Audience Engagement
2 mins read

Why passion-based publications are thriving in the pandemic

Passion spending is up … and poised to rise further.

As many of us have the opportunity to spend more time at home, we are indulging in our passions – for music, baking (have you tried to buy flour or yeast lately?), artwork, gardening, exercise … the things we’d do if we had more time in our regular lives.

“New work from TI Media’s ‘Heart of Britain’ panel shows that spending on our passions is very much top of mind right now, with 31% of ABC1 consumers saying that they anticipate this lifestyle spending will increase in the coming weeks,” writes Anna Sampson in Magnetic Media.

Sampson reminds us of Magnetic’s “Passion Pound” report from 2018, which found spending on the things we love – food, fitness, DIY and pets – captured 79% of the growth in discretionary spending over the previous year.

“Most UK consumer spending, and the vast majority of its growth, is in categories which reflect who we are and where we feel we belong: lifestyle signifiers, passions, and social activities,” the report noted at the time.

They called it the growth of the “identity economy,” and cited a mismatch between what consumers cared about, and where brand ad spend was being directed.

Image source: Magnetic Media

We surely saw passion-based magazines thrive in the publishing climate. Magnolia JournalThe Pioneer WomanReveal, and countless smaller niche publications found traction. Their advertisers were the savvy ones.

“Do these audiences and opportunities provide some guidance as to where marketing spend might best start to be deployed? Is investment in the passions that soothe our soul one route to advertising reinvestment post lockdown?” Sampson asks.

I believe so. We’ve seen subscriptions surge for passion-based titles. Sampson gives us one more reason to be encouraged.

“… magazines also offer the opportunity for discrete and contextually relevant targeting that avoids messages being overheard or misconstrued, as well as the perfect environment to tap into those passion pounds.”

Publishers, advertisers likely need some help figuring out the right messaging during the pandemic, and may be afraid of appearing tone-deaf. You can help them rest assured their messages will be well received when it aligns with your readers’ passions and loves.

David Pilcher
VP of Sales & Marketing, Freeport Press

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