Custom Publishing: Are You Getting Your Slice of This Growing Market?
Marketing, it is often said,is about creating identity. In an era when terms like “guerilla” and “viral” are frequently attached to advertising programs, there’s still something to be said for strategies that are less chaotic, more controlled—that allow time for impressions of a brand or product to actually sink in.
If you don’t believe it, just look at custom publishing.
By almost any measure—including number of titles, total circulation and revenue allocated—custom publishing is on the rise. According to a recent study from the Custom Publishing Council, the total number of unique custom titles in North America increased last year to 125,044, a 29-percent overall gain since 1999.
“We’ve seen a lot of activity in the last year or two, with many companies launching custom magazines for the first time,” says Sara McCabe, director of Texas Monthly Custom Publishing (TMCP), owned by Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications. “Our clients understand the power of print as a way to tell the full story behind their messaging and [to] offer that story in a format people will spend time with.
“The ultimate goal in marketing is to have a memorable story about your brand,” McCabe continues. “Stories go beyond the surface. Stories create a lasting identity. Magazines tell stories better than most media because they have ample space and are kept for longer.”
According to Lori Rosen, executive director of the Custom Publishing Council, such publications allow companies to “control, tailor and streamline their message.”
“In an era of niche, one-on-one marketing, this plays well to what marketers want for their strategic outreach,” she notes. Custom publications provide what has become more difficult in an era of Web-based communications—an effective “push” medium.
“You’re sending it to somebody’s home, you’re putting it in front of somebody in a more aggressive way,” says Valerie Valente, vice president and director of custom publishing at Emmaus, Pa.-based Rodale Inc. “Companies want to make sure they get [their message] into the hands of the right people.”
Related story: 12 Tips for Successful Custom Publishing