The long days of summer have us in search of and enjoying a variety of experiences. Music festivals, action-packed movies, summer cuisine, fun fashion and various other outdoor activities and yes, road trips. Holidays provide more leisure time for these activities and magazines are a great resource for our passions, providing inspiration, information and ideas.
While there is no doubt that we’re consuming media differently today than we did even five years ago, there remains the tactile love of something you can roll up and throw into a beach-bag and not worry about whether it’s going to survive the sand and water. As we travel into the dog days of summer, here’s a look at some of the best reading for relaxation.
What does that mean for magazines at retail? Like most things, and magazines in particular, they need to be seen to be sold. With all of the varied interests and options for magazines, it is difficult at times to give all of them front and center exposure. Exposure necessary to sell copies. Often magazines that may not be as well known, or may not appeal to the person displaying them, may get relegated to the back. Lucky for some of these magazines, however, they have a loyal following and fans will seek out the new issue.
Merchandising magazines at your store? Shaking up your magazine merchandising at times and changing up the display to include a slightly different variety of titles at the front of any rack, while still keeping within category, could spark shopper interest. Typically, when changing the display, the old magazine will come out and its replacement is merchandised in the exact same spot. Visual change and interest suffers with this practice, however. By changing up what your shoppers see on the mainline may attract them and spark a new interest. It is just smart practice, therefore, to take out the older magazine within any category, move back remaining magazines that still have a few weeks on sale and place the new magazines in the front. You will gain more exposure for each title, create some new fans and likely gain more sales as a result.
“Print is regaining its prestige. Every year FIPP finds innovations in the print space. Print offers strong journalism unavailable online. Private Eye, the UK satire magazine, is growing because it never embraced digital. Publications are creating new packaging for enhanced reader value. Brands are exploring higher quality premium products.” is a snippet from the recent Act 9 Experience conference discussing important trends in Magazine Media. Read the whole article by clicking here.
April showers bring May flowers, but this April also sees the launch of a new print magazine!
It’s been no secret that many people are still naysayers of the physical magazine, but when a major publisher launches a new magazine, you know they are doing it with a lot of planning and forethought. They back winning products and this new magazine will be that also. Meredith magazines are some of the best-known home & lifestyle magazines at your store checkouts and mainlines everywhere. This newest publication “Happy Paws” will catch loads of eyes with its 100-page, high-quality first keepsake issue . Produced by Fear Free, a veterinarian-led organization, it is sure to have not only access to adorable animals, but the opportunity to publish articles that may be more fact-finding, and research driven as opposed to humanitarian short stories. As for Meredith’s decision to partner on the launch, Mortimer says that “We know that pet content is one of the best-selling categories in our Special Interest Media Group. We also know that pet coverage across our Meredith brands from People and Real Simple to Southern Living and Family Circle is extremely popular.” 1
“Magazines help people to focus, to slow down, to savor the moment…” – click here to read “The Mr Magazine Interview with Anne Alexander, Editor of Mindful Magazine”.
…”one of the best yet!”
… “valuable shopper insights”… “
These are just a few of the comments that came out of the recent Magazine and Books at Retail (MBR) conference in Toronto on October 23. The conference packed in some powerhouse speakers who had real value to offer.
Dr. Dave Williams, astronaut, aquanaut, pilot, surgeon, CEO and author of Defying Limits: Lessons from the Edge of the Universe, was so inspiring with the message that we all want to make a difference and we just need to step up to do it. Jeff McNulty, Vice President at Presse Commerce spoke passionately about how magazines continue to take a central role at their retail stores and how they are important to consumers. Amar Sing from Kantar Retail provided some valuable insights into the Canadian retail landscape.
So many nuggets of information and value provided that we could write a book. (or at least a lengthy paper). However, we know people are busy, so here are the Industry Action Group’s Top 5:
Magazines are still very important to retail
It was great to see that magazines are still very important and relevant to retailers in Canada. This was evident in listening to Jeff McNulty of Presse Commerce and looking at the pictures of the winners of the IAG Retailer of the Year Awards. Retailers appreciate recognition of their efforts. The category responds when there is a supportive supply chain and engaged retailer. And yes, category has legs but it requires attention. We as an industry have a publicity issue. Magazines and books, must find a way to celebrate and publicize their successes.
In a recent article, MPA President and CEO, Linda Thomas-Brooks spoke out against what the industry just can’t let go of, this idea that magazines are dead. She mentions: “…pointing out that relying on small sets of data leads to misleading conclusions.”
Similar broad statements have been made about Bricks and Mortar retail as well, I have read a several articles touting that “Retail is Dead”. As a retailer yourself, or someone that works with retail, you know that isn’t a true statement either. Again, it is the use of small sets of data that is used to make a point and eventually, enough is written about it that people begin to think it’s true.
The truth is, well, it’s complicated. There are certain types of magazines that have lost favor with consumers, others have gained and are growing. Similar to retail, there are some magazines that haven’t rethought their approach to how they show up in the marketplace even though the consumer has changed. Others are reinventing and therefore reinvigorating their brands.
Space at retail is changing at that also affects sales, as it affects assortment. For some consumers, when they don’t find their favorite magazine, they will go to another retailer, or buy nothing.
Magazines add value to a retailer. In recent studies conducted, shoppers have been found to have a better experience at the retailer when they bought a magazine.1. Sales of products that are found in magazines are purchased at retail. Magazines also provide a role in society beyond the sale… Linda comments: “As audiences are thinking more critically about what voices and information they really trust, they are increasingly seeking out the professionally researched, written, edited, produced and curated content that magazine brands produce across channels. According to the MPA’s Magazine Media 360° Brand Audience Report, the total audience for all magazines rose 1.4 per cent over last year to 1.7 billion, proving that there is enormous consumer demand for magazine media content.”
To read the full article, click here.
- Magazines Canada Consumer Research – Brand Spark Shopper Insights 2017
Those of us within the Newsstand Industry have known for a long time how profitable magazines are to Retail Chains in general and especially at the checkout in relation to competitive products. The latest Front End Focus study reinforces this longstanding reality…
“The latest Front End Focus (FEF) study underscores the checkout’s crucial contribution to supermarkets – and, for the first time, measures not just sales, but profitability, for magazines and other leading front-end categories”. Click here to view some enlightening information and click here to view the entire report.
The pendulum is swinging again, with trust of content becoming more important again to readers. Did you know, The Economist is getting ready to celebrate its 175th birthday this year? Now, this is a magazine that people trust.
IAG group member and President of Magazines and Books at Retail, (MBR), Jerry Lynch just published an article: First Priorities: Reinventing Our Marketing Approach. It’s a call for channel members to work together to collaborate like never before! He writes: ” It will require collaborating like never before to drive an innovative, coherent marketing initiative that aligns with, supports and leverages the “360 degree” and “consumer-first” paradigms now driving the media and retail businesses.”
It will require that publishing and distribution players cooperate and work actively with retailers to introduce fresh, effective strategies for harnessing the unique content and audience strengths of magazines and books. By that, I mean harnessing these in all of the ways and all of the channels that both retailers and publishers now use to engage with and market to consumers.
Members of Magazines & Books at Retail — active national distributor, publisher, wholesaler and retailer executives alike — have made a start. They’ve spent significant amounts of time working together to identify opportunities to test new insights, opportunities and approaches at retail. Now we need to marshal the troops and get them into the field.
These pros see the opportunities, as well as the challenges. They know that 80% of all commodities sales still occur in bricks-and-mortar stores, and that magazines and books are still read by 90% of the population.”
Jerry suggests we leverage everything. Yes, the industry has challenges, and yes, it also has opportunities. If we tap into the potential, we realize that the category can bring excitement to a retail store and the shoppers that shop them. Click here to read this engaging article.
MagNet 2018 will take place Wednesday, April 25 and Thursday, April 26th in Toronto.
Canada’s Magazine Conference, MagNet, is North America’s largest gathering of magazine media stakeholders. Of special interest this year is a session moderated by our very own, Craig Sweetman. Recent research from BrandSpark International turns the page on assumptions about magazines at retail. The BrandSpark research findings, Magazine Resilience: Who’s Buying at Retail? reveals how retailers and publishers can leverage magazines to enhance the overall shopping experience.
Other sessions of interest Wednesday, April 25
Global Intensives – The Economist: Doubling Down on Circulation to Grow Audience and Profits
How Canadian Marketers Can Leverage Data for Greater Profitability
Thursday, April 26
Global Intensives – Magazine Media: Better. Believe It.
Check out the MagNet 2018 information in greater detail by clicking here.