Why auto makers love customer magazines

There’s a must-read story about custom publishing in today’s Wall Street Journal.


Too often, auto makers lose touch with their customers once they have purchased a car. Now, car makers are sinking millions of dollars into their own magazines — publications that detail the products and lifestyles associated with their brands — hoping to keep those customers coming back.

Ford Motor Co., for instance, launched My Ford magazine late last year. And several other auto makers, including General Motors Corp.’s Cadillac division and Volvo AB, have launched magazines in the past few years as a way to maintain ties with customers.

The magazines themselves, which are usually sent to customers at no cost, aren’t profitable. But auto makers say they can translate into sales later on because they can make customers want to buy again.

“Customers don’t want you to forget about them after the purchase,” says Kim McGill, director of retail development for Cadillac. “We spend a lot of time trying to get the customer, but the continued communication and relationship is very critical.”