The Changing Consumer and How That Changes the Way YOU Do Business: Part 1

2013 will see the continued pace of change. Consumers are more demanding and are changing their demands. Over this series of articles I will review some of the changes taking place and how it will impact your business.

Everyone Loves a Magazine…but who is reading them?

Let’s start this series with looking at those magazines around the world that provide ideas to your consumers that help you grow your business.

1731 saw the birth of the consumer magazine when “The Gentlemen’s Magazine” was published in Germany. The word ‘magazine’ comes from the Arabic word for stone house, “makazin”.

Magazines have thrived since then and the biggest readers of magazines are the Australians. Over the years we have seen the format and style change, but they have always been a good read.

Everyone loves magazines, as I write this article I have a flyer in front of me promoting a whole series of magazines I should be reading in 2013. But, over the last week I have also heard about two lifestyle magazines closing. Seemly not everyone in today’s switched-on world is in love with magazines.

Will we stop reading magazines?

For me the answer is simple, YES, we will stop reading magazines. Does that mean magazines will die? No. We as consumers will want to interact with magazines and that is the key difference.

This means that, like all businesses, those that do not keep up will be left behind and the magazines that are dying are often the ones where there is no interaction with the consumer.

This means that certain magazine brands will become more important in the consumers mind as they start to own the new market.

What is the E-Ink Strategy?

Today the market is just as much about your “clicks” strategy as it is about your “bricks” strategy which is why I have started a series of webinars on “clicks” marketing for “bricks” retailers (http://www.clicksforbricks.com.au)

I can remember when I looked forward to my favourite magazine and looked on it as an opportunity to sit and relax and read the content. The content was important, the content now is even more important, but it now has to be communicated in a number of different ways. It has to be in ink and E-ink from the same provider.

In my presentations around the world, I talk about the fact that the key is the customer experience. This experience starts at the consumer’s home, including the point when they pick up their magazine – and the magazine now has to offer an experience to the consumer, as well as content.

According to the research carried out by IPC Origin Panel, 56% of lifestyle magazines have linked to a website, 62% of women who read a magazine have used a QR code in the magazine, and 28% have received product vouchers via online partnership with the magazine.

It Has Gone Beyond Print

You and I can now purchase magazines with 3D covers, talking adverts, Click and Buy technology, and click on an App in the magazine and see a movie that explains the content in more detail in the article. Imagine how this will help the home improver, gardener, or chef. They can now read the magazine and then watch the movie.

My wife and I are avid readers of “Better Homes and Gardens,” the Australian lifestyle magazine. In the latest edition we read an article on patio gardening and then used the “Genie App” to download the content that gave us the extra information we needed – a truly interactive experience.

Where are you going to buy your magazine?

Traditionally you would take a walk to the newsagent or in some situations the newsagent would deliver your magazine with the newspaper.

But, what will happen to the newsagent in the future? The traditional newsagent is being forced to reinvent their retail model; they may not even sell magazines in the future.

We already have Google Currents, Apple Newsstand, and Zinio, which provide a channel for digital versions of magazines. Plus, this new technology enables the manufacturer and retailer to engage more closely with the consumer. If there is a threat, it is to the newsagent who fails to read the new market.

Retailers now have an opportunity to work with garden magazines to provide a truly interactive channel of communications. The opportunities are there for the industry to engage with the consumer in new and exciting ways.


John Stanley is a Conference Speaker and Consultant. In 2012 he was awarded the WA Small Business Exporter of the Year. He works in 35 countries and is one of the world’s sought-after retail and marketing presenters. His new conference presentation looks at the new consumer and how that affects your business.

Follow John on Facebook John-Stanley Associates or contact him at john@johnstanley.com.au. 


Author:  John Stanley

John Stanley is a coach, consultant, author, speaker and trainer. He has been described as the 'Retail Guru' and he has also been described as the leading horticultural consultant in the world today. That is because his skills in perishable retailing : food, plants, flowers and pets, anything that cannot be put on a shelf and ignored , in fact, apply equally to all fields of retailing . That specialist skill translates easily across all retail industries including library and tourism.


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