The Hungarian Edition Of Cosmopolitan TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT 3 OVERVIEW OF THE HUNGARIAN MARKET 3 BACKGROUND 4 DESCRIPTION OF THE PRODUCT 4 THE CONCEPT OF THE PRODUCT 4 PROFILE OF THE TARGET CONSUMERS 5 CURRENT MARKET SITUATION 5 SWOT ANALYSIS 5 PEST ANALYSIS 6 STRUCTURE OF THE MAGAZINE 6 PRICING STRATEGY 7 PROMOTION MIX 7 ADVERTISING 7 SALES PROMOTION 8 PUBLIC RELATIONS 9 CONCLUSIONS 9 APPENDIX 10 LIST OF SOURCES 17 ABSTRACT Primarily based on an interview with Ms. Eniko Horvath, marketing manager of Cosmopolitan Hungary, this case study outlines the historical background of Cosmopolitan international editions and the peculiarities of the Hungarian version. The first issue brought about a revolution in the general approach of womens magazines in Hungary; Cosmopolitan immediately reached a leading market position that it still holds today. The paper discusses the layout and content of the magazine in an attempt to thoroughly describe this product. It illustrates some patterns of the magazine in terms of sales, number of subscribers and number of copies given out freely for promotional purposes. The pricing policy and the promotion mix adopted by Cosmopolitan as parts of its overall marketing strategy, are presented as well. We conclude that Cosmopolitan is a successful business in todays glossy magazines market in Hungary, since each upcoming issue is impatiently awaited by thousands of readers each month. OVERVIEW OF THE HUNGARIAN MARKET In Hungary the first magazines for women were published in the middle of the 19th Century. In the name of emancipation, Hungarian women demanded more womens magazines, fashion and beauty-care products.
At that moment there were around 1,500 magazines on the market and their advertisements were mainly done through first-class fashion salons. After World War I, the so-called feminine press started to fade away and cultural magazines slowly took over. During the socialist era, a new type of magazines appeared on the Hungarian market and remained dominant for 40 years. One of them is still among the leading Hungarian magazines for women and is called Nok Lapja. After it’s very first issue in 1949, it was declared to be a good, useful and essential magazine for honest, hard-working Hungarian women and remained so until the 1960’s, when it also incorporated some elements of the Western culture.
The economical and political changes which occurred in the past 10 years deeply affected the magazines market. The feminine press made a tremendous comeback, giving birth to newcomers and forcing old magazines to change. At present one can find more than 50 magazines dedicated to women readers. Some of them deal with so-called women issues in general, whereas some specialize in fashion, cooking, needlework and home decorating. In a market economy, magazines are like any other product, says Andrea Eszes, editor of Cosmopolitan.
And products targeting women can make big profits in Hungary. If we just compare how much is spent on advertising each year in Hungary with the budget of the Ministry of Culture or that of the Ministry of National Defense, there is no wonder that this market is a primary business target for investors. The future holds fine prospects to these international glossy magazines that are published all over the world and combine some common characteristics with specific cultural elements of the host countries. But as they emerge and leave cultural magazines behind, they will bear the increasing responsibility of correcting the language usage and promoting visual culture to the public. BACKGROUND Cosmopolitan was founded in 1886 as a magazine for first-class families in the U.S. William Randolph Hearst acquired the magazine in 1905.
In the middle of the century sales dropped and the management decided to change the concept of the magazine. Ever since, the Cosmopolitan concept – the magazine is for young women interested in fashion, beauty, career and sex has been alive. Helen Gurley Brown, who was appointed Editor in Chief in 1965, approached the idea of Cosmopolitan as a magazine for ambitious, career-conscious young women and even wrote a feminist best-seller. Today there are 37 international editions, making Cosmopolitan the largest selling young womens magazine in the whole world. It has an average of nearly 7 million buyers universally and more than 33 million readers per month.
This gives Cosmopolitan the status of the first international first-class magazine. The Hungarian edition of Cosmopolitan was launched in November 1997, in accordance with the agreement between Hearst Corporation/VNU and Erasmus Press Publishing House. DESCRIPTION OF THE PRODUCT CONCEPT OF THE PRODUCT Cosmopolitan is a glossy monthly magazine for women. It has a strong and internationally approved concept, which is tailored for each edition based on specific national characteristics. A visually stimulating magazine, Cosmopolitan speaks the universal language of women everywhere.
Cosmopolitan envisions itself as a friend, thus informing, giving advice and offering support to young women in a friendly and personal manner. Its impossible dream is to become a lifestyle, to inspire readers to enhance their living patterns and the relationships they enjoy. Cosmopolitan adopts a positive attitude; it is supportive, trendy and imaginative. The Hungarian edition is based on the original U.S. concept bearing in mind the special interests of Hungarian readers.
PROFILE OF THE TARGET CONSUMERS The target group of Cosmopolitan comprises young women between 18 and 35 years old, from the A and B social classes, with middle and high income and living in big cities. They are independent-minded, interested in career and quite sociable. Their interests include beauty, fashion, relationships, love and sex. The Cosmo-woman is self-conscious, is striving to achieve more and wants support and encouragement on how to solve her problems. There are around 389,000 women in this demographic category in Hungary.
CURRENT MARKET SITUATION SWOT ANALYSIS At present, Cosmopolitan enjoys a monopoly position on the glossy magazines market in Hungary; since November last year, when it was launched here, the only potential competitor has been the German-based magazine Joy; however, Joy is a conceptually different product that addresses dissimilar issues and thus does not constitute direct competition for Cosmopolitan. This favorable position is translated in an opportunity for Cosmopolitan to turn its readers into faithful consumers in the future. Actually, the premier goal of the Cosmopolitan staff at the moment is to increase of the current average sales volume from around 60,000 to 63,000 units per issue in an attempt to increase the market share. In addition, Cosmopolitan in sold in the whole country, which enables a very good identification and accessing of its target group. Market researches have revealed that more than 60% of its readers are between 18 and 24 years old, whereas 30% of them are males.
A potential threat for the magazine will be the increasing competition from other publications to be launched in the near future in Hungary. However, the editorial staff of Cosmopolitan believe other magazines will create a healthy competitive environment, which will ultimately result in better product quality and communication, thus increasing consumer satisfaction. An essential strength lies in the brand image of Cosmopolitan. The targeted readers regard it as a very high-quality product which totally differs from other magazines. It has far more pages, excellent pictures featuring international top-models, and entertaining articles.
However, the main weakness of this product is its cost structure; production costs are too high in relation to the viable level of a magazines price on the Hungarian market and Cosmopolitan could not even afford a cost-based pricing strategy if it wanted to stay competitive in terms of price. At present, Cosmopolitan does not have an Internet web-site for the Hungarian edition. PEST ANALYSIS The launch of international glossy magazines in Hungary was not possible before 1989, therefore the political changes played a significant role in allowi …