HITTING THE MARK
Copyright 2001 www.variety.com
[ December 4th 2001 ]
is the third year that the Association of Publishing
Agencies has held its Customer Magazine Awards,
an increasingly valuable and instructive showcase
for the UK's pounds 366m customer magazine sector.
of the categories, the emphasis is firmly on effectiveness.
Although the editorial qualities of a magazine
are critical in producing a vibrant and dynamic
piece of customer communication, no title can
win an APA Award unless it demonstrates a marketing
benefit to the client that commissioned it.
effectiveness is measured in qualitative terms,
such as increased loyalty or improved favourability
toward a brand. But many of this year's winners
can also demonstrate that they contributed to
sales of core and ancillary products. During a
downturn, what could be more compelling than a
marketing tool that keeps up the dialogue with
loyal customers and also shifts product?
year so far, the number of entries for the APA
Awards has increased - with around 25% more hopefuls
this year than last. This in itself is an endorsement
of the awards' growing appeal. Even more interesting,
however, is the growing diversity of the entries.
this year's winners are magazines for a football
club and a mobile phone accessories company -
underlining the fact that customer magazines can
do a job for almost anyone. Just as gratifying
for the APA is the performance of the mainstream
sectors, with great ingenuity shown in the automotive,
finance, travel and retail sectors. Winner of
Customer Communication of the Year was ONELIFE.
Land Rover is an 'experience' brand - a fact it
has been at pains to demonstrate through its high-profile
link up with the Lara Croft Tomb Raider movie.
When Redwood was asked to produce a customer magazine
for the Ford-owned brand, it was expected to contribute
forcefully to this overall communications goal.
At the same time, however, it needed to fulfil
practical roles - such as encouraging driver loyalty
and targeting new prospects.
result of its efforts is ONELIFE, a title that
first saw the light of day in 1999. Under the
editorship of Michael Harvey, the title has gone
from strength to strength, increasing its frequency
and coming out in six different languages.
to the editorial positioning are core Land Rover
attributes such as heroism and authenticity, concepts
that Harvey has adeptly instilled throughout ONELIFE's
stories and photography. Not content with reaching
out simply to auto-anoraks, he has also commissioned
high-quality stories on topics as diverse as Ernest
Shackleton and the Blues in the American South,
in order to create a compelling read.
- which is well respected for the quality of its
research - says the results of Harvey's efforts
are striking. Based on a telephone survey, 46%
of readers have thought about upgrading or buying
a Land Rover as a result of reading the title
and 34% have actually done so. In terms of existing
Land Rover owners, 75% say that ONELIFE makes
them feel valued and 47% say the magazine highlighted
products and services they had not previously
were impressed, calling ONELIFE 'an original concept,
brilliantly executed. It is a dramatic publication
- and the sense of the brand is well communicated.'
Special mention was made of Harvey - 'a serious
contender' for editor of the year.