Sunday, August 17, 2008

Magazines and Marketing Claptrap

The magazine industry is in trouble. Their readers are abandoning them in droves, preferring the instant (and often free) gratification of the internet. Why buy fashion magazines when you can have the sartorialist? Why buy home beautiful when you can have this, this, this or this?

So magazines have had to offer an interactive 'experience' to supplement the print media, and hopefully not lose the market altogether. Previews, forums, freebies - all designed to keep you buying the magazine and staying true to their brand. Some are more successful than others - but the competition is fierce and the strategy agressive.

Interweave Knits have had their interactive going for a while now. Their strategy has been extremely aggressive and ruthless - you can almost hear the corporate plan objectives through the 'knitting daily' subscription emails. What they do is instead of trying to sell more magazines, they just chop previous issues up into patterns and selectively offer them for free at first (limited time! Get in quick!), and then they sell them to you individually.

If you've ever done any marketing study, the transparency of this evil genius strategy is incredible. It takes a very clever trickster to create a new income stream for a business when an old one is waning, and to do so with almost no investment is pure marketing genius. Don't fool yourself that all this chatty Sandi Wiseman bullshit is really for the benefit of the knitting community - she's just the decoy. Any benefit we may recieve is purely a happy side-effect of their desire to entice us to buy more interweave.

Vogue knitting have been a bit behind in this initiative of late, but they've clearly been working on something a bit different, to set them apart. The video preview of the designs from the magazine.

The first thing that struck me was how scary thin the first model was. The second thing was to wonder why they didn't put a bit more effort into the voiceover. The nasal high-pitched voice of that woman sounds like fingernails down a blackboard!

Still, I like it. Of course I do, I'm a complete media junkie. With a marketing qualification.


Lara said...

You so funny. I nearly snorted muscat out my nose!

Ann said...

You are so right about all these marketing gimmicks. My husband who has been in marketing all his life is always lecturing me on these gimmicks but I am immune to his wise words.

Dawn said...

Yes, I'm pretty disgusted with the IK emails and mailouts, and so many of the recent patterns have been pretty ordinary, so I've told them I won't be renewing my subscription. And I've cancelled the 'daily' emails.

BTW your scarf is lovely. I hope you bring it to SnB tomorrow!