there. Spotify’s focus is to constantly serve up personalized ads and offer individually-relevant experiences to retain consumers past the initial sign up, offering services that lead to long-term retention.

As the landscape evolves and consumers continue to get comfortable sharing their data, companies that take advantage of data and personalization will see retention and growth. Since magazine brands already have this data and deep, loyal relationships with their readers, they are poised to leverage data and personalization.

3) What opportunities are on the horizon for the magazine media industry?
We need to find creative ways to approach new conversations, open new doors, and bridge the gap between print and digital. Clients are comfortable using both first- and third-party data digitally now, and the industry needs to start talking about how print can be a natural extension of that. Many of our clients who run digital campaigns can run print campaigns using the same data, and vice versa. Because we work across both print and digital mediums, we’re set up on both sides of the house to do this incredibly well.  

4) What unique ad formats have you seen magazine publishers offer recently? How do you expect that will evolve within the next year?
Years ago, MNI was the first to put a Post-it® note on a magazine ad, sending readership and recall through the roof. And while the Post-it® Note continues to be a fan favorite, we’re always developing new ways to catch consumers’ eyes.

Clients who have recently run with us have taken advantage of fluorescent, metallic, and textured inks, scented varnishes, z-gate folds, barrel gate folds, laminated cards, plantable labels, augmented reality, and more. These unique executions work best when creatively integrated with the client’s messaging. Some of our favorite execution ideas have been a repositionable label reminding children to brush their teeth for two minutes, textured varnish showing polish on a smooth wood floor, and augmented reality concepts allowing readers to unlock extra content via their mobile devices. As magazine publishers continue to find ways to drive effectiveness and integrate with digital, we’ll see more of these executions come to life.

We’re also opening new revenue streams by tapping into our clients’ insatiable appetite for native experiences. We partnered with the California Milk Processors Board (Got Milk?) to run a Cover Wrap on Food & Wine, which looks like a normal cover but has Food & Milk as the magazine’s title.

5) What had the greatest impact on your business this year?
What’s had the greatest impact on our business this year is the same ethos that’s had impact on our business for the last 50 years—we are a Maverick organization that remains nimble and embraces change in the ever-evolving media space. As a media-agnostic company, we attribute our success to the thoughtful approach we take to media strategy, planning, buying, and campaign management— and it shows. We’ve built a platinum reputation for ourselves—just ask our more than 1,300 clients.