'Magalog' Marketing

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It looks like a magazine — a professional cover, glossy paper, a table of contents, plenty of “editorial” and a boatload of advertisements.

June 01, 2002
Don Simon Homes uses a magazine/catalog hybrid to impress potential new home buyers.

It looks like a magazine — a professional cover, glossy paper, a table of contents, plenty of “editorial” and a boatload of advertisements. Don Simon Homes in Madison, Wis., calls it a “magalog,” a magazine-format marketing piece featuring articles focused on buying a new home, the benefits of new over existing homes, and, of course, Don Simon Homes.

The beauty of it is that it costs DSH nothing. The budget is in the low six figures, but the copywriting, production, printing, list-buying and other costs are covered by ad and advertorial dollars from DSH vendors, including major dollars from Kohler and other national brands. Doing it in-house to get a custom look, rather than outsourcing it to a company that regularly does builder marketing, meant a great deal of extra time and effort for the DSH staff, especially during peak selling season, when three of the four issues a year come out.

Although DSH doesn’t have a means of specifically tracking the leads the “magalog” generates, the marketing department says it adds significantly to DSH’s presence in the minds of home buyers and future buyers. It is passed out generously, and the heavy stock and magazine look are meant to impress people — hopefully enough that they will read it and keep it, rather than toss it away.

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