building loyalty and profits with customer magazines

Hilary Weaver
Association of Publishing Agencies


'Contract publishing has come of age,' states the latest Mintel report (1). Publishing agency revenues have grown by 213% since 1995, and now account for 313 million of marketing spend. Mintel also forecasts further healthy growth over the next five years, predicting that revenue will pass 450 million by 2007. The rise of customer publishing has been a phenomenal success story, particularly at a time when marketers are reducing their budgets. Two recent studies commissioned by the Association of Publishing Agencies (APA) set out to examine the drivers behind this growth.

The clients' view: why invest in a customer magazine?

In January 2002, NOP Business published a report, commissioned by APA and Royal Mail, that examined the attitudes of senior marketers towards customer magazines. A key finding of this study was that there is a wide gap in perception of the medium between adopters and nonadopters. The marketers surveyed agreed that retention or relationship building is very important, and that its importance will increase over the next three years. Over 90% believe that a customer magazine can be integrated with other forms of marketing. Those companies that have customer magazines are convinced that they are effective in meeting their marketing objectives.