A blog by our Managing Director, Javan Bramhall
In our office at Digital Glue, we subscribe to several print and online magazines. We’re very keen that our team are up to date with what’s going on in the industry and the latest thought leadership on our specialist subject areas.
We subscribe to the print edition of Marketing Week. As the name might suggest we get this once a week, and it gets passed around the office, with team members highlighting anything interesting they might see. For this, they charge £45 a quarter. Each edition has a cover charge of £4, so we get a sensible discount by being a subscriber.
A couple of weeks back, we read a short notice in the magazine that Marketing Week was moving to be a monthly title.
As a subscriber to the magazine, this was the first we had heard of this change.
It wasn’t an immediate priority but about a week later we thought we should contact the subscription team to ask whether this would be affecting our subscription.
The customer service team had no idea the change was happening and was asking us where we had read this information! After helpfully referring them to the issue, they told us they would look into it and let us know.
We received a call back a little while later, informing us that, yes, the magazine was moving to a monthly edition and that our subscription including price would not be changing.
The conversation went something like:
DG: “So, let me get this straight, we get 12 issues now for £45, and we’re going to be getting three issues, and it will still be £45?”
MW: “Yes – We are putting more time and resource into each issue and making it more comprehensive with more content”
Now it could be that Marketing Week, is going to move to become a massively different product, and that £45 for three issues and whatever other offering they will be providing, is going to be excellent value for money. The problem is, we have no idea what the Product, is and we can’t asses the value of Price.
Considering we are dealing with a magazine which deals with communication, we are also struggling with Promotion of the Product. The only communication has been around the move to a monthly title, there has been no communication about the benefits that this change brings to their audience. What will a monthly magazine bring us that a weekly couldn’t, what other benefits will subscribers get? In addition, by putting a small mention of it in the magazine and a single tweet, it also feels like they are trying to hide this change rather than Promote it.
Finally, and I think this is a broader issue with print magazines overall, it feels like Marketing Week are struggling with their Place. We subscribe to the print edition, because while we can get information online from blogs and website, which we do as well, we wanted a print magazine in the office which gave the team a reason to read, learn and seek inspiration, to use as a tool to get away from a screen on their lunch. Marketing Week had a Place in our office, as I expect it did, and does in many other agencies and marketing departments.
Because no one has explained or can explain what’s happening with the Product, why we are being charged the same Price, and there has been no real or clear Promotion of what the new product will be, we are now struggling to find a Place for Marketing Week in our office.