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S&T marketing...

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#26 Mr. Bill

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 04:54 PM

The parent company isn't stupid, they knew the ad would irritate our demographic.  But they did their homework first and discovered that 87.4% of people in our age bracket forget 91% of what we read within a couple days.  By the time most of us get around to calling/writing with our complaint, we will most likely have forgotten what the hell we were so upset about to begin with.

 

When we start seeing the ad for a heated astro-rocker with support for 7X35 binoculars (optional Boost holder and Depends pouch), we'll know an urn, personalized with one of your own astro-images, will be right around the corner.  

 

 

 

Q.   What has one hundred legs, moves slowly in the dark and smells like urine?

 

A.   A star party in the year 2030. 

Very clever....I've noticed the star parties I've visited the last few years (OSP, GSSP, Okie-Tex) are 80% old grey white men.


 

#27 opticsguy

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 09:16 PM

Very clever....I've noticed the star parties I've visited the last few years (OSP, GSSP, Okie-Tex) are 80% old grey white men.

 

 

 

Which is exactly why my primary hobby is now Ballroom dancing. Over 50% of the attendees are not old grey men.  flowerred.gif


 

#28 mich_al

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 10:33 AM

 

I realize S&T is looking for additional sources of revenue, but turning off their readers and losing subscribers over it would seem to be a poor long term plan.


This is the first I've heard about this story, and I haven't asked about the details. But I'm 99% sure without even asking that the idea originated in the parent company, not inside the S&T office.

Back when S&T was employee-owned, and marketing was done in-house, the marketing was occasionally crass, but it was rarely stupid.

 

 

All I see is the end result.


 

#29 faackanders2

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 07:13 PM

Just don't take you sleeping pills and laxitives on the same night!
 

#30 faackanders2

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 07:19 PM

Interesting that they would send an AARP notice to someone in the EU.  I would expect their software to be smarter than that.
 
I was able to get the envelope loose without damaging the page but it took a few seconds to realize that it was advertising and not accidently interleaved by the PO.  The glue was the giveaway.  Duh.
 
I don't mind the advertisements although they took me by surprise when they first started.  Scientific American has been doing it for years.


Put in all magazines
 

#31 seawolfe

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 09:21 AM

Well, S&T isn't the only astro magazine with interestingly strange adverts.  I subscribe to two British magazines, one being The Sky at Night and recently, that mag has adverts for camping vans with a tagline to use these for start party camping.  Another mag, "All About Space" has an advert for a vinyl record shop.  Go figure?


 

#32 bobhen

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 10:25 AM

Ripped the page out trying to remove the insert.

 

S&T might think they have the demographic down NOW but the bad news is they won’t have that demographic for long.

 

After 40-years of continuous subscribing (I still have every issue) I have decided that when my subscription is up to just get the digital issue. And how long I will keep that current is questionable, too bad, as S&T was a nice part of my life back in the day.

 

By the direction the magazine is (and has been) taking, I don’t believe S&T has a clue as to who their REAL demographic is. This has all the signs of a typical corporate marketing effort with little in-depth understanding of the product or its consumers. Here’s a hint; age is NOT a defining characteristic.

 

Bob


 

#33 Mr. Bill

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 10:34 AM

IMO, this is just another example of predictive analytics and "data mining."

 

I think they have a very good idea of their reader demographics.

 

I'll still continue to subscribe for the astrophysics news updates ....certainly more entertaining than the professional journals.


Edited by Mr. Bill, 07 March 2018 - 10:34 AM.

 

#34 krahling

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 10:49 AM

I finally got around to reading the magazine last night and found the envelope.  Small tear as I tried to gently remove it.  I'm used to a flurry of cards falling out of the magazine when I first pick it up, but the glued-in envelope was a rude surprise.  Had it merely fallen on the floor with the cards I wouldn't be annoyed.


 

#35 bobhen

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 12:02 PM

IMO, this is just another example of predictive analytics and "data mining."

 

I think they have a very good idea of their reader demographics.

 

I'll still continue to subscribe for the astrophysics news updates ....certainly more entertaining than the professional journals.

 

I think S&T, of course, knows the average age of their demographic but that is different than understanding what “motivates” a buyer or subscriber.

 

What motivated me at age 26 to start subscribing?

 

What would motivate a 26-year-old today?

 

Selling the age of your subscribers as a benefit to advertisers is a poor marketing strategy. Why cater to us 66-year-olds when you really need 26-year-olds that will be customers for the next 40 years. Why, because its easy and requires no real thinking. It’s a short-term strategy at best. At worst it alienates even your loyal customers, as we have seen. So, you have alienated your current customers and you have no strategy to capture new, younger customers. Good luck. Keep blaming the Internet for your lack of ad sales and aging demographic. The fault, I think, lies not in the stars but a lot closer to home.

 

I was in the graphic design/ad biz for almost 40-years. The issues at S&T could easily be fixed. Well, not easily but tackled with a different, more creative approach. But judging by what’s been happening, they won’t be. The slippery slope has already begun.

 

Bob


 

#36 Mr. Bill

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 01:41 PM

I believe they don't see a future for S&T....they anticipate a gradual decline in readership as more and more of us Baby Boomers head off to the "happy hunting grounds."

 

Younger people just aren't as interested anymore as the increase in light pollution and weather climate decline continue to spiral.

 

Lots more electronic toys to play with now including VR which is more exciting then real reality to many.

 

I hope I'm wrong, but again, looking at the people at the major star parties over the last few years IMO confirms my suspicion.


 

#37 Pat Rochford

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 04:54 PM

Personally, I think we've become way too cynical and just like to complain a lot.  Seriously - the writing and topics at the moment are as good as they've ever been (I've been subscribing continuously since January of 1971).  Let's just enjoy the magazine while it's still around and rant about something more important like Sky Watcher's new color scheme or not knowing the date of the final volume of Annals of the Deep Sky


Edited by Pat Rochford, 07 March 2018 - 04:56 PM.

 

#38 edwincjones

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 06:17 PM

I believe they don't see a future for S&T....they anticipate a gradual decline in readership as more and more of us Baby Boomers head off to the "happy hunting grounds."

 

Younger people just aren't as interested anymore as the increase in light pollution and weather climate decline continue to spiral.

 

Lots more electronic toys to play with now including VR which is more exciting then real reality to many.

 

I hope I'm wrong, but again, looking at the people at the major star parties over the last few years IMO confirms my suspicion.

 

Bill,

 

you are rarely wrong

 

edj


 

#39 Mr. Bill

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 06:23 PM

I've made a pile of money over the years being right.....wink.gif


 

#40 edwincjones

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 05:16 AM

I've made a pile of money over the years being right.....wink.gif

 

 

I have spent a pile of money being right

 

edj


 

#41 bobhen

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 08:27 AM

The major star parties usually draw the most experienced. These will not usually be young people. Actually, at my club’s “public” star parties there is a well mixed crowd, with Cub Scouts and high school students and young couples, as well as older people.

 

I think the same percentage (although always small) of young people who are interested in astronomy and space and telescopes, etc. is always the same no matter what is going on around them. Like with most interests in life, you either have the fire or you don’t.

 

The younger generation might not be interested in S&T per se but one look at the faces of the SpaceX employees after the launch of the Falcon Heavy says that the younger generation is very interested in space and rockets and what’s out there.

 

There are creative ways to reach more young people who do have that fire. The fact that a “retailer” like Astronomics has a more relevant website (Cloudynights) than S&T speaks volumes. If you want younger subscribers, partnering with AARP would not be my first choice. One might just as well ask why doesn’t Astronomics also sell performance enhancing vitamins or hearing aids since only old people buy telescopes?

 

S&T has had an extremely loyal subscriber base (unheard of in publishing) and in the past that has made it an attractive product.

 

The future however does not belong to those that just keep milking the cow until it goes dry and then butcher the poor beast for a quick profit and wonder why they have nothing to eat next winter.

 

Bob


 

#42 Mr. Bill

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 11:01 AM

 

I've made a pile of money over the years being right.....wink.gif

 

 

I have spent a pile of money being right

 

edj

 

That too....and another pile being wrong


 

#43 mich_al

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 11:19 AM

>> The younger generation might not be interested in S&T per se but one look at the faces of the >> SpaceX employees after the launch of the Falcon Heavy says that the younger generation is   >> very interested in space and rockets and what’s out there.

 

But isn't rocket engineering a very different thing than astronomy ?  If ya stand back far enough they may appear similar but up close not so much.


 

#44 Mr. Bill

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 11:27 AM

When I was a kid, slot car tracks were all the rage....

 

I think the broad interest in amateur astronomy was a confluence of things that have seen their day.

 

Times move on...


 

#45 ILikePluto

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 11:48 AM

Personally, I think we've become way too cynical and just like to complain a lot.  Seriously - the writing and topics at the moment are as good as they've ever been

As proof of this, the April 2018 issue was so superb that it motivated me to send in a check and subscribe.  I had given up on the magazine a few years ago, but in the past three years it seems to have gotten a lot better.  I only wish they devoted more pages of the magazine to science stories.  And I think the science of astronomy can capture the minds of people young and old.


 

#46 sgottlieb

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 08:58 PM

As far as the contents, I thought I'd mention I have an article in the April 2018 issue on the Hydra I galaxy cluster, titled "The Snake in Spring".  The cluster is quite similar to the Virgo cluster, but lies at 3 times the distance.  Good observing project for a 10-inch scope.


 

#47 faackanders2

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 09:07 PM

I would prefer to have just astronomy advertisments.

However I would also prefer the magazine to continue publishing, and if this is what it takes: to have a few pages I ignore
except for the tile, I am somewhat OK with it. I am more interested in reading the real astronomy articles and finding what
things to observe for that month, and what I would like to buy (although I may not have the money for wink.gif )

Edited by faackanders2, 08 March 2018 - 09:08 PM.

 

#48 jerobe

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 08:26 PM

Hopefully in the next issue they will enclose some free Geritol samples. smile.gif  Did the store and newsstand versions have the AARP envelope too?


 

#49 Augustus

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 12:11 PM

S&T is clearly on the downturn and is somewhat desperate financially, or alternatively the parent company is trying to squeeze every last drop of cash out of them that they can in anticipation of some sort of decline in profits in the future (Selling the magazine? The inevitable gradual die-off of Boomers in the near future? Who knows?) - any other explanation doesn't make sense.

 

I applied for a paid internship earlier this month and they sent a notice to all of the applicants saying that they were suffering from budget cuts from the parent company and had to cancel it, and they thought unpaid was unethical. If such a relatively small thing cost them so much that they were better off without it, they clearly don't have much money. 


 

#50 StarWolf57

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 04:21 PM

That's unfortunate news about the budget cuts. That in combination with the "early bird" renewal discount I just received (my current subscription runs through the end of the year) feels like a desperate play for cash. I've been reading S&T for 50+ years now. It would be a very sad day to see it come to an end. I guess I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.


Edited by StarWolf57, 14 March 2018 - 04:23 PM.

 


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