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Custom Print Magazines – Why Can’t MasterCard Produce Inc. Magazine?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been reading more print magazines lately.  Seems odd at first, but in a way, it makes perfect sense.

I spend most of my business day and night on the computer. When I’m on my computer, I need to get things done.

But when I want to relax and engage in an inspiring story, print is my choice…books and magazines.

At the top of the list is probably Inc. magazine. This month’s article about how 37Signals founder Jason Fried spends his day was priceless.

Speaking of “priceless”, shouldn’t MasterCard be producing an Inc-type magazine? Or Verizon or AT&T for that matter. American Express OPEN does a good job with their OPEN BOOK. It’s good…but it’s no Inc.

What a missed opportunity? How about in your niche?  Is there an opportunity?

The Opportunity in Custom Print Magazines

Look, I’ll be the first one to say that the content channel choice depends on who the customer is and what the overall objective is. That said, here are some points to consider in your quest to be the trusted solutions provider for your customers and prospects.

  • According to research from the Custom Publishing Council, 80% of consumers prefer to receive company information in the form of educational articles.
  • Have you noticed less mail in your mailbox? I don’t know about you, but I’m paying more attention to what I receive in the mail today.
  • Print can be expensive (due to printing and mailing expenses), so take a good look at your database and who should receive it.  I recommend testing first…don’t send it to your entire audience at first.  Test out a portion and then review the results.
  • With traditional publishers (in many cases) reeling, this is an opportunity to become the leading provider of information for your industry.  I’m not kidding. For example, I used to be publisher of Fire Protection Engineering, an association magazine from the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. In every study we performed, FPE was viewed as the leading magazine on fire protection engineering and was the #1 reason members joined. Or how about this print magazine example from TD Ameritrade company thinkorswim? Can’t you do the same?
  • According to the APA, engagement time in the average custom magazine is 25 minutes.  How would you like your customers spending 25 minutes engaging in your content?  You’ll never see “time spent” numbers like that on the web.

If you feel there is an opportunity to create the ultimate retention vehicle like a custom magazine for your customers, just be sure it’s the best.  There’s no reason why you shouldn’t have the best information on the planet for your niche.  And, if you are considering outsourcing your magazine project, start here. Even though there are many print magazines that are done internally, I’ve consistently seen the best coming out of professional custom magazine shops. And, if you are honest with the internal resources it takes to pull off a custom magazine project, it’s usually either a wash or perhaps cheaper to outsource.

More Resources To Get You Started