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A customer magazine
is a magazine
Magazines, periodicals, glossies or serials are publications, generally published on a regular schedule, containing a variety of articles. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by pre-paid magazine subscriptions, or all three...
produced by a business as a means of communicating to its customer
A customer is usually used to refer to a current or potential buyer or user of the products of an individual or organization, called the supplier, seller, or vendor. This is typically through purchasing or renting goods or services...
s. It is a branch of custom media
Custom media is a marketing term referring broadly to the development, production and delivery of media designed to strengthen the relationship between the sponsor of the medium and the medium's audience...
, a product that broadly shares the look and feel of a newsstand or consumer magazine but is paid for in part or whole by a business. Rather than copy sales and advertising, the primary goal of a customer magazine is to achieve a particular business objective. This could be for a firm to cross- or up-sell, change brand perception or engender loyalty. In-flight magazines, sponsored by airlines, were among the first customer magazines, and remain typical of the genre. In the UK, every supermarket
A supermarket, a form of grocery store, is a self-service store offering a wide variety of food and household merchandise, organized into departments...
chain now provides a customer magazine to promote its products through recipes and other food editorial. Some customer magazines carry advertising; this is often seen as a useful way to offset the cost but equally can have some benefit in making the product look more like a regular magazine.
As a communications tool customer magazines are enormously powerful and allow firms to have a level of engagement with their customers that other media do not have. They are particularly good at conveying difficult and complex messages to an audience. They also lend themselves well to measurement and tracking, offering tangible information on return on investment and performances against objectives.