Over the weekend, I was again reminded that the term “custom publishing” conjures up a variety of definitions and rarely the right one. The Custom Publishing Council uses this definition:
“Custom publishing marries the marketing ambitions of a company with the information needs of its target audience. This occurs through the delivery of editorial content–via print, Internet, and other media–so intrinsically valuable that it moves the recipient’s behavior in a desired direction.”
You’ve no doubt seen examples (aside from ours, of course) and didn’t even know it. Costco, AARP and AAA all have well read examples of a custom magazine. These publications are information packed and well written. They provide you with information about their products in an inviting and fun environment. Their goal, and in these cases they’ve succeeded, is to put them at the top of your mind when you think of the type of products they offer.
As you start to become more aware, you’ll see examples often. Maybe you’ve seen a special lifestyle magazine at your bank, or a health related one at your doctor’s office. For years, company and organization newsletters played the role of custom publishing without the designation.
Blogs (such as the Eagle Publishing one you’re reading right now!) are one of the newest and most exciting examples of custom publishing. The internet provides ready answers to every question we can think of and we’ve come to depend on to fulfill many needs in our daily lives.
Gone are the days when a standard display ad is enough. I say that hesitantly, as advertising in print media is what supported my family for years and brought me to where I am in business today. And, I am still and likely will be for years to come, a reader of magazines. Fact of the matter is, though, the average display ad in a magazine has the eye of the beholder for two seconds—about as long as it takes to say custom publishing. For the same dollars spent, a custom campaign has the potential for you to spend hours with your customer one on one. Which one do you think will benefit your company most and give you the best return on your investment?
Custom publishing is a win win for all involved. Companies are able to reach out to their existing and potential customers in a friendly, relevant environment. On the flipside, the reader has access to volumes of information that can help improve their lives, give them pleasure and allow them to learn more about a company they may want to do business with.
It’s been a win win for me, too. Being the info-holic I am, I’m learning new things every day as we journey confidently into the realm of custom publishing. I love it!