What should the target market be for free community e-magazine


I'm developing a business plan for a free community e-magazine. In the marketing section, should the target market be the advertisers or the readers?


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asked Jun 22 '13 at 18:47
6 points
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  • The advertisers are your customers. The readers are what you're selling. – Steve Jones 11 years ago
  • So advertisers are the target market and readers is my product? – User794726 11 years ago
  • Yes, exactly that. – Steve Jones 11 years ago
  • Thanks. That was really, really helpful. Totally change the way I think about the business. – User794726 11 years ago
  • Think of it like Facebook. – Randy E 11 years ago

1 Answer


This is a really common situation: having multiple markets you need to sell at once:
- you make money from your advertisers: they pay you, they are a target market
- you sell readership to your advertisers, so you need readers: you 'sell' them and they pay you by allocating time ('eyeballs') to your product: they are a target market

If you are doing a business plan for funding in a double-sided market, you should have an analysis of both markets, showing the market size, competition, your positioning, etc for both sides of your business.

Having said that, my first business was in publishing, and let me answer the question you haven't asked, which is: is a business plan a good way to raise money for a publishing business? The answer is no, not really.

Advertisers are simple: they follow eyeballs. The type of readers you have varies the price per eyeball up and down. So to say 'this is what the advertiser market looks like' is relatively both easy and uninformative to do ... unless you have some unique concept that will attract a very unique advertising group - such as an incontinence support magazine attracting adult diaper-makers' sponsorship ... in which case you should talk to the advertisers before writing the business plan and get their support in a way you can share.

The flip side is readers: and it's really hard to prove through a business plan that you will get readership. You're either saying 'we have a travel e-magazine, everyone loves to travel, and we have this unique twist' where you have to prove differentiation relative to competitors or you're saying 'we have an incontinence support magazine' where you have to prove that there is a market for it ... both of which are hard to do in theory.

I would take 90% of the money and time you plan to put into the business plan and put it into launching the e-magazine, even in blog format (or line up the advertisers if you are in case 1). Then you will be able to prove the readers (or advertisers) question through having actual readers ... which is worth far more than a beautifully written business plan ... if you are dealing with sophisticated investors.

answered Aug 9 '13 at 23:08
Kamal Hassan
1,285 points
  • You said it for me. I would only add that if you are using digital distribution then there are plenty of metrics for proving distribution. One way to start is, as said, big launch but with affiliate advertising in place as a holder. When the affiliate ads start working out for you then you have a live audience and can sell that directly to advertisers. Also can I add make sure you hire highly motivated (skilled too if possible) sales staff who earn mostly commision. – Matthew Brown 10 years ago

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