Case Studies. Feature-rich shouldn’t mean complicated, as this trade magazine publisher finds out
24Jul '14

Feature-rich shouldn’t mean complicated, as this trade magazine publisher finds out

This publishing company doesn't just put out online and print trade magazines, they also engage in events planning and coordination. As their current system can't quite handle everything they need it to (and its complexity is keeping their older staffers from completely embracing it), they're now on the lookout for a CRM solution that's not only flexible but also easy to use.


Aside from the typical work involved in publishing a quarterly print and online magazine, this USA-based trade magazine publishing company also organizes regular events and conferences for their subscribers and advertisers.

The magazine itself covers a wide array of interests, giving the company a rather long list of contacts, subscribers, and advertisers.

The Problem:

The company already has a dedicated system for media management and production, but so far it has fallen well short of their expectations. It’s antiquated, complicated, and doesn’t integrate seamlessly with some of their most important processes.

They’re now searching for a system that could handle almost everything they need to do to function effectively — from managing contacts (subscribers, advertisers, etc.) and projects to managing events and even doing some email marketing. Since a sizable number of the company’s staff are in the over-40 age range, user friendliness is also a big factor for them.

The WORK[etc] Solution:


NavigationAs mentioned, one of the company’s biggest problems is that their current system is too complicated for their older team members. It made onboarding and implementation that much harder.

Easy navigation and data retrieval are two of WORK[etc]’s most important features. Since the system handles a lot of data, it becomes all the more important for the user to easily access the information they want without having to dig through irrelevant entries. You can easily find what you want, when you want, and how you want to view it.

The system’s powerful search and filter options allow you to:

  • Remove unneeded items and entries from view and focus only on what you currently need to see
  • Save filtering parameters to access the results you need most often with a single click
  • Use search filters on any module — contacts, leads, activity history, projects, communication logs, and even files and attachments
  • Break down project data and see what’s relevant to you at that time
  • See active tasks assigned only to you and filter them further into tasks that fall within a certain date range


LeadsThe ability to set contact ownership and permissions is another feature pertinent to the company’s needs. Since they sometimes want to keep specific contacts separate, they can just assign these contacts to a specific user.

The company can also choose to set permissions and set permissions so that specific contacts are visible only to specific users. If they choose to make all contacts visible to everybody, WORK[etc] can still make parsing through all that data easy with the use of tags and the aforementioned contact ownership settings. Everybody can see who is in charge of any given contact’s account immediately.

WORK[etc]’s permissions settings allows admin-level users to:

  • Set user permissions individually, by workgroup, or by role
  • Control access to any project, activity, module, or information within the system
  • Restrict who can view and/or modify private sales leads, specific projects, etc.

Tags are another way for the company to categorize and segregate their contacts. Contacts can be added and tagged either manually or automatically. For example, if someone calls in to express interest in subscribing or maybe even buying ad space, whoever gets the call can add tags specific to these contacts.

The system also allows you to add referral sources to leads that come in. If you get a lead from a particular marketing campaign, for example, you can specify that in the lead details so it can immediately become part of any reports you might want to make for that campaign in the future.


Web FormsAlternatively, the company can also set up web forms on their website where potential customers can enter, say, what industry their work in. The system can then automatically apply tags to these leads based on the interests they entered.

Every piece of information that potential leads and customers enter into the web form is automatically captured by the system. The best thing about it is that it’s all built into WORK[etc]. Web forms can be created and customized through an intuitive drag-and-drop system.

Custom fields can also let you capture more niche and industry-specific information. These custom fields can be added to any contact, project, or report, and can be used to widen the extent of data that can be entered into the CRM software.

Since the company needs advertisers to keep their trade publications running, they can use custom fields to keep track of information that can help them better target their ad and marketing campaigns. A lead entry could, for example, include custom fields where the company can enter information regarding which publications and websites a potential advertiser is already advertising on.


The tags mentioned above can be used to quickly create subscriber lists for any of the company’s email marketing projects.These lists are live, meaning whenever you add a tag to a new contact, that new contact will automatically be added to the corresponding email list based on that tag.

The lists can then be used to quickly send out newsletters and mailers to specific groups of contacts. If the company wants to send out a newsletter for every subscriber who likes movies and movie-making, for example, they can just use a tag called “Interest: Film” to create a list of all their contacts who have expressed an interest in films.

The newsletter itself can also be created within WORK[etc]. The system supports HTML and plain text newsletters. Coupled with the aforementioned email lists, WORK[etc] makes it easy to send out email blasts anytime.


Every magazine that wants to make a profit needs advertisers. WORK[etc] has a built in sales module that can help the company track ad sales both graphically in pipeline form or as line items.

Custom fields can also be added to each lead, making it easy for the company to keep track of some important business data. Even if the lead doesn’t end up closed, the company can add a product interest tag to the lead so that when they, for example, hit the lead up again in a year or so they already have an idea whether the lead might be interested in a full- or half-page ad.


Project ManagementWhen it comes to events, the company currently uses emails and a giant spreadsheet to track everything from attendees and sponsors to scheduling feedback forms and “Thank You” notes. While they always start from the same template, every event usually becomes unique. They just add and subtract columns where needed.

In WORK[etc], all of this can be handled through the Project Management module. The company can create a project template for events so they still have the same starting point for each event project without the hassle of having to create a duplicate from scratch. New projects can be started with one click, making project management and deployment that much faster.

These templates can then be customized as little or as heavy as each individual event project requires. A template for a multi-venue event like an executive trade conference, for example, could have sub-projects labeled “Planning”, “Invites”, “Conference Proper”, and “Reception”, each of which have their own specific sub-projects and task nested underneath.

These sub-projects, which can be near-infinite depending how much you want to micromanage, can also be assigned to specific staff members so that they can focus only on what they need to do. Every time the company plans to hold another executive conference, they can just load up the template and edit titles, dates, stages, and sub-projects as needed.


When it comes to marketing, it’s important to know what you’re sending to whom. With WORK[etc]’s tag and custom field functions, the company can easily segregate and categorize their leads so they can better match potential advertisers to their offers. Even better, they can use web forms to automate the process.

The system’s user friendly interface and information retrieval features will also make onboarding easier for their less computer-savvy staff members.



To find an intuitive, user-friendly system that can handle contact and project management as well as roll out digital marketing campaigns.


Implement and leverage WORK[etc]’s customizable CRM and project management features to have more control over contact and lead capture and categorization.


The company is better able to tailor and target their marketing campaigns for advertisers and potential subscribers. The system’s user-friendly interface makes onboarding and implementation easier for the less tech-savvy staff members, ensuring that everyone has access to pertinent data anytime, anywhere.

What this means for your trade magazine publishing company

A feature-rich CRM doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to be a software expert to be able to customize it to your liking. Keeping this delicate balance between powerful features — from contact and project management to sales, billing, and support — and easy usability is one of the main driving forces behind WORK[etc]. Find out for yourself why WORK[etc] is more than just a CRM by signing up for our free 14-day demo.