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Media Intelligence : July 2007
What is the purpose of the publication? It gets sent to Mercedes-Benz owners who have bought from an authorised Mercedes- Benz outlet. It is basically a benefit of buying from an authorised dealer. It has become a really valuable branding tool for us to communicate with our customers about Mercedes-Benz Australia. It is a magazine that reflects the interests of our customers and it also leads back to the brand. We reinforce and reflect the brand through the publica- tion with the design and editorial quality. Yes, we are a car company, but the idea behind the magazine is that it's not purely a car magazine. I have seen competitor magazines that are majority car content, but the car content of this magazine is probably just under 50%. How does the magazine integrate with your overall marketing strategy? It is part of our relationship-marketing cycle. It is one of our more important CRM tools and the idea is to reward and inform our customers. They get it three times a year and it is a way for us to speak to our customers indirectly. We have a cycle whereby our customers receive a welcome gift upon purchase and then they start to receive the magazine on an ongoing basis, so it is a continuous communication tool for us. Is there any movement toward digital publishing? We have looked at that, but with our customers we find that they like the tangible. We do have an electronic communication 'ezine', which is just a couple of articles from the magazine, that gets emailed to customers. Moving forward, it may become an option, or we may develop a website where people can read it [magazine content], but it will take a while before that actually changes. How do you measure effectiveness? We have readers' surveys that ask about 20 questions about which sections they like, what they want to see more of and less of and so on. The mag also reflects these surveys so that the con- tent is relevant to their interests. We got great feedback from that last survey and a lot of positive comments from the readers. We find that the reason they tell us they are moving is so that they don't miss out on any copies of the magazine. They really look forward to receiving it. How does the customer-client relationship work between yourselves and the publishers, Hardie Grant? They have been working on the publication for over five years now, so they are familiar with our customer base, but they don't talk directly with our customers. We do really well with advertising because it is quite hard for many of the companies to contact our demographic. We have noticed that we get many of the high-end design companies -- jewellery and things like that. We have many loyal advertisers and the feedback from them is very positive; they get a great response from the magazine, hence they have been long-term clients. I think that sometimes, media buyers are a little bit short-sighted when they hear "Mercedes Magazine". They think it's all about flogging cars, but the publication is different from that. It really is a lifestyle publication. With the advertising, we are really lucky because it is never an issue. It is a difficult demographic to speak to, and this is one of the avenues that advertisers can use. With about 60,000 copies, it has good reach. It has grown in its appeal and success and it has been a very valuable tool for us and it continues to get very positive feedback from our customers and advertisers. Whilst it's not a cheap exercise to publish, you can't really put a dollar value on the positive brand reinforcement. MERCEDES DRIVE LOYALTY WITH CUSTOM MEDIA Daimler-Chrysler's Caroline Bowen gives Media Titles the good oil on how their lucrative customer base responds to Mercedes Magazine Australia. "We do really well with advertising because it is quite hard for many of the companies to contact our demographic" -- Caroline Bowen, Daimler-Chrysler CASE STUDY 1
2009 - 2010