Trends Favorable to Publishers Offering Custom Content, Marketing Services
Two recent studies from Infotrends suggest trends favorable to those who provide content marketing and custom publishing services.
One, “The True Cost of Business Communications,” looks at the cost of outsourcing the production and distribution of documents versus doing the work in-house. It finds "soft" costs (composition, design, editing, and project management) make up a high percentage of the total cost of a project—more than half of total expenses for a print project of 500 copies compared to "hard" costs like printing, shipping, and storing. The study recommends finding vendors who can provide services beyond printing to create new efficiencies.
While not mentioned in the study, another solution (at least for more complex or sophisticated marketing and custom content projects) might be to outsource those soft costs to the content creation and distribution experts—i.e., publishers.
Another study, "Understanding Vertical Markets: Enterprise Communication Requirements," finds print will remain an important part of communications spending for corporations, but only within the context of multichannel campaigns that include online and mobile. A survey of 1,026 companies across 10 vertical markets found that, in the past 12 months, 47 percent of printed marketing materials were integrated with online digital channels.
Both these studies argue for the importance of finding print and distribution partners with broad expertise in multichannel creative services and distribution. These trends will also benefit service providers who position themselves as content creation, production and distribution experts across platforms. While some corporations go the route of American Express, creating sophisticated publishing capabilities in-house, most will look to outsiders to solve these challenges. There's no reason publishers can't be at the center of this market.