Alyssa Martina: Quality Editorial & Interaction

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In this 12 minute segment, Alyssa Martina tells us how she started Metro Parent 21 years ago, and the challenges she faced. A theme that emerges is her dedication to producing high quality editorial content and interacting with her readers to stay close to them.

In this twelve minute segment (download iPod compatible, 59MB), Alyssa Martina, CEO of Metro Parent, describes how she started Metro Parent 21 years ago to help parents raise kids. At the time, there were only four parenting publications in the country (there is now a whole organization of parenting magazine publishers across North America). Alyssa's research consisted of determining if there was another competitor in the Detroit area and trying to figure out how the other publications did it. Initially, the operation was self-funded with generous support from her parents. She describes the following significant features of the early years:

  • She started in her dining room, but needed office space by the end of the first year.
  • She preferred to move forward in little steps so that she would not be forced to back slide.
  • It became clear early on that she would have to differentiate the publication based on high content quality.
  • Events where she got to interact with readers really fueled her at times when her energy started to flag. Events have and will continue to be a major activity and profit center at Metro Parent.

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The Alyssa Martina segment was nice. Metro Parent an idea that became a reality. The need is good, creative, and patient parenting. The realty is that parents all need support and want a "pat" on the back for a good... Read More

2 Comments

Donna Armstrong on November 18, 2007 10:31 AM
I've read Metro Parent before and being a parent myself, I found a lot of useful articles. I liked how Alyssa got her start as editor of the magazine. It sounds like how a lot of businesses get started, from their home but instead of going all out and later backsliding, she took small steps and worked her way up. The fact that she treated it as business and not a hobby also was interesting. I know a lot of people start out their businesses as a hobby and later fail but with the attitude she has, it has helped her business to grow to what it is today. In growing from just 8,000 circulations to over 25,000 in just a year is awesome! Her market research showed she had no competitors and the way she got the word out was also unique. Using school children as clowns to pass out her circulars during a parade was a great idea and I think this is what turned the tables for her and got her start. These profit center ideas will keep her circulation growing for years to come. Donna Armstrong
Tamica Frierson on March 20, 2008 10:01 AM
Metro Parent – Alyssa Martina Alyssa Martina is an inspiration to women with children who one day wants to become successful entrepreneurs, such as myself. This is perfect example of juggling life and work. I agree that exhaustion can be a wall but perseverance has to be the fuel to keep the energy going. One of the reason Metro parent became so successful is because there was no threat of competitors. Although there were other magazines Metro Parent had to compete with, this magazine had differentiation. Parenting was their niche. It targeted a group that other magazines ignored and because of this there was no competition. Doing market research is imperative to being successful. The marketing plan at the parade was a great idea. It was eye catching and inexpensive. In the beginning phase I think it’s better to find creative inexpensive ways to advertise. It cuts down on cost. I also think it was wise for Alyssa to use her parents instead of immediately getting a bank loan. This helps to eliminate the liability of repaying the debt to the bank that I’m sure helped towards creating a positive cash flow. The most important stockholders of any business are its customers. The positive feedback from Aylssa’s customers was a plus. The feedback helps Metro Parent focus on what the customer wants. Having experienced parents, such as Alyssa’s mother, write editorials would more than likely provide articles that parents can relate to. Even though technology is changing the world so fast there are some things that stay the same that all parents can relate to. This interview was very inspirational and gave some key points that a beginning entrepreneur should pay close attention.

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