Keeping in view the association of fashion and the glitters of gold, Mediascope Integrated has brought out 24K – a quarterly lifestyle magazine for Citibank. The lifestyle communiqué, edited by Anil Dharker, aims to develop a better connect with the Indian members of CitiGold (both – resident and non-resident).
The magazine focuses on exotic and up-market travel destinations (mainly Indian), latest fashion trends in India and abroad, shopping arcades, home, interiors and art, personality profiles, food trends and fresh choices. Additionally, 24K carries the all-important CitiGold updates that include key financial trends, investment advice and opportunities, and information on popular members, events and tie-ups, etc.
Says Marzban Patel, Chairman and MD, Mediascope, “For CitiGold, 24K is a customer-specific publication, which helps build brand, develop communities, research, inform, sample, sell, retain and delight – all within the two covers. Custom-published media, if well produced and used, can be a formidable and cost-effective marketing tool. Positive research results substantiate its overwhelming use and success in developed economies. Feedback from members has been exciting with constant requests for further information on the published content and for more copies. Response from CitiGold also has been positive. The product has met its initial objectives.”
Why 24K? Patel responds, “Because the magazine reaches an audience that is exclusive, incomparable and of very high quality. Just like the purity of gold, the readers of 24K are select with lifestyles to match. Jewellery, real estate, hotels, elite tour operators, high-end durables, luxury retail and designer brands are some of the categories that are communicating to this elite and well researched audience.”
He goes on, “Custom magazines can only work where host companies, like Citibank in this case, invest heavily in developing, researching and maintaining their database. The host should know their customer as intimately as possible – family profile, lifestyles, spending habits, reading habits etc. The key to bringing out a custom magazine involves extensive study of the profile of the potential reader and match it to the objectives of the client.”
All the same, is selling space for 24K a big challenge for Mediascope? “In the media world, custom media magazines stand shoulder to shoulder with subscription driven titles. For example, USA’s largest selling and most popular travel magazine is Travel + Leisure, published by American Express for it’s Gold cardholders. In the UK one of the top five consumer magazines (for the family) is M&S, published by the departmental store chain Marks & Spencer’s for its cardholders. If the readership of a custom published magazine matches the target group of an advertiser, it is a dream medium to communicate through,” he says.
How is the contract publishing realm performing as a whole? Patel explains, “Contract publishing is an essential element of any effective CRM programme. There is a growing interest in reaching out to one’s customers in a manner that goes beyond the ambit of one’s business. One effective and cost-efficient way to do this is by providing customers with regular information in a magazine format on aspects that impact their lifestyles. Companies want to know their customers and understand their customers at a deeper level. Interactivity and connectivity can be established through magazines. The growth of contract publishing will therefore depend on how important companies feel CRM is to their business and how much they would be ready to invest in the same. The business in India is yet at a nascent stage. But if we were to take our cues from other developed markets, more and more Indian companies would realise the need for communicating regularly and adding value to their prized customer base.”
Apart from 24K, Mediascope’s roster of clients include Free and Easy for British Airways, South Asia for Executive Club Members, Namaskaar – the in-flight magazine of Air India, Life@TheClub for members of The Club, Mumbai, iLife for the Credit Card holders of ICICI Bank and The Taj City Guide, Mumbai for Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces.