According to Ad Age, custom magazines from package-goods marketers have been around for a while, but a new wrinkle in the U.S. rollout of beauty magazine Rouge, is the use of the mommy blogger community to help build the database of the relationship-marketing program.
P&G first launched Rouge in Canada in 2005, then tested the magazine with 2 million U.S. households last September. The full rollout with the fall 2009 edition will reach 6 million to 7 million homes. In all, the spokesman said 11 million North American consumers will have received the magazine by next year.
Those numbers will push Rouge near the level of P&G’s biggest online relationship-marketing program to date, the Home Made Simple program, which later branched into a program on the TLC Network and shopper-marketing programs.
You can call branded content, relationship marketing, if that helps sell the program up the chain. Whatever the case, it sounds to me like someone in Cincinnati got the memo.
Of course, I’m a big fan of this direction, but I will add that as marketers become media companies, they need to act the part and deliver extremely high quality content. Failure to do so will result in readers tossing the mag (or Web site) aside with the determination that it’s just a poorly executed ad.