Up Front With Martin B. Deutsch



February, 1980 -- The times are a-changing…

So goes the song and so goes reality.

The frequent flyer, the professional business traveler, has been defined and recognized as an extremely important consumer and customer only in the last decade or so. Many publications, industry and consumer, have sprung up to cater to his needs and to entertain his particular interests.

The most conspicuous of this breed has been the inflight magazine, which graces the seat pockets in most commercial airlines. The success of these publications—some 26 in the United States alone—is a tribute to the affluence and mobility of the business traveler.

During this same time frame, new reference publications have been introduced to facilitate the travel arrangements for the Frequent Flyer, particularly the OAG Pocket Flight Guide. The PFG subscriber list, now approaching 200,000, represents the hard core of the frequent Flyer market. It also represents an audience with the highest economic and educational demographics of any audience in these United States.

For years, major companies and advertising agencies have asked for the chance to advertise to the PFG users. For obvious reasons, we have declines their business. (A “pocket” guide should remain pocket-sized.)

Now, the introduction of the Frequent Flyer magazine, we will offer the PFG subscribers a new reader vehicle designed to enhance the travel experience and, at the same time, to give advertisers access to this dynamic market.

This new monthly publication will go to either the PFG subscriber’s desk or home—by individual name. No fragmented, sometime distribution abroad an airplane. No need for advertisers to pick and choose, to seek and search, to commit huge sums in hopes of finding the proper prospects.

We’re very excited about this new magazine.

But beyond any feelings of excitement or enthusiasm, which obviously come with any new venture of this scope, there is also the awareness of a critical challenge. This involves the editorial focus and content of the new publication. We know that this project will succeed only if we give the reader a product that transcends entertainment or escapism or sophistication.

We have to provide a service geared to the needs, the requirements of the business traveler. And we will. We are going to provide our readers with a wide range of articles and monthly departments that will help in his travels, in his planning for his trips, in his time spent away from home and office. We know our audience; we know what we have to provide in editorial terms.

Recent studies of the Pocket Flight Guide subscriber show extremely impressive demographics. High income levels, high education levels, top corporate titles. Further, the Frequent Flyer reader takes 3.2 domestic round trips by air every month, flies abroad for business frequently, occupies an inordinate number of hotel nights, rents cars frequently, and dines out often in the very best places. He also takes to the air (usually with wife and children) for his vacation. He is affluent and he has a broad range of interests. He reads a great deal and is active in sports, both as a spectator and a participant.

He has a good deal of disposable income and he spends it.

And we will be talking to him monthly—where he travels.

Looking past the editorial function, we are also considering a Frequent Flyer’s club, which might provide such services as insurance, baggage tracing, check cashing, access to a special roster of books and publications for the business traveler, among others.

We are also considering a monthly section in the magazine called the Frequent Flyer Forum, which would allow readers to air their views on a wide range of business travel-related subjects.

And that’s just the beginning. As I said earlier, we are very excited about this new magazine.

This column originally appeared in Frequent Flyer magazine.

Copyright © 1980-2007 by Martin B. Deutsch. All rights reserved.