Mine magazine case study in personalization with The Ace Group’s Val DiGiacinto

By | March 15, 2010

Highlights

31,000 subscribers received six 32-page issues (36 pages with Cover)

A 2 week 24×7 production cycle was required for each issue

According to Ace Group’s Val DiGiacinto, Lexus, Time, Inc. and Team One said readership time on Mind Magazine was three times that of a regular magazine.

60% lift rate (based on click-through response to custom landing page)

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2 thoughts on “Mine magazine case study in personalization with The Ace Group’s Val DiGiacinto

  1. David Wolfe

    I was one of those 31,000 subscribers. I am a heavy consumer of magazines, and I certainly did not spend 3 times more time reading “Mine.” When I select magazines at the newstand, I read them cover-to-cover, paragraph-by-paragraph, and almost all the ads. With “Mine,” I skimmed over most of the content, and completely skipped all of the ads. Here’s why:

    A limited selection was provided. There was a restriction that you must choose a certain number of different magazine’s content. That meant that I was forced to “subscribe” to magazines I had no interest in, which resulted in some percentage (probably around 50%) of the content that I didn’t want.

    Of the content (magazines) that I did want, or that would normally be of interest, a significant proportion of the articles that were included were largely the kinds that, in their parent magazines, would least hold my interest. For example, in a travel magazine, I am most interested in articles about the people, places, and cultures. I am least interested in articles that direct me where to stay for $700 a night. But those were precisely the majority of the included articles from the travel selection.

    There was exactly 1 advertiser for the entire run. That (luxury automotive brand) advertiser ran the same ad with minimal, poorly-executed personalization across every couple spreads, the front, and back of every issue. The personalization was not even done well enough to be interesting. For example, I live in Cincinnati, Ohio (south-west of state). The database behind the personalization seemed to care only that I live in Ohio, and presented verbage about when I’m supposedly driving down some freeway in Toledo or Cleveland–opposite corners of the state. I could drive 3 states away sooner than I could reach those cities. Bad personalization.

    My overall impression was that the publisher was interested only in very wealthy readers. Most of the articles and all of the advertising lead me to that impression.

    “Mine” was an interesting experiment, and I made a point to participate as fully as realistic to get as much out of it as possible for myself and the publisher. Done well, I would definitely subscribe to a magazine that let me decide what content I wanted in it. I’d probably even pay a slight premium for it. But I would never again subscribe to a spliced-together, personalized magazine if I didn’t get to control the contents.

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