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How mags get goods into bags

The power of customer magazines in driving profit and increasing customer loyalty cannot be underestimated and any brand strategist or marketer ignoring this powerful medium does so at their peril. This is the core message of the topics and case studies to be covered by the six keynote speakers at South Africa’s first customer publishing conference that takes place on Thursday 15 February, at the Cape Town International Conference Centre. The seminar is hosted by New Media in association with Paarl Media and Sappi.
How mags get goods into bags“Many companies across various sectors in South Africa including retail, banking, travel, financial services and property, have already discovered the benefits of customer magazines for themselves.

“However, it is apparent that not enough local companies are optimizing the potential that customer publications are offering. The key objective of this seminar is to tell marketers about the power of the medium,” says Naomi Herselman, executive director: corporate communication, marketing and events at New Media.

The UK industry – worth more than £385 million – has made considerable investment in proving the power of customer magazines over the last couple of years, says Julia Hutchison, director of the Association of Publishing Agencies (APA). Hutchison will be presenting the latest research done in the UK, providing empirical evidence as to the power of this medium to drive sales, brand loyalty and response.

CEO Andrew Hirsch, of the UK’s leading customer publishing group John Brown, attributes success within the customer publishing field to continuous brand innovation. Hirsch will be sharing the secrets to retaining leadership and showcasing examples of their ability to set publishing trends for their clients, which include the likes of Swarovski, Virgin Atlantic, Waitrose and the Walt Disney Company.

Pulling your customers into the brand family circle is at the core of customer publishing. Richard Eskinazi, Head of Marketing: Woolworths Food, Home, Beauty, Digital and Special Occasions, delves deeper into the nature of this close relationship by means of a case study of Woolworths’ multi-award winning magazine TASTE - cited in B®AND magazine as the title that signalled a radical change in the South African customer publishing arena.

The role of the customer magazine in the strategic brand relationship will be put under the spotlight by Kerry Smith of Cedar Communications, editor of British Airways’ High Life magazine, now Cedar’s flagship title. Presenting High Life as a case study, Smith provides insight into the interwoven relationship between client, publisher and end-user and retaining a singular brand message when dealing with diverse target markets.

Since Edgars Club Magazine was repositioned as a shopping solutions title in 2006, club membership has grown from 750 000 to more than 940 000. Enzo Scarcella, marketing executive: department store chains for the Edcon Group, will be discuss this phenomenal success under the topic A perfect fit: the customer magazine and the value chain. In addition to covering the marriage between a good read and business objectives, Scarcella will also explain how the customer magazine can be turned into an extension of the shop floor.

The latest trends and developments influencing customer publishing in Europe will be revealed by Jan Loovens, CEO: marketing communication division of the RSDB media group in The Netherlands. Loovens will focus heavily on the cycle of organising customer loyalty management and how his company applies that in the work they do for Albert Heijn, Europe’s largest retailer.

All the speakers will join in a panel discussion of issues pertinent to customer publishing as well as questions raised by the delegates.

Costs: R1 710 (all inclusive). More info and online registration at
5 Feb 2007 18:17