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Seven steps for circulation success


While creating a great product is central to building a successful magazine brand, without a strong circulation strategy your product will struggle to make it into the hands of your consumers. By following a few clear steps, you can ensure that you are optimising your newsstand circulation. John Bardsley, MD of Intermedia, shares these seven steps to circulation success.

1. Identify your circulation goals

The first step towards creating a winning circulation strategy is to establish the goals that you want to achieve for your magazine brand and identify which areas of your circulation strategy require improvement. Do you want to be the market bestseller or are you more concerned about being the highest quality title in your sector?


2. Find out who your consumer is

Ask key questions about your brand’s consumers, their lifestyle and their habits; think about factors such as age, gender, occupation, income, hobbies and interests. For niche or specialist titles, it is also important to consider what motivates your consumers to buy your product and how they engage with the title.


3. Segment your readership

The likelihood is that there is more than just one type of consumer who buys your product. To maximise your reach, you should divide your readership into different segments and understand what motivates each of these consumer segments to buy your product, as well as determining which segment is of most value to you.


4. Understand which promotions work for you

Different promotions work for different goals, so you should be clear about what you want to achieve and how to measure your return on investment. Decide whether you want to enhance your distribution with a mass promotion or carefully target specific consumers. This should be driven by your initial circulation goals and inform all promotional activity.


5. Have a clear cover strategy

Your cover is your opportunity to grab the attention of consumers, but this window of opportunity lasts only a few seconds. The cover therefore needs to communicate your brand values and offer the consumer plenty of reasons to buy your product. Make sure that your editorial, marketing and circulation teams all work together to get the cover right, keeping in mind the different segments of your readership.


6. Know your retailer

Different retailers have different requirements and different pressures on them, as well as entailing different costs, so you should be aware of these. Independent newsagents, for example, will have limited promotional opportunities, while space in large retail groups can be competitive. Where possible, align your goals and strategy with that of the retailer.


7. Have a supply management strategy

Your planning does not end when your magazines go out to retailers. It is vital to monitor availability within the stores where your title is listed, balancing the dynamics of sales and unsolds and keeping in mind the needs of both consumers and retailers.


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Intermedia is the UK’s leading provider of a fully integrated, multi-channel approach to circulation and marketing, servicing a growing portfolio of small to medium sized independent publishers. Our comprehensive solutions target five key areas: UK and worldwide retail newsstand distribution, subscription strategy and fulfilment, digital platforms, events and exhibitions and logistics and manufacturing.   To find out more, email us on getintouch@inter-media.co.uk

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