How Source Interlink Media Revved Up Audiences
INBOX: Do you think it cultivates a higher level of audience engagement and brand loyalty? If so, how?
EVANS: Yes, I absolutely think it cultivates brand loyalty and engagement. Many of our brands are the Holy Grail to automotive enthusiasts. In many niches, we have the top two up to even four brands in a particular specialty. Hot Rod for example, really started the entire car hobby back in 1948 and today it reaches millions on a monthly basis with a magazine, radio show, website, TV show and various events. It is not uncommon for us to have three or even four generations of a family attend one of our events and enjoy all aspects of Hot Rod. If Hot Rod is telling a loyal consumer that their hobby is being threatened, they will trust it, react to it and appreciate the fact that their favorite brand is helping them help themselves by getting involved.
INBOX: Are you selling any special sponsorships related to the project?
EVANS: We sold a simple inexpensive sponsorship of a spread featuring sponsoring companies logos within the edit well of the Lobby for the Hobby sections in about 20 of the 50 magazines participating to partially offset our costs.
INBOX: What sort of marketing efforts are made possible by this initiative? Are you able to promote the value of your magazines in new ways and through new channels?
EVANS: I think this effort demonstrates our importance to an enthusiast industry that represents millions of domestic jobs and approximately 33 billion dollars generated into the US economy annually. The 50 million plus consumers of Source Interlink's enthusiast magazines buy a lot of those parts and help create and keep those jobs. I think seeing all those magazines on the newsstands at the same time with a big red circle and slash through the main image is certainly going to get a newsstand buyers attention. So far, the reaction has been very positive. It is also getting our advertisers' attention in that we are putting our money where our mouth is and recognizing that we must promote the hobby and make it healthy to survive collectively.