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Media Intelligence : MT Resource 2010
it was – traditional forms of marketing are giving way to the more sophisticated offerings demanded by consumers.” Newman agrees. ”Media planners and buyers should develop an understanding of how custom publishing works, particularly with regard to retention strategies.” And the three letter word GFC – what has been its impact on this area? Though it has affected ad revenue it hasn’t slowed the growth of custom publishing itself, observes Hardie Grant’s Newman. “Although there’s been a more significant impact in the UK and US, [here] it has re-focused clients on the core objectives of their marketing strategy and customer loyalty programs.” “Some clients have varied their publication frequencies in order to maintain their use of custom media, but overall increasing awareness of custom publishing in Australia seems to be negating some of the effects of the GFC,” he says. Edge Custom Media Commercial Director Craig Hodges concurs: “Just like any other media segment it’s been harder but from our perspective it’s been business as usual... We have continued to focus on educating Australia’s marketers about the value of custom media which has in turn allowed us to continue to grow the segment in this country.” This is evident from the number of launches in Australia during the past year including Text Pacific’s A&K Magazine for Abercrombie and Kent, Hardie Grant Magazines’ Tourism Australia publications, including My Australia and No Leave No Life and relaunches such as Mahlab Media’s Insurance & Risk Professional. In concert with the growing business is the support of the local industry: In Australia it’s becoming far more proactive with Publishers Australia supporting custom publishing by setting up the Custom Publishing Leadership Group which will conduct landmark research to demonstrate the local effectiveness of custom publishing to potential clients. This research model is being replicated from that provided by the UK’s APA and its counterpart in the USA, the Custom Publishing Council. The US, UK and local market do have similarities – all three markets tend to be dominated by the in-flight, retail and Pay TV market segments, observes Newman. The differences are notable. Obviously both the UK and the US having bigger companies and audiences, matched by larger market- ing budgets. However the UK market is far more established in terms of the number of organisations engaging custom publishing agencies. “Agencies being the key word,” notes Newman, “as in the States and, to a certain extent here in Australia, the biggest custom titles are tied to the consumer magazine houses; whereas in the UK the focus is very much more on specialist agencies with a clear marketing services function. At Hardie Grant we aspire to the UK model – whereby the value of the media is measured by the extra revenue generated in a sales and marketing context. A number of publishing companies in the UK have been purchased by advertising agencies in order to benefit from the strength of custom publishing observes Brujic. “ This is not the case in Australia where custom agencies are either small independents or owned by media companies. “ The UK market is mature and competitive with clients who are, by necessity, highly motivated to engage customers, to increase loyalty and differentiate themselves from their competitors over the long term. For example, while the major Australian supermarkets and department stores enjoy a duopoly, in the UK there are four to six stores in each category. Loyalty cards combined with custom magazines are widely popular as they are both successful and highly measurable.” However, though the UK industry has grown significantly, there has also been a number of closures. “ These have generally been as a result of reliance on a single revenue stream – usually advertising,” observes Brujic. “Australia has not been immune and those magazines that rely on advertising have had to work so much harder in getting their share of the ad dollars in the market.” A variety of methods is used to measure the effectiveness of custom media. As each magazine appears to MediaTitles 42 Media planners and buyers should develop an understanding of how custom publishing works, particularly with regard to retention strategies.” – James Newman Publishing Director, Hardie Grant “ p40-41,43 customPub.indd 41 8/12/09 2:44:46 PM
2009 - 2010
MT Resource Guide 2011