Despite strong in store displays from newsagents and an excellent price point, $2.00, issue #2 of Alpha, the new sports magazine from News Ltd is not tracking as well as newsagents had hoped.
In my own shop I’m seeing a sell through rate of 35% so far and the shelf life is already halfway through. While Alpha does not have the same sales decay of other high volume monthlies, sales are not where I need them to be to justify the significant real-estate given over to promoting the title.
Other newsagents I have talked with have made similar comments.
If you offer it to customers when they by a paper there is more interest. However, with two or three products we could offer this way, and with so little time per sale, it’s a challenge.
If I were in charge of Alpha I would increase the cover price to $7.95 – the quality of the product supports such a price – and I would include, say, teaser articles some of the features in the News Ltd newspapers with a coupon at the bottom of the article encouraging an Alpha purchase for $5.95 discount.
This approach does two things. First, it pitches the price of the product where it should be based on quality. Second, rewards the consumer for their interest.
Okay, since the magazine is publishers by a newspaper publisher Iâ€™d do something else. My third strategy would be to offer a competition entry with purchase of the magazine and I’d promote this on the coupon in the newspaper. Maybe a car giveaway each issue or a holiday or a hit out with a tennis star or a training run with a footy club. Who knows what the prize should be.
As it stands Alpha will die unless there is a more integrated and considered marketing strategy. Newsagents are working hard but the $2.00 cover price and lack of support for building what is a new niche is making it challenging. I want it to work.