“By offering this one-stop shop approach, we help our members reach their target audience through more channels and fewer sales calls.”
Former Senior Vice President of Member Services
Companies belonging to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) produce almost 90 percent of the crushed stone and 70 percent of the sand and gravel used annually in the United States. The association estimates that between buildings inhabited, roads traveled, bridges crossed and vehicles ridden, the average American will need 3.3 million pounds of minerals, metals and fuels in their lifetime. Because the aggregates that make up these structures form the foundation for American life, NSSGA wanted a publisher that would help them keep their members and their work at the forefront of business, innovation and safety.
Naylor began producing an annual printed membership directory and buyers’ guide as well as the bimonthly Stone Review (renamed Stone, Sand & Gravel Review in 2003) for the NSSGA in 2000. Both pieces were well-received, but members wanted a more convenient way to find suppliers and vendors. An online buyers’ guide that offered more up-to-date information and the opportunity for members to promote their businesses to peers was launched in 2005. In 2007, Naylor and NSSGA followed the buyers’ guide with the eDigest & Washington Watch, an eNewsletter of government and policy updates, association event notices and industry features that is regularly sent to more than 3,600 members.
“One way I choose to stay informed about my profession is to select a good mix of high-quality publications and read through them cover to cover ─ Stone, Sand, & Gravel Review is always at the top of my list,” said Alan Parks, vice president of the Memphis Stone & Gravel Company.
Not only was Naylor able to provide a valuable channel of communication for NSSGA members, but also an additional source of non-dues revenue. Directory and magazine revenue has grown or held steady for more than 10 years, allowing Naylor to share a portion of revenues with NSSGA for reinvestment in membership education, conferences and government lobbying activities.
Key to the financial success of these pieces is Naylor and NSSGA working together to reach interested industry supporters without interfering with members’ day-to-day operations. Naylor also employs marketing and online specialists who track the publications’ traffic and report on their value to advertisers and the association’s staff.
From October 2010 through February 2011, following an upgrade to Naylor’s digital magazine platform, readership continued to increase as indicated by a 20-fold increase in visits to the digital edition, a nearly 50 percent increase in average time spent reading the magazine each issue and a doubling of the number of pages viewed per visit.
Members and advertisers alike also realized the value of having an interactive channel through which to connect with each other. As sponsored spots exclusive to the digital edition began to regularly appear, clicks to advertisers’ websites jumped 200 percent between January 2009 and January 2011. For readers, the digital edition is not a static source of information, but a launch pad for networking and business research; for advertisers, it is a prime way to position themselves in front of the aggregates industry’s decision makers.
“Our advertising and editorial presence in Stone, Sand & Gravel Review have played an important role in our marketing by delivering a variety of media to communicate successfully with a key audience, helping us establish new relationships and strengthen our company image,” said Andrea Olson, global marketing communications manager for Martin Engineering.
Naylor helped NSSGA expand its website presence in 2009 by partnering with the association to offer website advertising, and in spring 2011, launched a dedicated media portal that incorporates all of NSSGA’s external media communications. The association also supports two mobile applications to bring members immediate access to association news and information in the field.
“We’re looking forward to offering our members a more integrated communication program that will allow them to stay informed about the aggregates industry through their preferred channels,” said Tim Regan, NSSGA’s senior vice president of member services. “We want to help them run the most efficient and safest operations possible and, through their integrated platforms, Naylor helps us reach that goal. We also feel that we serve our members best by centralizing the selling source for the association.”