As a full service magazine publisher, Sanoma Magazines Finland publishes magazines for customers and for b-to-b markets. These b-to-b publications have their own Custom Publishing unit inside Sanoma Magazines Finland.
- We make more than 40 customer magazines in ten languages to 55 countries. In addition, we are familiar with other custom publications. This year we will do the Annual Report for SanomaWSOY, for example, Manager, Custom Publishing Leena Jaakkola says.
According to recent survey by Finnish Periodical Publishers' Association, Finns read regularly approximately six different customer magazines. In every fourth household, one magazine has more than three readers. Women, parents with children under 7 years old as well as elderly people are most interested in customer magazines.
The competitive situation in Finnish customer magazines market is challenging. The competition is though and the winner in the yearly competition is the one who can make the best content in most cost efficient way. The three biggest players in customer magazine markets are Sanoma Magazine's Custom Publishing, Alma Media's Lehdentekijät (Magazine makers), and Yhtyneet Kuvalehdet's Kynämies (Penman).
Customer Magazines are Essential Part of PR
Sanoma Magazines Finland makes customer magazines for different companies in different customer segments. - International environment challenges us every day and it does not only mean language skills and translations. The situation varies in different markets and the ways of doing business and making magazines can be quite different from Finland. We have to find the suitable solutions for every customer in each market, Jaakkola describes.
- Customer magazine is first of all place made to serve the needs of the company publishing it but the journalistic aspect can not be forgotten. A good story is a good story no matter in what magazine it is in, Jaakkola says. - Customer magazine makers have to understand the business, strategy, and markets of the company they are making the magazine for - and they have to be good writers.
- A magazine has to redeem customer's interest with every issue. We know that readers nowadays want more information in less time and smaller space. We are living the visual age which makes magazines' design solutions important, Jaakkola describes.
- The cover is the most important in order to gain readers attention. It has to be temptative so that it persuades readers to enter the magazine's world and to go deeply in the interesting and unique material.
Building of customer magazine's concept is interactive: it is about understanding the company's marketing strategy but also identifying readers' needs. Content is planned to meet readers' wishes and it should reflect their way of living and habits. - In the first place, customer magazine is the gift that the company wants to give to it customer, Jaakkola defines.
- Along the way we, as magazine makers, have to ask ourselves, how the company's mission can be seen in the content, what does the magazine offer to its readers, and also what does the company want from the readers.
According to Jaakkola, every magazine succeeds when reader accepts it as a part of his/her lifestyle. The content should feel like it just tailored for the reader. It gives the reader a feeling of pleasure and utility. The most successful magazines enable their reader to feel that they are members in community, club that has born around the magazine. The members' have common interests, lifestyle, and even values.
Sanoma Magazines also has custom publishing operations in e.g. The Netherlands, Belgium, and Russia.