Print magazines, newspapers and books are what can be classified as an “experience good.” And by “good” we mean product, not the feeling, although most elicit good feelings. For magazines and newspapers especially, it may be helpful to not just look at content, but to better understand how readers experience your product.
Magazines are longer life products and are also very personal. Newspapers are personal, but have an extremely short life, which has been part of their challenge in relating to the always-on, hyperactive world of today. Through understanding how consumers experience the product in their daily lives, newspapers and magazines can apply design thinking to further improving both content and the overall product.
For the most part a magazine is an intensely personal experience. While they can be a social product, that’s secondary to the intent of why a person buys a magazine. They are most likely not just looking at the content, though that’s critical, they are also thinking about when, where and how they want to experience the magazine.
They may be about to spend time on a plane or train, commuting or otherwise. Perhaps to sit with a coffee or tea in a cafe and have some quiet time. By understanding how an audience will engage with your magazine, you can identify more relevant advertising partners or build relationships with various places to promote distribution of your publication. People read magazines to get their heads out of life for a moment.
This is more challenging for newspapers, because it is a short life span for the most part. But newspapers are more shared in a short time space than magazines. Aside from a Sunday morning sit down with a plump weekend edition, newspapers have to fit within a short time span of a consumers daily life.
Like magazines, newspapers too can seek more in-depth advertiser and distribution options. Tabloid formats do well for example, in a commuting environment such as trains and buses. Such a format is easier to handle in a crowded environment whereas broadsheet is harder. Newspapers have some unique opportunities ahead with the rise of Augmented Reality and leveraging the experience locations of their readers.
Either way, looking at how your readers experience your publication can open up interesting new avenues of exploration for advertising revenue and audience development.

About the Author Giles W. Crouch

Giles Crouch is a digital anthropologist and CDO/CIO. He spent over 20 years in globally-focussed marketing communications for technology products and services, but his roots are anthropology in a modern sense. He uniquely ties his deep knowledge of technology, marketing, design thinking and design anthropology as a polymath to help clients seeking digital advantage in today’s complex world. Giles has been regularly interviewed by international news media on topics such as social media, blockchain, artificial intelligence and it’s impacts on society. He is a passionate practitioner of design thinking and anthropology. Giles is prolific writer and public speaker, lecturer and keynote. He has also completed over 250 netnographic research projects since 2009. His secondary activity is as Group Publisher with Human Media Inc.

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