Time Inc. UK appoints its first ever CMO as it ‘refocuses’ the business

Time Inc. UK has appointed Michel Koch as its first ever chief marketing officer, with the publisher stating “the time was right” to strengthen its marketing expertise and “refocus” the business after 18 months of transformation.

Koch has been working working on various e-commerce projects for the publisher, which owns the likes of NME, Marie Claire and Woman & Home, over the last four months and will be reporting directly to CEO Marcus Rich.

According to Rich, Koch was appointed due to his “solid background” in e-commerce, data and analytics, which will help the business gain a solid understanding of its different audiences. The company has had an eventful couple of years, acquiring new digital publications such as HelloGiggles and xoJane in the US, as well as moving music magazine NME to a freemium model.

Rich told Marketing Week: “Over the last 18 months, our business transformation has accelerated and we have made significant leaps in expanding the business beyond our traditional territory. We’ve made acquisitions, launched brand extensions and new products, and continue to branch out into e-commerce and e-learning.

“We therefore felt that the time was right to strengthen our marketing expertise and refocus the business, placing the consumer at the heart. Bringing together data, customer marketing, subscriptions and insight under an expert in e-commerce will enable us to better understand our consumers and therefore unlock further revenue opportunities.”

Koch will oversee the newly created customer strategy team, comprising of the company’s data, analytics and insight teams, customer marketing, e-commerce and subscriptions. He will also work closely with Time Inc.’s distribution company Marketforce and its brand marketers.

The new Time Inc. CMO has been in digital and e-commerce for more than 20 years. Head of new media at Sony Music in the early 90s, he has gone on to fulfill several senior executive positions with international B2C and B2B multichannel companies including Bertelsmann, Quelle and Conrad Electronics. Michel relocated to the UK to join Marks & Spencer to develop their international online sales in 2013, and more recently supported the omni-channel strategy of electronics retailer Maplin Electronics as its ecommerce director.

Speaking on the appointment, Koch adds: “It is a thrill for me to join Time Inc. UK at such a perfect stage in the company’s evolution. Content and inspiration have never been so high on everyone’s radar, and both content and data are key to every brand’s strategy.

The convergence of content and commerce is only in its infancy, and as leaders in the market, we intend to be at the forefront of innovation to engage with customers in a 360° relationship.”



Will a free NME hit the right note with readers and brands?

Sarah Vizard

NME is to rebrand, giving its magazine a circulation boost by making it free and introducing new content such as video and events. Industry observers suggest the move could help the struggling music magazine’s brand as it battles with slumping sales and could offer new opportunities to marketers keen to reach it’s younger readership.


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