Customized Solutions: The Custom Content Council's Lori Rosen on Publishing's Next Revenue Frontier
ROSEN: If you are an effective salesperson your skill sets will be effective in a custom media offering. The big difference is that the sale is more long term, with different contract parameters, and more of a full-service solution. There are also less of them, though each contract is much more significant than selling advertising campaigns in a magazine. The rewards are fewer and far between, but potentially lucrative. So you need to fasten your seat belt and get ready for the longer ride.
INBOX: You've said that selling ad space inside custom projects is not a good idea. Why is that?
ROSEN: The message I was trying to convey is: Don't base your custom media program on revenue generated from third-party advertising. If you can sell advertising into your custom media program, that's great. However don't count on that ad revenue to fund the program.
INBOX: How does the custom publishing market currently shake out when comparing business-to-business and consumer publications? Which segment is growing faster?
ROSEN: They look to be running parallel. I see business-to-business companies starting custom media divisions even today. The consumer offerings tend to be more high profile, so there is a perception that that segment is stronger, but I would venture to say that they are both doing well, even in this challenged economy.
INBOX: Is digital becoming a more important side of the custom market? What criteria should a publisher use to help a client decide if they should pursue a digital campaign, print-only campaign, or a multiplatform campaign?
ROSEN: Yes, yes and yes! All campaigns today are multiplatform, and it goes back to what I said earlier: Figure out what the marketer needs and offer them the best solution. We are platform-agnostic. If your audience is more receptive to digital offerings, then that's what they'll get. However, my top line assessment is that print is still a dominant force in custom publishing.
INBOX: Speaking of multiplatform campaigns, are social media services increasingly becoming something publishers offer, either as part of a custom project package or as a separate service?