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Media Intelligence : 2009 - 2010
For information on your sector go to www.mediabiznet.com.au Effective communication Mark Brown Director, Engage Media publishing has continued to grow. Custom publishing can be measured, and more and more people are focusing on customer retention. As far as local growth is concerned, we are continuing to grow. If a global company has success in markets like the US and UK with a custom magazine, they will often look at other markets with local publishers. There has been signifi cant growth in custom publishing in the UK over the past few years – what do you attribute this to, and how do you think the local industry can benefi t or learn from this success? It is a combination of a few things. With times getting a little tougher, people are reviewing what they are doing and above-the-line and traditional areas where people have been spending their money continues to fragment and be less effective. Marketers are always looking for accountability and they love anything that proves the success of what they are doing so I think that is why custom The other thing we need to do in Australia is undertake industry-wide research like they are doing in the UK to try and win some more money out of other slices of the market. It’s about getting more companies to invest more of their marketing dollars into custom publishing. What is the value proposition for custom publishing when presenting to a potential client? It goes back to the way the magazine is consumed – you get to have this half-hour relaxed conversation with the consumer, rather than 30 seconds of action that you get with traditional media. It’s a soft way of communicating a lot of information and the other big benefi t at the moment is that we can measure its success and prove that the magazine is delivering return on investment. Is it essential to off er an integrated solution with print and online? Can you give an example of how it is working? I don’t think it is always essential. They are consumed in a very different way. We have seen projects that have tried to go from print to online and failed. There are huge savings in terms of print and postage, but the way people interact with a website is completely different to a magazine. We are currently undertaking a campaign for a restaurant and catering association scheme that has been put together called Green Table, which helps restaurants become accredited by lowering their environmental impact. We use the magazine to inspire people to become involved and to have that 30 minutes of interaction to tell them what it is all about, which then drives them to the website where they can fi nd more information and click on links and actually sign up. The website is the call to action, while the magazine is there to inspire. Controlling the message Eddie Thomas CEO, Edge Custom Media There has been signifi cant growth in custom publishing in the UK over the past few years - what do you attribute this to, and how do you think the local industry can benefi t or learn from this success. In Australia we have never managed to do what the APA has done in the UK, which is work together to educate the market on why it is such a successful medium. If you asked 100 marketers in Australia if they knew what custom publishing is, they probably would all say yes. If you asked them specifi c questions about why they are so successful then many would not know. We haven’t managed to educate the market on the effectiveness of this medium, and I think it’s probably because as an industry we don’t work together and we need to. Do you think there is a need for industry-wide initiatives to promote the value of custom publishing? Absolutely. That’s why I think the APA model works really well. The APA is an incredibly professional industry body who has commissioned so much research on custom publishing and worked with the publishers in driving its growth. The last time I looked, of the top 15 magazines by circulation in the UK, eight were custom magazines. What is the value proposition for custom publishing when presenting to a potential client? There are many, but I still feel that the ability to control the message or content from the client’s perspective is of real value. You tell us what you want to say, and we will help the client deliver that message in the most effective way. Controlling your message and content, and having a medium where, if you want to send a message to your clients, you can do it through the editorial channel, a huge advantage over conventional advertising Most advertisers have no ability to control the message through other media such as TV or radio, but with custom publishing the client has the ability to control their message in the way they want. Is it essential to off er an integrated solution with print and online? We do, they are complementary mediums. There are some occasions when a custom magazine is the right delivery channel, but there are other times when it is not. Sometimes postage and print dictates that the message can’t be printed. I think we need to look at the fact that we are content agencies: We supply content across any channel that it applies to which is appropriate to the audience it goes to. A lot of our clients have large databases and we have to fi nd the right way to communicate with those customers. If you take a health fund for example, that may have 700, 000 members, it is very diffi cult to do a print run for every age channel. You could do a digital solution for the younger members, then print for the older members. You need to tailor the solution. What are some of the integrated packages working well for you in the current market? If you have an extremely large database, the cost of printing and postage is often prohibitive, so we have to work out great ways to communicate in less expensive ways, and that is digital. Then on the other hand there is such a proliferation of e-newsletters at the moment, that we have to break through that clutter. If you get a magazine delivered to your home that looks great, the chances are that you will open it. MEDIA Trends + Strategy 44 p42-43,45_customMags.indd 43 p42-43,45_customMags.indd 43 3/7/09 12:02:11 PM 3/7/09 12:02:11 PM
MT Resource 2010