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Media Intelligence : MT Resource Guide 2011
MediaTitles 75 Mark Brown Director, Engage Custom Media What is custom publishing’s value proposition for prospective clients? Custom Publishers create content for client that engages and entertains their audience while at the same time delivering on the project’s communication and marketing objectives. Custom publications seem to be growing in popularity – what do you attribute this to? We’ve had consistent growth since we first started. It occurred mainly in the mid ’90s when marketers were focusing on their own customers and CRM systems. At the moment there’s a bit of a content revolution – as clients are creating more of their own medium through the digital channels and social media, all of these spaces need more good content to make it all work. What are clients asking for in assessing publication effectiveness? They’re asking and we’re encouraged in that they come back to what the original purpose was and why the client’s producing that content. For some of them it’s simply to deliver a beautiful magazine that rewards the customer for their business and something that’s targeted at them and reflects the brand and the company that produced it. Whereas for others it will get more into the content that’s designed to drive sales and it’ll be a real DM science behind it: We’re trying to attribute a real return on investment – the client’s spent a certain amount on producing this content and it has delivered, not only in sales but in real margin to the bottom line. What issues facing custom publishing are of concern? At the moment, it comes back to this digital space. Now there’s a lot of non-custom publishing agencies – such as digital agencies and ad agencies – who have created the website or the architecture of the site and then, almost as an afterthought, [have] come to [the conclusion] ‘now we’ve built it, we’ve got to put content on it’. And we’re finding that there’s places out there selling articles written, for example, in India or somewhere overseas that haven’t been specifically written for that project but are just basically there to fill the space. Such an article doesn’t engage the audience and doesn’t reflect the client’s brand as it should. We’re out there at the moment just countering that the content is a real science as much as building the actual site itself. But they’re going to find that the article has appeared in four other places and the reader may have already come across it or, worse still, it hasn’t had the thought put into it and it’s not that targeted. Content is a real science DaViD kettle Publisher, Globe Publishing What is custom publishing’s value proposition for prospective clients? A custom magazine is well executed and the content is relevant to its audience, resulting in a long and deep relationship. The last research out of the UK revealed that a custom magazine obtains a 32-minute reading relationship between the company and the customer, and that, today, is a very long-term relationship. So the organisation can communicate relevant information across multiple different messages which can’t be done via a radio, newspaper or TV ad. We see quite a lot of organisations that try creating custom magazines in-house but such efforts are compromised because it’s by a marketing or communications team who are not experts in executing magazine content. We end up changing a number of things and the quality of the execution results in quite a dramatic increase in the readership whilst doing it more efficiently for the organisation and freeing up its resources. Why are custom publications growing in popularity? As well as that depth of relationship and the number of messages you can communicate, organisations realise that with a good custom publishing magazine, you can control what message is delivered to your audience and when. Unlike the new social medias or other media which rely upon their audiences to pull the message down or go to a website at a time they choose to engage such as Facebook and Twitter; with a custom magazine, you can determine which day it arrives at a customer’s front door. And the custom agency has executed something so engaging that someone is prepared to spend half an hour reading it. Probably the main benefit is if someone’s reading a magazine, they’re in a very relaxed state of mind: they’re normally sitting with a cup of tea or lying in bed so actively are going to consume whatever content’s in here. With a custom magazine it’s not the adverts where the messages are portrayed, it’s about the content itself. It’s about, for example, what one of our clients, the RACV, is saying about road safety, house insurance or travelling abroad. It’s a deep but very soft sell. Most research and commentators agree that if you’re trying to build trust and loyalty in your brand, custom publishing is well executed and tends to be one of the most powerful media. Custom publishing can control what message is delivered and when p74-75 customExcOut.indd 75 14/4/11 1:45:54 AM
MT Resource 2010
Media Trends+Strategy 2012