5 Ways Publishers Can Hyper-Target Print Like Digital Marketers

By: D. Eadward Tree

5 ways publishers can hyper-target print like digital marketers

Marketers’ disgust with online ad fraud has created an opening for our industry, but we’re not ready to take advantage of it. Our out-of-date, out-of-synch approaches to magazine advertising proposals are holding us back from taking advantage of this new opportunity.

Judging from my interactions with advertising sales reps, they’re seeing fewer digital-only RFPs these days and more media-agnostic ones. Marketers who were in the “print is dead” camp now seem intrigued with the ability of print to engage their most valuable prospects. But simply buying ad pages in general-interest magazines is not their idea of effective targeting.

In this environment, niche titles are holding up best because their readership provides a natural target for certain advertisers: An archery magazine is obviously a great place for a bow manufacturer to place its ads. (Still, that manufacturer may be shifting more of its dollars to a programmatic campaign targeted to people who have shopped online for crossbows in the last two weeks.)

These days, our magazines are mostly represented by two types of ad reps, neither of whom is equipped to do the job: 1) Print-only veterans who are out of touch with marketers’ ability to identify their prospects -- and the kind of money they’re willing to spend to reach those prospects. Their idea of targeted advertising doesn’t extend beyond old-school demographic sections, such as women’s or affluent editions. 2) Multimedia reps, who are typically hired for their digital chops and have little, if any, print experience.

Here are five scenarios that illustrate what can happen when we take a millennial’s grasp of hyper-targeting, blend it with an old print dinosaur’s tricks, and add a pinch of imagination:

Challenge #1: The audience for your parenting magazine is too broad for a prospective advertiser that’s mostly interested in affluent parents of teens.

Solution: Place sponsored cover wraps on copies mailed to orthodontists’ waiting rooms. Parents with time on their hands will pick up your magazine because it’s relevant to them, and the sponsor will have plenty of space and attention to make its pitch.

Challenge #2: Exhibit sponsors complain that they’re not meeting enough good prospects at your show.

Solution: Customize the exhibit copies or show guides for pre-registered attendees, enabling your exhibitors to include messages that are targeted to people based on job title, employer, or the break-out sessions they have selected. It could be as simple as inkjetted messages on the cover. Or as complex as using variable data with digital printing to produce individualized versions of the conference schedule. Instead of just “1 p.m.: Exhibit floor opens,” a participant might also see, “Jane, stop by the Acme Rocket booth before 4:30 to pick up your free iPad!” and an invitation to a sponsored roundtable discussion to which only purchasing directors are invited.

Challenge #3: A grill manufacturer is intrigued by your foodie magazine but focuses its advertising on people who are “in market” for a grill.

Solution: Use repurposed content from your magazine to create a downloadable “How To Buy a Grill” guide, with plenty of room for the sponsor to tell its story and perhaps to offer embedded videos. Promote it in the magazine, in the midst of grilling recipes on your web site, via social media, etc. (Whoever said “magazine” advertising has to be about print?) Besides the sponsorship revenue, you might pick up some valuable email addresses and first-party data.

Challenge #4: The grill manufacturer isn’t re-upping the how-to guide campaign because it’s shifting more money to point-of-purchase marketing.

Solution: Create a retailers’ toolbox that is sent to stores selling the clients’ grills. Include printed copies of the how-to guide. Three-hole punch a few of the copies and place them in binders, along with extra information and resources for store employees. Throw in some magazine-branded laminated tip sheets, illustrated with photos of your clients’ grills. Include hang tags that highlight awards or favorable reviews your editors have given to any of the clients’ grills.

Your client probably knows better than you what will work and may be in a better position to execute as well. Fine: Just license your content to the client or sell it copies of your how-to guide.

Challenge #5: Several clients are reducing ads in your regional magazine to put more money into reaching new residents. “Your readers are ‘from-heres;’ we need to talk to the ‘come-heres,’” one advertiser tells you.

Solution: Create an evergreen welcome-to-town guide with repurposed content from the magazine, along with ads targeted to new residents. (Plus a subscription offer and a promotion for your web site, of course.) A lead sponsor could get a back-cover ad that is digitally printed, providing a map from the recipient’s house to the sponsor’s nearest retail location.

You can buy new-movers lists that are derived from month-old change-of-address data. Or work a deal with the local electric or water utility and you could get the copies delivered shortly after people move in.

Author: D. Eadward Tree

Source: URL:

Association Marketing: The Power of Personalization

By: Teri Carden

association marketing the power of personalization royle printing association media and publishing

In the association world, we hear a lot of conversations about managing data and integrating systems. But marketing innovators Debi Sutton and Katherine Matthews of the Entomological Society of America have really knocked people’s socks off and shown how powerful it can be to put the reams of data in our association management system to work to engage with members. And the results are real. Here are a few highlights of their successes (in their own words).

Personalize. Seriously – get personal. We have tons of data at our fingertips – not just name, address, and phone number, but member interests and meeting attendance history, too. We use the information to send truly personalized communications. We don’t just spit that data back out to the member. We don’t say, “You’ve been a member since X.” or “You have an interest in Y insect.” Instead, we try to show the involvement or engagement that the member has with the Society so it makes it more interesting and makes a deeper connection. It lets the member know that we know a little bit about them. For example, we can say something like, “You haven’t presented in or attended a past meeting, however, this upcoming meeting is in your backyard.” The message isn’t just, “You live in Maryland, so come to our Maryland meeting.” Or we may pull data on what order of insect they presented on the previous year and say, “Are you still working on Coleoptera? We’d love to hear about your latest research this year.” We are incorporating background specific to the member to help him (or her) come to the realization that they should take the call to action.

Collaborate. The piles of data that make it possible to get personal with our members could make things complicated. But we build hierarchies of our lists so we know which individual will receive which message (and they are removed from other messages as a result). We work as a team on all our communications. For example, when we’re planning a campaign, we discuss, the different messages we have planned and work together as a team on creative ways to use the data to both communicate our theme and hit home the desired response. We also recognize the value of the data we collect and share our analysis with other program areas of our organization. We’re all about sharing the power of our data.

Results. That’s what matters. Our results are way more than just pretty rows and columns. We have had the two largest annual meetings in the history of the Society since we started taking this approach two years ago. And our membership numbers are up. Thanks to our analytics, we know there’s a correlation to what we are doing here with personalization. We’re also staying engaged with members we previously might have lost – our student members. Now we push current student members into a transitional category to keep them engaged as they leave school and move on to careers in the science.

One interesting side benefit has been an increase in social media traffic. Since we started sending highly personalized postcards and emails, we are seeing more posts on and engagement through social media about them. For example, last year, using variable data, we sent out a postcard with a sticky note on a keyboard as the main image saying “XX, See You in Austin!” The sticky note was personalized to the member and included the Society’s president’s signature on it. Everyone thought they received a note just for them! Many members tweeted to us about this postcard. Another communication that was popular on Twitter involved a personalization about which insect the recipient had presented on the previous year. Again, people thought they were the only ones getting this highly personalized message. We have a fairly strong social media presence, but now it is more two-sided, rather than us just tweeting about upcoming events.

Pace yourself. We first started our personalization effort using simple identifiers like first name. Then we started including the member’s branch or section. In the past year, we’ve gotten much more creative, using a program that allows us to customize blocks of text and other variables. We use automation and set campaigns in motion that continue until we get the desired outcome (or the individual opts out). What’s most important is to get started and embrace the concept of personalization.

“Don’t bite off more than you can chew” is our mantra around the office. Along the same vein, it’s important to “eat what you have.” You likely have far more data than you realize. It’s important to use what you have. You very possibly already have the nuts and bolts in your AMS to get out really solid personalized messages. And be sure to look at all the different databases that your organization has in place. For example, the Entomological Society of America has a member database and a scientific database (for capturing submissions for our meetings). We also have an author submission database. All of these databases provide a wealth of information. This gives us lots of fodder for customized messages. There are all kinds of little pieces of data that are often overlooked but can drive really personalized messages.

At the end of the day, don’t forget to evaluate. One of the most important questions to ask is, “Is it working for us?” The sky’s the limit with regard to personalization. You can put as much time and as much data into your communications as you have resources to allocate. But keep an eye on your messages’ individual ROI. Gauge how many opens, click-throughs, and responses to calls to action you are generating considering your investments of time, resources, and staff. Certainly you want to put in enough energy to get your members to take action and engage, but not more than is necessary to achieve your goals.