The Jolt: Custom publishing proves its worth
The print industry is an easy punching bag these days and while it's true the sector is in decline, custom publishing continues to show its worth as a strong marketing vehicle.
Indeed, the clever custom publishers are today fusing online and offline media to create integrated campaigns that are more effective than ever.
Emily Ashman (pictured left), editorial director at the Fluid Group, argues that while traditional print publishers flounder in this present economic climate, the custom publishing industry has kept abreast of trends and embraced the move to online.
She sites a recent study published by the Custom Publishing Council which shows that more than 80% of marketers are now using custom publishing as an integral part of their marketing plan.
"Rather than simply uploading content and fact sheets to a holding site, many custom publishers are seeking to use their print media to drive traffic online, where their interactive sites create communities around the brands they represent," Ashman said.
The recent case of Air Canada's OnAir monthly digital magazine is a example of how digital is driving the custom sector.
OnAir was originally intended to purely be an advertisement-supported brand enhancer for the airline's in-flight publication. However, as a community began to build around the website a totally unpredicted element surfaced that began over-shadowing ad sales: ticket sales. Users were logging on to read the useful travel information and were so convinced by what they found there they were driven to book tickets.
"The in-flight magazine now works in conjunction with the website to build a sense of community and drive people online with the lure of further interesting content, where they often buy tickets - the ultimate ROI for Air Canada.
"In the present economic situation, as marketers are forced to fight harder to maintain their market share, the savvy companies are turning to custom publishing as a way of connecting with their customers on a more personal level to build brand loyalty."
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