IMG Worldwide, Cesar Millan Team Up to Take a Bite Out of 'Recession-resistant' Pet Industry
INBOX: What kinds of marketing/promotion approaches are you doing?
ROSENBAUM: We're pursuing an aggressive circulation growth strategy via retail and subscription acquisition efforts and guaranteeing a rate base of 125,000 for our December 2009 issue. We're also promoting newsstand sales heavily through cesarmillaninc.com and natgeochannel.com. We sent a digital newsletter promoting the launch to 700,000 cesarmillaninc.com opt-in subscribers, for example. We also ran on-air snipes on the "Dog Whisperer" and broad display promotions at 950 Petco stores.
Our strategy is working. In its first two weeks on sale, the September 2009 issue exceeded the average newsstand sales of the largest magazine in the canine category, Dog Fancy. It's also enjoyed acceptance at retail, capturing front-shelf and full-facing displays at Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and others. What's more, early returns from newsstand subscription offers are coming in above the industry average.
INBOX: It must have been a challenge to start up a magazine in a recession. Why did you think it was the right time to do this?
ROSENBAUM: Despite the recession, the are 75 million dog owners in the U.S., and the pet industry has proved to be somewhat resistant to the recession. People have continued to spend on their pets. You always want to make sure your family is taken care of, and Americans believe their dogs are part of their families.