Magazines Find Ways to Include Unconventional Elements in Deals With Marketers
The New York Times reports on the results of a project I was involved in last year.
And Rodale has signed a deal with the Westin lodging chain with a lengthy list of unconventional elements.
For example, editors of a Rodale magazine, Runner’s World, are training employees of Westin hotels to be ‘running concierges,’ helping guests navigate local streets or parks with customized maps bearing the Westin and Runner’s World brands.
Westin will become the sponsor of Runner’s World races around the world.
Also, Westin guests will find in their rooms free copies of Rodale magazines and copies of Rodale books available for purchase like bathrobes.
Also in the rooms will be offers for discounts on Rodale books like ‘Lance Armstrong: Images of a Champion’ and ‘Eat Smart, Play Hard,’ as well as discount offers for subscriptions to Rodale magazines like Best Life, Bicycling, Men’s Health and Women’s Health along with Runner’s World. (Rodale employees are also being offered discounts on rooms at Westin hotels.)
Interestingly, the client was neither of these companies; the client was an technology firm looking to help Starwood (the parent of Westin) improve the gym experience for their guests. As part of their offering to Starwood, this IT company brought in a user-centered/innovation/design-y/ethnographic (etc.) methodology that led to a number of recomendations, not all of which would make use of the IT that the client wanted to develop/sell. The focus was on the overall experience.
As so often happens, since my consulting work takes place in the very early stages, it’s hard to find out what happened with a project, and here I happened to stumble upon this story in the newspaper.