We were introduced to Millie, US publisher Meredith’s new-ish quarterly money magazine aimed at women, by Diane Di Costanzo at April’s PPA Leadership Summit.
So, why did Meredith launch Millie? According to market research, in the US:
- Currently, 40% of women are their family’s primary breadwinner and, in future, 9 out of 10 women will eventually control their family’s wealth
- 60% of women felt they lacked the knowledge to invest and 30% lacked the confidence
- across the top 17 mainstream women’s magazines in March 2018, only 5 pages (1%) covered personal finance
- 71% of women would rather talk about their own deaths than about money!
All of which indicated a pressing need to disrupt societal expectations that talking about money was “unladylike”.
Given that the days of $5m launch budgets seem to be over, even for publishing giants like Meredith, they had to play it smart. They kept costs low by piggybacking with sister Meredith title, Real Simple (inserting with selected subscriber copies and taking a dedicated channel on their website, as opposed to setting up a whole new website from scratch) and by striking a two year solus sponsorship deal with financial services company Synchrony. The result was a profitable magazine in year one.
As described by Diane, the magazine is liberal, inclusive and inspirational, running features such as ‘Applying for a job while trans’, ‘Why black women are experiencing devastating job losses’, ‘3 savvy lessons from women-owned companies that pivoted to survive coronavirus’ and ‘I got laid-off over Zoom this year, but found an incredible community because of it’.
Apart from Millie being an interesting new title, what did we learn from Diane? Firstly, there are still gaps in what is a mature magazine market. Secondly, that with an imaginative approach you can still launch big on a reduced budget. Thirdly, that there are communities of people still waiting to be served and connected and, best of all, fourthly, magazine media is a great way of doing it.
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