Saturday, March 14, 2009

A little too desperate for customers?

I forget where I read it, but someone once said that very good advertising is so good that you don't perceive it as "advertising" at all. That's because the ads expertly respond to your particular needs at any given time. We obviously have not reached that level of perfection yet.

Despite the changes in the publishing industry, there are still a lot of magazines that are still around, and they're still trying to get subscribers. A few days ago I received a subscription request from Defense Daily. Why? Because in my day job I work with biometric systems...and some marketer somewhere decided that if I'm interested in biometric systems, I may also be interested in defense. So they spent money on postage (albeit at a reduced bulk rate) and printing to send me a subscription request to subscribe to Defense Daily.

Yes, that's Defense Daily, as in Daily. 245 issues a year of "unparalleled coverage of the people and programs driving the defense industry." Sounds somewhat interesting, although I'd only be interested in a very small portion of what Defense Daily has to offer. So I guess you could say I'd be a casual reader at best. Which is good, because I couldn't afford to pay the full rate for this magazine, and my company probably wouldn't authorize it either.

Luckily, I qualify for the Professional Courtesy Rate, which includes a $200 discount on an annual subscription. Yes, my subscription rate is reduced $200 - from $2297 to $2097.


Now obviously a solicitation doesn't always have a high rate of return, but it needs to be high enough to justify the costs of the solitication. But when you are trying to market a $2097 product to casual readers, isn't it difficult to get enough subscribers to justify the cost of the solitication?

But then again, if they're grossing $2097 off of a single subscriber, they don't need that many subscribers to make the solicitation pay off.

Although they do have the costs of the "Free Defense Daily 1GB USB Drive with your paid subscription." But presumably the $2097 will cover that too.

Now if you're a Beltway bandit who's highly interested in this publication and you didn't get the mailing, just go here to subscribe online.


Upon further research, I discovered that Defense Daily is a bargain. 14sandwiches reports that Mobile Industry Review is switching to a different model:

On the 27th of March, we’re turning subscription-only here at Mobile Industry Review (”MIR”).

One company has bought our entire output exclusively, on-going. We are, in effect, becoming a private research company.

Our new client is unwilling to subsidise our existing audience of readers (300-400k last month) so the content that we’ll be creating — reports, video interviews and day-to-day industry news and analysis — will become proprietary from 27th of March. After this date, the public version of MIR will no longer be updated.

The nature of our agreement allows for corporate subscriptions to our content at £12,000 per annum, plus applicable taxes.

But Mobile Industry Review has a deal for you:

I’m able to offer the first 10 subscriptions at half price until the end of the month.

So from 2000 dollars to 12000 pounds - what will I run across next?

This reminds me of a fake news story that I read years and years ago (it may have been in the Like a Rolling Stone parody of Rolling Stone) which claimed that the Eagles were going to have a retail price of US$5 million for their next LP. According to the story, when asked how many people would buy the album at such an outrageous price, one of the Eagles supposedly said, "We only need one."
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