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Magazine advertising - Habitat

A marketer who knows how to get the most out of her magazine advertising is Karen Warman, Marketing Manager at Resene. She speaks to NZ Marketing about the power of bespoke magazine marketing.


Taking home the Supreme Advertiser of the Year at the Webstar Magazine Media Awards 2020 – recognising those advertising partners who really GET magazines, who understand what magazines can offer as part of a media mix, and who work with publishing teams to use the medium creatively and to great effect – Warman shares what makes her strategy so successful.

The judges say Resene really understands magazines and how to use them, what informs this understanding?

Many years ago we started as complete newbies with no magazine involvement at all.  We went down the traditional path of magazine advertising and then over time found that we had more of a story to share.  We didn’t just want readers to recognise our brand, but we wanted to inspire them to use our products and colours in new ways.  As well as working with other magazines, we launched our own, habitat – 16+ years ago. This gave us the ability to communicate direct with our customers with something they could keep and refer to. It also spun us off into new territory with associated social channels and content production.  This has given us fresh insights into content that customers and readers are interested in, and also seen much more content shared with us that we can share with others. As well as having our core activity, we have experimented and tried many ideas over the years, most of which have worked well. However for those that didn’t, each has been an opportunity to learn what resonates with our customers and our brand and to get better at doing more of that.  We have worked with many magazine teams year on year and have been lucky that they have shared their ideas with us too, that has helped us grow as a brand, in magazines and in other media too.

What advice do you have for other brands looking to maximise their ROI when it comes to magazine advertising?

Keep an open mind to new ideas and be prepared to stretch your brand.  Work with the different teams of each publication as they know their readers best and can help you ensure your content resonates with their reader.  Embrace your inner turtle and be prepared to get involved for the long haul for the best results, take the time to learn which formats work for you and keep evolving them, slowly but surely, to stay current.

What’s next for Resene and the magazine market; how do you plan to build on your successes?

With all the changes in magazine ownership and titles this year we are restarting favourite features that have run in the past to work with new editorial teams and owners, reinventing other features and looking at a whole range of new options to suit specific new titles.  We are also working on our own new publication too – a new industry focused magazine, to replace the Resene News newsletter we have published for 44 years.  This new publication, BlackWhite – named after Resene’s most popular colour – will be a sister publication to habitat and enable us to showcase projects, news and trends from across the industry, from design to construction and from colour to decorating and painting.  It will be sent direct to Resene’s specifier and painter database who previously received the Resene News with copies available from selected events and in Resene ColorShops. We’re putting the finishing touches on the first issue, which is due out in November.

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