When Will The Custom Publishing Bubble Burst?
Custom publishing has been booming in recent years. So when will the bubble burst? Or will it? According to the Custom Publishing Council (CPC), if consistent research and years of relative statistics are any indication, the industry will continue climbing. To remain at the top of its game, however, custom publishing, like any industry, will have to forge the trends, rather than simply witness their emergence.
The Move Toward “Custom Content”
One reason for steady growth is the fact that the custom publishing industry comprises more than just print media. “Custom publishing has evolved into an umbrella industry encompassing custom content as a whole, across several mediums and channels,” says Lori Rosen, executive director of the CPC.
However, this in no way indicates that custom print media is at a standstill. The CPC’s “2006 Characteristics Study” demonstrates consistent increases in key metrics, such as: average page numbers (80.4 percent increase since 1999, when research began); circulation (119.7 percent increase since 1999); and money spent on custom publications (from $22 billion in 2000 to $45.8 billion in 2006).
In fact, some say it is inevitable that custom publishing’s success in print is paving the way toward custom content.
Fred Petrovsky, senior vice president of McMurry—a custom publisher with 120+ corporate customers—says, “In our view, custom publishing is morphing into much more than print on paper. Businesses want e-solutions, video, audio and integrated solutions for their marketing objectives,” says McMurry. “In recognition of this evolution, McMurry has renamed its ‘Custom Publishing’ division ‘Custom Media’ and has spent a great deal of time evolving its marketing communications business and offerings to meet what we see as the inevitable trend of customers (businesses, corporations, etc.) becoming media companies.”
Diana Pohly, president of Boston-based marketing and publishing services company The Pohly Company, credits this evolution to marketers’ need to reach their key audiences in a highly targeted and personal way. “The more we move from a broadcasting culture toward a narrowcasting one … the more we begin creating an engaging dialogue, which ultimately leads to enhanced customer involvement, experience, relationship and stickiness,” says Pohly.
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