In College They Trust
Youth marketing is smart marketing, according to The College Marketing Bureau. Robert L. Bernstein, editor-in-chief, recently expressed his faith in Generation X and Y consumership. "There's over $125 billion in consumer spending up for grabs," he touts. And from the helm of College Age and INsider magazines, Bernstein believes that moving past the "silly generational colloquialism and labored images of what's supposed to be hip" will inflate revenue for a new brand of publishing in print and beyond.
Captain, My Captain
INsider magazine welcomed Mark Jansen aboard as publisher to create a more direct route towards the youth agenda, though Jansen is hardly a new recruit to INsider—quite the contrary, he has experienced a long history with the newsprint-based publication since 1983 as one of the founders of the original magazine—who best to carry on the mission for the 21st century?
Jansen expressed his vision as "targeting the most active and adventurous of students. If we are successful in tracking and maintaining a relationship with this specific group of 18 to 34 year olds, we will then far outpace the other more traditional college mediums."
It was by Jansen's zealous leadership that 12 regional publishers merged in 1991 under the INsider brand name, surmounting over 1,000,000 magazines published nine times yearly. The publisher also embraces a similar pluralistic stance on print publishing in general, suggesting that live-action, real-time interaction can make or break a publication in today's saturated market. As a result, Jansen launched a series of national college concerts that broke bands, including the Gin Blossoms, Verve Pipe and the Samples, eventually selling millions of records internationally.
INsider magazine's mission is not only to reach frequent-spending youngsters, but to also publish them. The magazine announced recently that as part of this marketing overhaul, INsider will sponsor the National College Sports Board (NCSB). The effort will result in AP-like coverage and statistics submitted by college sports editors around the country. According to David Serritellam, associate publisher of INsider, "If the NCSB's results are even close to the traditional AP and coaches poll, then we are sure to establish a national identity and reputation for the NCSB."
But partnerships aren't the only way the magazine expects to reestablish its brand identity among the hotly anticipated demographic. According to INsider, the College Marketing Bureau also released Best of Guide Books. The six guides are comprised of reprints of the best editorial coverage from past editions of the magazine. As an added value, each guide also includes INsider's popular INcard, that when shown to select retailers, affords discounts and value savings for the card holder. The magazine's publisher announced that coverage of the guides has also been filtered into the magazine's other controlled mediums, including a TV network, radio station and Web sites—proving that at INsider, print publishing is no longer a one-dimensional medium.
More news is good news
Although the magazine also stays true to its roots in print, not only with the print edition of the magazine and guides, but also with a twentysomething newsletter, College Age.
Published bi-monthly, College Age is sent to booksellers, bookstore owners and virtually anyone with vested interests in the theory behind college-age consumerism. In addition to publishing coverage, the newsletter also chronicles generalizations about the generation through first-hand student reporting. The College Marketing Bureau expects that revenues from the newsletter will be derived from heavy advertising and base subscription rates starting yearly.
-Natalie Hope McDonald