So…I’m a bit of a niche magazine junkie.
I think there’s something quite unique about having a publication, or any sort of art form, that is so specific, that you know EXACTLY who your reader is, why they’re reading it and why they’re continuing to buy it.
I’ve been doing a lot of research into niche publications in relation to forming my customer profile and how these publications hold themselves in the marketplace compared to commercial publications. I think this research has really helped me identifying why it is that individuals buy niche publications and why it is that such publications are actually revenue raisers, more so than commercial fashion mags.
I’ve found some really great quotes from professionals, stating that niche publications are here to stay.
Siddhartha Vaidyanathan from Medill Reports Chicago writes that: “Analysts say specialization may be the key to surviving in the magazine business. ‘In the case of trade or technical magazines, you’ll usually find ready advertisers, especially if they are directly linked to the focus of the magazine,’ said Jim Gross, an analyst for Chicago-based Barrington Research. ’That’s what’s called an endemic advantage.’ ”
Further, Adam Gray of Fairfax Media Publication Solutions says that “niche publications serve a highly targeted and pre-qualified group of people, providing quality information that fills a need for readers. And it is this quality and well presented information that is at the core of their circulation success.”
But I think Barry Silverstein from Brand Chanel sums it up best. He says: “perhaps what’s most remarkable about niche magazine brands is their ability to serve extremely narrow audiences and still survive. Niche magazines offer intimate, focused and thoroughly vetted brands because—via specialized content, design and brand promise—they appeal to the specific values of limited segments of people. This sense of exclusivity creates a tight bond—more so than with larger, more generalized magazine brands. In fact, the Publishers Information Bureau indicated a nearly 12 percent decline in US magazine ad pages in 2008—but niche magazines such as Organic Gardening and Technology Review had ad page increases of more than 25 percent each.”
As I construct my customer profile and as I move forward with my major project work, the idea of my publication as this niche magazine, is something that is so important going forward.
There IS a market for it.
It’s just about tailoring the publication to suit that target market and ensure that it fills the void in the market that customers feel.
Until next time…