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.