Download as a PDF: Merchandising Promotional Plan
Section 1: Company/Organizational Profile
NAVI Magazine was started in 2002 in Boulder, Colorado, by Frank and Grace, a husband and wife team who spent the majority of their twenties and thirties traveling around the globe chasing after their wanderlust. They began traveling in their mid-twenties after discovering they were infertile, so they decided to make traveling their “kid.” Years later, in their late thirties, they purchased their first home in the United States, in Boulder. While unpacking, Grace found a box of journals she kept during her travels. Rereading her journals, she found how much she enjoyed being abroad and how much she learned from doing so. She wanted to share her experiences with others, so she and her husband decided to start a travel magazine.
NAVI Magazine is a magazine that publishes 10 issues a year: December/January, February, March, April, May, June/July, August, September, October and November. The magazine is aimed to not cater to a mainstream audience like National Geographic does, nor reach a niche audience, but rather fall somewhere in the middle.
The magazine’s circulation is made up of subscribers to the paper copy or copies purchased in select stores that cater to the “NAVI lifestyle.” This is characterized by heritage brands who focus on their craft and building a lifestyle around their products.
NAVI’s circulation is 225,000, so they are a rather small to medium size publication (“Nylon Magazine Advertising,” 2015). The magazine is produced by an independent publisher, so it is not part of the Hearst or Condé Nast family; therefore, the magazine falls in the middle of the market (“Diversis Portfolio,” n.d.). NAVI is not as large as Sunset, Condé Nast Traveler, Midwest Living or National Geographic Traveler, which take the top four places in the market for travel magazines (“Top 12 US Consumer Magazine Publishers,” 2014). The magazine is just one publication for now without any sister publications associated with it.
NAVI Magazine’s headquarters are in Boulder, Colorado, where the founders of the magazine live. Boulder had an estimated 2014 population of 105, 112 with 27.6% of the population between the ages of 25 and 44, and 32.2% of households headed up by married couples (“Boulder, Colorado,” 2015). The median household income is $57,112. In terms of other magazine competition, Boulder is home to Boulder Magazine, published tri-annually. Boulder Magazine is a general lifestyle magazine, not specifically a travel magazine (“Magazines – GetBoulder.com,” 2015).
NAVI’s goal as a publication is to have reputable content that pulls from travelers’ experiences in order to engage readers and build a community around traveling. Their experiences are what drives the content of the magazine. The purpose of the magazine is for experienced travelers to share their stories, lessons and experiences with the readers to encourage them to want to travel.
The magazine itself conveys the feeling of a luxury product. The magazine is printed on glossy paper with full color images. The font mix is primarily sans serif, with serif accent fonts, to convey the look of an expensive, yet modern product.
Products and Services
NAVI is a high-end travel magazine that focuses on food, fashion, accommodations, activities, etc. of highlighted destinations to provide a variety of topics for the reader. The content of the magazine is written in a memoir format, so the content is comprised of personal essays and editorial pieces. That being said, the editorial staff of the magazine is made of editors for each section the magazine covers in addition to contributors. Contributors are the primary sources for content for the magazine, whether it be writing or photography. Not only is this less expensive to maintain, but it contributes to the magazine’s idea of sharing travel experiences. Contributions from freelancers is the best way to achieve this idea.
The target market for this magazine is primarily DINKS (Dual Income, No Kids). These households have more disposable income than traditional families, so therefore, they are marketed towards luxury items, such as cars and vacations (“DINKS,” 2015). This target market is seen as a more affluent consumer group, but will eventually shift to another consumer group (families with kids) within a few years (“DINKS,” 2015).
This magazine is targeted towards individuals who earn a higher income: more than $75,000 a year. They have very few additional expenses other than housing and food costs, seeing as they have no children to put their disposable income towards. These individuals are also highly educated, so they have at least a bachelor’s degree, if not a master’s or a PhD.
These individuals also live in urban areas, so primarily larger towns and cities. They also live rather close to outdoor areas to satisfy their need to be outdoors and to do recreational activities if they so choose.
These individuals love to explore their surrounding areas, whether it be in a metropolitan setting or an outdoor setting. They want to try new activities or to try to get an activity crossed off their bucket list. They are not afraid to take risks and to do something off the beaten path.
They also are big believers in documenting their experiences, whether it be through journaling or taking media of their experiences with the intent to share.
While this target market is wealthy, they use their wealthy to focus on creating an experience for themselves rather than what material possessions.
NAVI’s annual revenues range somewhere between $2 million and $5 million, with the majority coming from advertising (Hayes, 2015). There are 7,240 magazines in the U.S, with the industry average revenue for magazines in the United States being $8,297.08 million (“Statistics and facts on the US Magazine Industry,” 2015). Of that, $6,249.17 million of that comes from subscriptions (“Statistics and facts on the US Magazine Industry,” 2015).
The mission statement of NAVI is as follows:
“NAVI aims to provide an experience where travelers can form a community and share their adventures with one another by means of creative expression. We want to open the world up to our readers, and our readers up to the world.”
The logo is rather simple to emphasis the simplicity and maturity of the magazine. The logo is the magazine’s name, NAVI, in the foreground, with a four-point shape in the background to represent a four-point compass. The font for “NAVI” is a serif font, presented in all capital letters. The font is a dark blue color, with a lighter blue color on the compass itself. The logo is representative of the magazine because it suggests navigation and travel.
Long-term Business Goals
Our long-term business goals are as follows:
- Expand target market to reach younger generation, families with grown kids
In today’s society, travel is not just limited to people who are very wealthy. College-aged kids have the ability to travel through study abroad programs, or on their own. They aim to fulfill their wanderlust by traveling around the world. While they are not as wealthy, they find a way to travel by means of backpacking, staying at hostels or with people they know in foreign countries. Another group who travels to global destinations are families with grown kids. These families and their kids are after experiences, not just for the purposes of a vacation. These two segments specifically will be targeted in our IMC objectives.
- Publish sister publications focusing on different areas
In time, the magazine will produce sister publications, such as city guides or other supplemental publications that focus on specific aspects of travel. This will help to grow the brand into a travel information powerhouse that offers different, yet relevant content.
- Social media presence
Social media plays a strong role in promotion in today’s society. With its inexpensive cost and far reach, social media is a useful tool to utilize to reach different audiences of people either very generally or very specifically. As a magazine, we want to utilize social media to the fullest extent and use it to be able to reach our target market and other potential market segments.
- Strong web presence
Once NAVI builds a proper website, they can use it to produce regular content and build an online following. This will help to draw new readers and increase readership, both for our original target market and other potential target markets we want to reach.
Short-term Business Goals
- Increase readership
The magazine has been around for about 15 years and its circulation and subscriptions have plateaued in the last five or so years. The magazine is looking to increase its readership to get past the plateau. One of our main IMC objectives is aimed toward increasing readership, both within our original target market and expanding to include other market segments as well.
- Increase social media presence
NAVI just has a Facebook page as social media that readers can like. The numbers and analytics for this page are rather low and NAVI has not really expanded on to any other social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. The goal here is to set up NAVI on every social media platform applicable. That way, the magazine can reach its target market and spread its reach to include other markets segments to potential gain new readers.
- Create a functioning website
Many of the magazines are beginning or moving online. Readers look to the magazine online for any new content and for content other than what is published in a print magazine. NAVI has been around for about 15 years and in that time, they have an empty website to instead focus on the print product. In the short term, a website will be created that includes supplemental content to what is in the magazine. This will help to gain new readers and engage the current readers.
Section 2: Promotion/IMC Planning
- To Increase readership, NAVI is going to reach other market segments by creating a new website featuring content tailored to these segments and advertise this through direct marketing at the point of purchase in stores targeted to these market segments.
This is relevant to our long-term goal of reaching a younger generation and families with grown kids, as well as our short-term goal to increase readership. By reaching out to other demographics, there will be a higher number of people exposed to the magazine, and a higher potential for readership among these groups. This will also aid in strengthening the magazines web presence by providing readers with more consistent material on the company’s online platforms, aside from the bite-sized portions of information provided by social media.
One of the short-term goals of the company is the launch of the website itself, and by advertising the website’s upcoming debut, as well as advertising its presence after launching, NAVI can build a stronger initial interest in the website among potential readers.
- In order to create a sense of community among companies and individuals who value a travel-centric lifestyle, NAVI will host events geared towards current readers at stores that share NAVI’s goal of improving the quality of travel.
By using in store events to promote the company, NAVI is not only making an association with other companies devoted to enhancing the lifestyle endorsed by the magazine, but also bringing together individuals who appreciate a travel rich life together for networking opportunities.
These stores are the type of companies likely to advertise within the pages of NAVI, and by creating an alliance, these events will expose shoppers at the store to the magazine. Additionally, this will introduce NAVI readers to other companies and people that may influence and improve their travel experience.
In-store events will also appeal to the long-term goal of making NAVI an experience for readers, rather than just a magazine purchase. An event takes the experiences and information shared within the magazine beyond print, and into a real-life, applicable context. These events are meant to show that the articles and products featured in the magazine are relevant to this lifestyle, and that there are multiple individuals who share similar stories, experiences, and advice, and are eager to share with others in the community.
- By offering a package deal with each gifted subscription purchased, NAVI can reach generational cohorts of current readers as well as other target markets, thus showing that the magazine has interesting content worth sharing, and increasing readership.
Like the creation of the website, this activity is meant to appease the short-term goal of increasing readership, as well as the long term goal of expanding the magazines target market. A gifted subscription is an easy way to share the information within the magazine, and can be given to a variety of individuals. Maybe a current reader has an aunt who is interested in travel; presumably this aunt belongs to an older generation. Therefore, NAVI would be reaching a demographic outside the company’s typical target market. As well, readers may give a gifted subscription to a friend who also aspires to live a life full of travel; this way NAVI is reaching more individuals within the company’s usual target market.
- Through the use of interesting, engaging content on social media campaigns, NAVI can keep current readers active and involved with the magazine.
Ultimately, NAVI’s long-term goal is to create a stronger social media presence by having a high following and featuring information and images that are tailored for each different platform. By using different social media campaigns, NAVI can show its skills in adapting content to be as eye-catching as possible within each form of social media. The need to tailor this information to keep readers engaged with the company on social media will help NAVI come closer to reaching this goal. Having content that is more appealing on social media is key to reaching the short-term goal of increasing NAVI’s number of followers.
Situation Analysis: Magazine Industry
Within the magazine industry, a strong promotion strategy is that of cross-promotion. Rather than creating competition, firms are encouraged to create a symbiosis between brands that share a common goal. Being involved in the same social circles as the target market is highly recommended, and advertising in stores and at events that appeal to these groups is highly beneficial in securing the desired reader (Kallman, 2015). Cross-promotion is particularly useful in its application to social media as a form of promotion, as platforms should intermingle and coincide with one another, promoting the idea that “everything feeds everything else,” with the ultimate goal of social media accounts being to keep users tracking from one platform to another, and increasing exposure (Kallman, 2015). While the use of multiple, interconnected platforms and collaboration among brands may aid in a company’s promotional activities, the variety needed to employ cross-promoting may create a hiccup in the process of budgeting (Kallman, 2015). It may be an effortless decision to allocate a large portion of the budget to one large, specific event or campaign and place a heavy importance on this promotional activity, but this can backfire if the promotion is not as effective as expected.
Darling Magazine can be considered one of NAVI’s primary competitors. While Darling is not a travel magazine, it is a lifestyle publication that utilizes similar distribution techniques as well as organizational methods that cater to the varied tastes of their consumers, which range in age, a demographic range that NAVI is attempting to achieve. While Anthropologie is the most well known stocker of Darling Magazine, the publication utilizes direct selling in boutiques across the nation (Darling Magazine, 2015). Special events (most recently a Thanksgiving dinner and a launch party for the newest issue) are one form of promotion featured, with a link to ticket purchases on the website (Darling Magazine, 2015).
Upon considering the importance of promotion in the magazine industry, as well as current trends, the most important component in NAVI’s promotional activities is the variety of our promotional activities. This being said, multiple forms of promotion will be executed, including in-store events, which will be advertised through posters, direct marketing, gift subscriptions, and social media campaigns. By using different platforms for promotions, NAVI can appeal to consumers on multiple levels of interaction and involvement.
This form of promotion is meant to be simple yet interactive. On each card, there will be a QR code that directs customers to NAVI’s website, with the URL below, for those who do not have a QR code scanner on their phones or wish to access the website from their computer. The QR code itself will be in the center of NAVI’s logo, and the logo will serve as the only focal point on the card, keeping the design simple and focused on the company. NAVI’s social media accounts will be listed on the backside of the card, with the logo for each social media platform beside it. These small cards (about the size of a business card, 2.5”x3”) will be available at the point of purchase of certain stores that our target market shops at.
Social media campaigns
NAVI will be heavily utilizing social media, as it is a free resource (it does not cost money to create the account itself, merely to create sponsored posts). Throughout the six-month period, NAVI will put forward multiple social media campaigns, including “Where Will NAVI Take You?” “Humans of NAVI”, and “New Year, New World.”
“Where Will NAVI Take You?” is designed as an opportunity for current readers to show where they have traveled by sending in pictures year-round to be featured on NAVI’s Instagram profile. By posting pictures of our current readers’ adventures, we are hoping to make readers feel a sense of community with one another through a shared sense of adventure.
“Humans of NAVI” is another year-round campaign. However, content for this campaign will primarily be posted to Facebook, as this platform allows for slightly more in-depth writing. “Humans of NAVI” places a spotlight on individual readers and travel enthusiasts, and gives a brief explanation of why they love to travel and where their passion began.
Our final social media campaign, “New Year, New World,” is the most interactive of the three campaigns, and will run for the month of January. Three potential travel locations will be selected and featured on social media such as Facebook and Instagram for a week at a time, with the final week culminating the campaign, and being the time for readers to vote on their favorite location (each “like” on the locations individual post will count as a vote on both Facebook and Instagram). The location with the largest number of votes at the end of the week will be heavily featured in a future issue of the magazine.
Gift subscriptions are one of the higher cost forms of promotion, as they will be part of a package deal; for each gifted subscription purchased, the reader will receive a scarf as a gift for his or herself. Gift subscriptions will be offered through the months of October, November, and December, and ads will be placed within the magazine to raise awareness of the deal. In-house advertising reduces the cost of promoting the deal itself, but production levels will have to be taken into account, as more copies will need to be printed. Additionally, the cost of developing the gift for readers will need to be kept at a minimum; offering a simple piece like a scarf allows for lower production costs, and the piece itself can be useful for many readers during the winter months.
Three in-store events will take place over a span of six months, and will be the highest cost form of promotion for NAVI. However, these events are the most interactive form of promotion that will take place. Our first event is a website launch party, which will take place in August in Boulder. The night will consist of a dinner and a cocktail hour. Representatives from companies that collaborate with NAVI (i.e. advertise within our magazine or feature mentions of NAVI on social media) will be invited, giving other attendees a chance to interact with people who have taken the NAVI lifestyle above and beyond, and operate a business inspired by this lifestyle. Overall, the event is meant to be a social opportunity, and create a stronger sense of community among NAVI’s readers and contemporaries.
The second event will be a shopping event with Topo Designs, which will show a strong interaction between NAVI and Topo. On Black Friday, those who come into the store to support the two companies will receive a 20% discount, as well as a free copy of the magazine.
The third and final event will be called “New Year, New World,” which is the theme of NAVI’s promotions for the beginning of the year. Like the “New Year, New World” social media campaign, the purpose this event is to inspire attendees to look into new areas to explore. While also geared to be a social event, there will also be a featured speaker, more than likely a prominent writer for the magazine, who will give a brief speech on their experience a love of travel.
Promotional Calendars – See PDF
Section 3: Promotion/IMC Budget
Method of Budget Allocation
For our promotion budget, we chose to do a top down method of allocation. Heavy promotion is a new area for the magazine to spend money on, whereas in the past it would be primarily on the content and the print product. Since the magazine is about 15 years old, it felt like it was time to spend time and money and promotion. To the magazine, it will feel like the spending will be an expense, so we are taking a percentage of sales to determine how large our promotion budget can be.
Our allocation was based on our yearly revenues of about $5,000,000 (Hayes, 2015). We estimated that we would have 1% growth for the next year, resulting in $5,050,000 in anticipated sales. Of that, we are planning on spending 3% on promotion, so our budget will be $151,500.
|Anticipated sales, 2016||$5,050,000|
|Percent allocated to promotion||3%|
Six-Month Promotion Budget
NAVI Promotional Budget 2016-2017
|Description of Expense||Cost|
|Social media editor||$29,000|
|Direct marketing pieces (100,000)||$2,900|
|Events (venue rental, food, etc.)||$53,100|
|Gift subscription package (100,000)||$8,000|
Social media editor
The average yearly salary of a social media editor is about $58,000 (“Social Media Editor Salary,” 2015). Since our plan is for six months, we halved that, bringing the cost to $29,000.
The average yearly salary for a web manager in Boulder, CO ranges between $74, 930 and $111,847 (“Website Manager Salaries,” 2015). We settled on about $77,000. We halved that for six months and came up with $38,500.
The average salary of a graphic designer is $40,000 a year (“Graphic Designer Salary,” 2015). We halved the salary to get $20,000 for the six-month period.
Direct marketing pieces
The cost to print business cards from one print house in Boulder came to be $145 for 5,000 pieces (“Yellow Scene Family Media Kit 2015,” 2015). We want to make 100,000, so the cost would be $2,900.
Events will cost $53,100. We are planning on hosting three events in the six-month period, which would bring the cost to about $17,700 per event.
Gift subscription package
From the same print house, we estimated that the cost to print one issue would be 8 cents (“Yellow Scene Family Media Kit 2015” 2015). We multiplied that by 325,000 to get $26,000. We subtracted 18,000, the cost to print 225,000, our normal circulation to get $4,000 to account for the extra 50,000 copies. The additional $4,000 is allotted to the gift that the subscriber will receive once they “give the gift of NAVI” to another.
Percent Allocation of Promotion Budget
- Social media editor: 19%
At 19% of our promotional budget, a social media editor will help the magazine elevate their social media presence. Social media is a useful tool in the journalism world to connect with audiences and begin a conversation. While NAVI has basic social media, they really had no prior interest in expanding their social media and using it as a platform for promotion.
That being said, social media is a prominent tool in our promotional plan in this six-month period, so having a social media editor to monitor the accounts is worth having on staff. It will help us to grow our online presence to eventually have a strong social media presence, which is one of our long term goals as a company. In terms of our IMC objectives, this position will help keep readers involved and active with the magazine.
- Web manager: 26%
Because the magazine is launching a website, we need to employ someone who specializes in coding and web design. The web manager makes up the second largest portion of the promotional budget, as we are taking into account his or her salary over the course of the six-month period.
This will help the magazine reach their IMC objective that is focused on launching the new website. This position will help the magazine create an elevated website that is engaging and visual to help to keep readers on the site for long periods of time (otherwise known as stickiness).
- Graphic designer: 13%
In order to create more graphic pieces such as in-house ads, social media ads and direct marketing pieces, we need to hire one more graphic designer to solely work on promotion. This person will be a huge asset to the magazine, as they can work on multiple projects as part of many different promotion activities over the course of six months.
They will help with many promotional activities that meet many different IMC objectives, mainly with promoting in-store events, designing direct marketing pieces, subscription cards and our various social media campaigns.
- Direct marketing pieces: 2%
Direct marketing pieces make up 2% of the budget allocation. We want to create small cards that shoppers can pick up at the point of purchase at select stores that the magazine is partnered with. These pieces will be to promote the website launch, with a QR code link to the website as well as social media.
This will encourage new and current readers to direct their attention to the website and its content. One of our IMC objectives was geared towards an interactive website to draw current readers online while gaining new readership in a younger target market.
- Events: 35%
Events by far makes up our largest promotion budget allocation at 35%. We plan to collaborate with local stores in the Colorado area to host parties, workshops and speakers. We also plan to have three events in the six-month period, which take place on an average of every other month.
One of our IMC objectives was to get ourselves out in the community and connect with current and potential readers. The ultimate goal of these events is to draw new readership to the magazine and build a real life community of travelers to the magazine, which is reflected in our IMC objectives.
- Gift subscriptions: 5%
Gift subscriptions make up about 5% of our promotional budget, mainly due to the need to print extra copies of the magazine and the cost of collaboration with a clothing company for gifts. We intend to up our circulation by 100,000 magazine copies within a three-month time frame. Our gift subscriptions will be throughout the holiday season to encourage people to “give a gift, get a gift;” If they give the gift of a NAVI magazine subscription, then they will receive a gift of a scarf from a company we are collaborating with for this promotional activity.
This activity is geared towards our IMC objective to expand our readership. Ideally, an older family member would give the gift of the magazine subscription to a younger family member or vice versa. This would help get a readership comprised of a younger generation.
Section 4: Creative Strategy & Execution
Our creative strategy for our promotional plan is comprised of using many different resources that we have at our disposal. We are taking inspiration from things that we see in person and online that we like and that works well, especially in terms of promotion. A magazine is one of the hardest objects to promote, especially in an age where magazines are struggling to stay alive in the journalism world.
Our inspiration comes from tools that make a magazine successful in this day in age, including a website. It is 2015, and if you do not have a strong online presence, then it hurts your readership, especially among the younger generation. Everything is moving digital and everyone is accessing information on their smartphones, whether it be on a mobile browser or an app. We want our readers to be able to access us online, and we also want to appeal to the younger generation by doing so as well.
The two strategies that we have employed in the making of our promotional materials is focusing on brand image and positioning:
We want to focus on what the NAVI brand means and why it is a different approach than a traditional travel magazine. In terms of our content, we focus on testimonial-type content, where readers can share their travel experiences and what they learned from said experiences.
Along with that, we are focusing on building a community around the magazine, to connect readers with each other and with the creators and contributors of the magazine. We want readers to see that there is a person behind the content. We also want the reader to see that this is an upscale publication that only creates creative, engaging content.
We used a mix of informational and emotional approaches in our promotional activities:
- Event posters
- NAVI x Topo Designs
- New Year, New World
- NAVImagazine.com Launch Party
- Direct marketing pieces
- Cards at point of purchase with website and social media information
For these activities, we felt that an informational poster would be the most effective way of promotion. These posters will provide the information, whether it be for events or direct marketing. With these pieces of promotional materials, we hope to increase the awareness of our events and website to get people interested in looking into both of them.
- Social media campaigns
- Where Will NAVI Take You?
- New Year, New World
- Humans of NAVI
- Gift subscription cards
We decided to take these activities in a more emotional direction. Through our social media campaigns, we want to connect with the readers on an emotional level by relating to them through social media. Our two campaigns will evoke positive emotion in the viewer in an attempt to also want to get them to share their stories and photos with the magazine. As for the gift subscription, this is an emotional approach, seeing as it will be around the holiday season and people are in the spirit of giving.
The two main appeals we used in our promotional materials are testimonial and fantasy:
The entire content of the magazine is driven by people’s testimonies of experience and their travel stories. We want to reflect that approach in our promotional activities by having them centered around testimonials. An example of this is with our “Humans of NAVI” Facebook campaign. We want to encourage people to share their content with us and in return, provide them with relatable content. Our “Where Will NAVI Take You?” campaign is also a testimonial based campaign where people share with us where the magazine has been.
Fantasy is also exhibited with the visual aspects of our social media campaigns. We hope to post eye- catching content that is visually stimulating for the viewer, especially on Instagram. In our “New Year, New World” campaign, we want to post photos of exotic destinations and get viewers to vote for their favorite. This will evoke some fantasy within the viewers of all the beautiful destinations there are around the world.
Since we are a travel magazine, we want to provide readers with captivating imagery. Our print product displays a variety of visual imagery that is from contributors of the magazine and the places they have gone. We aim to have just as much visual interest in our promotional activities. Since the web is going the way of more visual, images are very important to help convey our message. We want to have stunning visual, especially in our social media campaigns. Our “New Year, New World” campaign is an example of how important the imagery is, seeing as the campaign is primarily on Instagram.
We have a various number of slogans for our promotional activities:
- “Where Will NAVI Take You?”
- “New Year, New World”
- “Give the gift of NAVI, get a gift from us”
Our slogans are intended to make our campaigns stand out. We want them to be memorable and to draw people to our content. Our slogans can easily be translated into hashtags, which will be great for promotion on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. These slogans will also be used on in-house promotional ads in the magazine itself.
Our motivation for current and potential readers through this is to provide engagement with the publication. Many magazines aim to just provide information to its readers and do not focus on how to engage them to essentially start a conversation with them. Another motivation we have, especially with our social content, is to encourage people to share their stories with the magazine for a chance to be featured on our social media accounts. By seeing other people’s stories and photos featured on our social media accounts, they will be motivated to want to contribute to the conversation with sharing their own content with us.
Currently, the magazine has a low customer involvement, so many of our promotional strategies are aimed towards increasing it. Namely, creation and promotion of the website and an increased social media presence will help increase involvement. This goes hand in hand with our motivation behind our particular techniques. We are really focusing on how the promotional activities are communicated and what channels they are communicated. We want to use channels that will be the most cost effective yet reach the most number of people, which is why we chose social media and direct marketing as a few of our techniques.
As mentioned above, we are focusing on social media as a media type for promotion. This is extremely important as many people get their news and entertainment from social media rather than a news website. It also provides the most room for creative freedom in terms of creating campaigns that are eye catching, yet prove to be effective. We are also focusing on in- store promotion as a channel of communication. This way, it can still appeal to the more traditional way of promotion for readers in the older generations.
Our promotional schedule runs from August through January. In other words, our promotion will encompass the August, September, October, November and December/January issues of the magazine. We chose this time period because a lot of our promotional ideas have a holiday theme as well as a “New Years resolution” type theme. The fall is also a time for reinvention for some, especially students, since that is when the new academic year typically starts. This specific time of the year is also a time when a lot is happening in terms of retail, so promotion is key, whereas in the summer it is a slower time.
We decided to do in-house magazine ads to promote the website and several of our social campaigns. It is more cost effective and will make current readers turn to social media and the web. We plan on using in-store and personal selling techniques to reach wider audiences. In-store direct marketing pieces will be used to draw potential readers to the website, social media accounts and eventually to our print product. Personal selling will be used to talk to college students to encourage them to apply for an internship with the magazine. These techniques will work the best with going out and gaining new followers who do not know about the magazine because it will include promotion in areas they already utilize, such as stores and universities.
The frequency depends on the type of promotional activity:
- NAVI x Topo – November (Black Friday)
- New Year, New World – January
- NAVImagazine.com Launch Party – August
- Social media
- “Where Will NAVI Take You?” – August through January
- 1-2 times a week
- “New Year, New World” – January
- One location per week; 2-3 posts a week; 3-4 installments total
- “Humans of NAVI” – September through November
- Once a week on Facebook
- Gift subscription
- Instagram ad – October through January
- Once a week
- FB ad – October through January
- Twice a week
- Twitter ad – October through January
- 3x a week
- Direct Marketing
- August through October
Inspiration Examples: see PDF
Section 5: Promotion/IMC Activities and Materials
Prototypes – see PDF
- Humans of NAVI (Facebook)
- Where Will NAVI Take You? (Instagram)
- New Year, New World (Instagram)
- Point of Purchase Card (Direct Marketing)
Humans of NAVI
Our final social media campaign, “Humans of NAVI,” is designed to showcase readers with more in-depth posts, mentioning where they have traveled and what fuels their passion. While these mentions are longer, they are less frequent and only posted on Facebook, which is user-friendlier in terms of writing longer posts. By keeping these posts on one social media platform and at a lower frequency, we can prevent our followers from being drowned with post after post. However, the hands on experience of the individuals featured, as well as stories that may be motivating will keep readers more interested. These posts employ both testimonial appeals through the storytelling of highlighted readers, as well as an emotional appeal, shown in the aspirational and inspirational stories featured. Not only will this increase reader interest as mentioned above, but “Humans of NAVI” will also ensure that NAVI is active in the community; we have to actively seek the individuals we wish to show in these posts.
Where Will NAVI Take You
This is one of the simplest campaigns NAVI will be employing. However, it has the potential to engage more readers. In a growing society of social media inundation, the easiest way to reach consumers is through smaller portions of information that are easy to read in the amounts of time they spend browsing social media. This campaign appeals to this need, as each post is brief. Although posts for “Where Will NAVI Take You” are shorter, they mention readers specifically, which means that readers may be more apt to follow the campaign in the hopes of seeing their own picture posted, which will achieve the goal of keeping users interested in NAVI’s social media activity. This also allows for user generated content to be featured regularly on our social media profiles. By showing our readers in exotic locations, we can appeal to other individuals’ sense of adventure, as well as maintain credibility, as seeing the travels of others may be more relatable than the fantastic, unrealistic images that are often shown on social media.
New Year New World
All of our social media campaigns are built around an emotional appeal to consumers. Specifically, “New Year, New World” focuses on the idea of New Year’s resolutions. It is easy to feel burnt out and ready for a renewal with the New Year, and our goal is to evoke the excitement of new opportunities that each New Year presents. The entire campaign itself will kick off with an in store event, which will feature a brief speech from a former writer for NAVI magazine, relating to how individuals can rekindle their passion for traveling, in the case that they are experiencing a lull, or simply reinforce the zeal they already show. While the event uses testimony appeals of seasoned travelers to inspire our readers, the social media campaigns utilizes fantasy appeals. Through the visual display of places that may be featured in the magazine, NAVI is allowing each reader to imagine these places, and the potential experiences one may have there. The more intrigued readers are by each location, the better. The overall goal of this social media campaign is to maintain and increase our readers’ interest and emotional investment in the magazine’s content by giving them more influence on what will be featured.
Point of Purchase Direct Marketing Cards
Because we chose an informational take on this promotional piece, the design was kept simple. Having a fuss-free layout ensures that the focus of an individuals’ attention will be on the information provided. At the same time, the focal emphasis of these cards, on both sides, is the NAVI logo, which is placed in the center front and upper backside of the card. By highlighting the NAVI logo, the branding of our company stands out against the simple background, making it easier to remember without getting lost in a sea of design. Using a blue and white color scheme is more interesting to the eye than black and white, but does not get overcomplicated. The card is easy to read, and provides information for multiple social media platforms, which is vital to reaching consumers within different demographics. While some users may be on Facebook almost constantly, others may fill their online time browsing on Instagram, so directing customers to different social media profiles is key to reaching a broad consumer base. Expanding the breadth of our target market will help us come closer to reaching a new audience, particularly those individuals whom the new online content on our website is aimed towards. The advantage of using point of purchase direct marketing versus a format such as online advertising is the tactile factor. It has become common practice to ignore online ads, but point of purchase in the shopping process shows the highest concentration of impulse buys. These cards are free, which may be the most appealing price tag possible, and easy to take as a small token on the way out of the store. By reaching out to stores that support the same interests as NAVI for other market segments, we can also come closer to our goal of creating a sense of community among companies that value this same lifestyle.
Section 6: Evaluation of Promotional/IMC Plan
In order to evaluate our promotional plan, we plan on using both qualitative and quantitative methods:
We are going to implement data counts, mainly social media analytics, to determine how well our social media campaigns do. We will evaluate the engagement rate, share of voice, and volume to determine if they are effective or not.
The idea behind this is to see from the analytics if the social media campaign is sparking a conversation between the magazine and the readers. We will also look to our engagement rate; how many likes and followers our social media receive to determine if we are gaining a higher readership and if that readership is of readers in a different age cohort. We will look to our share of voice to see how well NAVI is doing in comparison to other travel magazines in the industry. We will also look at volume to see how many mentions NAVI is getting on social media. This will eventually be used to create brand awareness.
We can also evaluate how well our promotion is implemented by keeping a count of people who attend our events, visit the website, and participate in the gift subscription. If those numbers are high, we know that our promotion has been effective in promoting those selected activities.
Additionally, we can use data counts to evaluate the pick up rate for our direct marketing pieces; the more that are picked up, the more effective it is in at least reaching new readers. Website counts will determine if they took the time to use the QR code to follow through to the website.
This will be the best method in relating back to our IMC objectives. Our IMCs are geared toward forming a community and bringing the magazine into today’s age by implementing strong social media, and by implementing data counts, we will be able to see if the magazine is successful in reaching those IMC objectives.
We are going to implement both surveys and focus groups to measure the effectiveness of our promotion, especially for the different age cohorts we are trying to reach.
By including them in a focus group, we can evaluate if that select method was an effective way to reach them. This is crucial, as each age cohort requires different methods of promotion. Younger cohorts prefer social media promotion, seeing as they are increasingly using mobile devices.
A focus group would also be beneficial to see if our direct marketing pieces were effective. The method could either go extremely well or extremely poor. It would be interesting to see if the direct marketing approach elicited a positive response among the age cohorts, both the specified target market and the new target market specified in our IMC objectives.
The feedback we receive from this focus group can help us to see what worked and what did not work from a user’s perspective. This is crucial to keep in mind as we go forward to expand the magazine. We want our promotion techniques to be geared toward today’s consumers and using platforms that would most reflect that.
Evaluation Methods in Relation to the Budget
When referring to the promotional plan budget, over 40% of the budget is allocated to just social media and web presence, which are the two main areas our promotional activities are geared toward. However, a very small percentage, about 2%, is devoted to direct marketing pieces. Additionally, 35% of the budget is allocated to events.
Our main evaluation of our promotional plan is focused on social media and the website, so it is only fitting that the majority of the promotional plan budget goes toward those two areas. These two parts of the promotion budget were properly allocated as they are a main focus of our IMC objectives.
Events and direct marketing pieces are a secondary measure in terms of evaluation. Events has the second highest percentage of allocation and the direct marketing has the lowest allocation.
The direct marketing pieces could have a higher budget allocation since they are one of the most crucial components for getting the new website promoted and gaining a higher readership. That being said, the evaluation we plan to do will determine whether or not that allocation should increase or decrease for the next promotion budget.
Events were properly allocated because in terms of evaluation, the number of attendees can be counted to measure the effectiveness of the event. These are crucial to our IMC objectives because they will be implemented to help build a community around the magazine. There are three events, which explains why the allocation is so high. We want these events to be successful and really be a tool in how the magazine builds a community and promotes their products.
Strengths and Weaknesses
One of the strengths of our promotional plan is how we have really tailored the campaigns for promotion in today’s day in age. Social media continues to play a large role in today’s promotion, and it is only fitting that we implement it in our promotional plan. Social media has the highest rate for participation, is fairly inexpensive and has a vast reach. We believe it was a perfect tool to utilize, especially to reach a younger age cohort in order to expand our target market.
Another strength is how our promotional activities reflect the content approach of the magazine. The magazine emphasizes storytelling and sharing of experiences when developing its content, so to be able to execute that in our social campaigns helps to build brand awareness for NAVI. This helps to show that the magazine is different from the other travel magazines in the industry.
One of our weaknesses is that our promotional activities are not very creative. They are very standard with very standard types of promotion. Our promotional activities have been implemented several times before by many different brands in the magazine. Nothing we are doing is innovative and new. However, for what goals we wanted to achieve with this plan, our promotion techniques were spot on, especially in conjunction with the target markets of that magazine we want to reach.
We can improve upon our plan by creating more innovative promotional activities that differentiate us from other magazines’ promotion. This can create more brand recognition for NAVI and make it stand out from other travel magazines. Though the approach to our promotional activities’ content is a strength, the execution is the weakness that needs to be improved on.
Overall, in relation to our IMC objectives, our promotional plan is excellent in terms of variety of the activities.