Customer magazine

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Companies address their own customers and potential customers with a customer magazine ; it is part of corporate publishing . In form and content, they are similar to the general-interest magazines .


A customer magazine is a periodically published corporate communication tool in a magazine or newspaper layout that transports editorial content with or without a company reference and is used by companies to reach customers with the aim of building up knowledge, acquiring information, promoting sales, building an image and building customer loyalty or the acquisition of new customers. Its main characteristic is the focus on content and information and the extensive renunciation of advertising and PR language, even if customer magazines naturally represent the interests of their clients.

Types and content of customer magazines

The decisive feature is the editorial part that distinguishes it from an advertising brochure . Customer magazines have an imprint, are subject to press law and are approved for press distribution by Deutsche Post, although they represent the interests of their clients. An example of this are the book trade's customer magazines ; there is the cross-company “Book Journal”, which is published by the trade association “ Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels ” and is available in almost all bookshops. In addition, all of the major bookstore chains now publish their own magazines , for example “Buchermenschen” by Hugendubel, the “ Buchzene ” or “Thalia-Magazin”.

Another distinction can be made based on the target groups . Customer magazines can target private customers or business customers, i.e. business-to-consumer or business-to-business .

The editorial part of a customer magazine mainly deals with industry-specific topics. In terms of content and appearance, they are designed to suit the interests and tastes of the target group. Customer magazines are intended to inform consumers about products, innovations and, in general, about the retail sector. In order to arouse the customer's interest and, if possible, to keep them interested in the publication, they should also entertain - with competitions or crossword puzzles, for example. The companies are responsible for the content.

Sales and readers of customer magazines

Most customer magazines are initially bought by retailers, for example pharmacies , which then distribute them to customers with the aim of creating customer loyalty .

In order to keep the sales prices to the trade low, the production costs must be kept low, this is often evident from the quality of the paper . It is different with customer magazines, which are supposed to serve as image brochures for very large companies, especially in the business-to-business area. The trend here is towards increasingly expensive glossy magazines, for example in the automotive industry.

They are mostly conceived, edited and designed by editorial offices, advertising or PR agencies . The customer magazines appear regularly, mostly monthly or quarterly.

According to a survey, 56% of customers read the magazines out of interest, 45% because of the information, and 69% are made aware of new products through them. Over a third reads customer magazines several times a month. The most widely read are the customer magazines of the pharmacies, such as the Apotheken Umschau . Other well-known examples of customer magazines are DB Mobil or the Bäckerblume .


The first industry that is known to use customer magazines was the young electricity industry, which struggled to assert itself against its competitors gas and petroleum: In 1905 the “Mitteilungen der Berliner Elektricitäts-Werke” appeared, followed in 1910 by the Straubing Municipal Electricity Works and the Dortmund Municipal Electricity Works, in 1912 the Hanover Municipal Electricity Works and the Amperwerke in Munich. In the same year the Hollerith company (which later became IBM ) also publishes its “Mitteilungen”. In 1924 the building society savers were allowed to receive the magazine “Mein Eigenheim” from the Wüstenrot founder and writer Georg Kropp. In 1925 the pharmacists' first customer magazine was on the counter, but the Frankfurt gas company followed suit with its own magazine. The electricity industry now uses customer magazines almost across the board. The grocers started doing this in 1927.

In the Third Reich, the Propaganda Ministry also - like other newspapers - took over the customer magazines: They had to write propaganda for leaders, people and fatherland on their flags. But many got out of the affair with entertainment articles and recipes. After the war there was initially a shortage of paper and other material, but from 1950 onwards the first pages for the around this time appeared again. In West Germany, customer magazines experienced an upturn with the increase in household budgets. The magazine " Bäckerblume " became famous. It appeared for the first time in 1954 and with up to 890,000 copies was available to thousands of bakers. It became a synonym for the customer magazine.

In 1968 the “Handbook for Public Relations” from Luchterhand-Verlag estimated the general - interest magazines to be around 120 titles with a total of 33 million copies. The rapidly growing print runs made the design more and more professional. The rationalization and concentration process, however, meant that seven years later there were only 61 titles, but with roughly the same total circulation. Then it went up again steeply. In 2000 there were over 3,000 customer magazines with a total circulation of more than 400 million copies.


  • Engelmann, Jens: Effect and effect parameters of customer magazines. Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 3941417045 .
  • Menhard, Edigna; Treede, Tilo: The magazine. From the idea to marketing. Constance 2004, ISBN 3896694138 .
  • Müller, Frank: The renaissance of the customer magazine - successfully meeting new challenges with a classic medium. Ottobrunn 1999, ISBN 3000039287 .
  • Noelle-Neumann, Elisabeth; Schulz, Winfried; Wilke, Jürgen (Hrsg.): Fischer Lexikon. Journalism mass communication. Frankfurt 2000, ISBN 3596122600 .
  • Robens, Herbert; Rau, Thorsten: Customer magazines - importance in the theory and practice of marketing. Aachen 2005, ISBN 3000149961 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Jens Engelmann: Effect and effectiveness parameters of customer magazines. Stuttgart 2009.
  2. ^ Pia Dahlem (Ed.): Best of Europe, Corporate Publishing in Dynamic Markets Munich / Penzberg 2007.
  3. ^ Deutsche Post, Press Distribution [1]