When the economic outlook is uncertain, companies tend to be conservative with marketing budgets. But, according to research from Imagination Publishing, a non-traditional, customised publishing programme builds better customer relationships and provides a better ROI than traditional direct marketing campaigns.
A customised publishing programme produces magazines with original content, tailored to the interests of the customer base. It could, for example, include a print magazine, an allied 'web-zine', and an e-mail newsletter that work together to increase both brand loyalty and product awareness.
Apart from building a more relevant dialogue and relationship with the customer base, a major aim of such an initiative is to increase cross-sales and up-selling by making existing customers aware of related products and services, and bigger, alternative products.
"Our experience shows measurable returns of 8 - 50 times the investment," said James Meyers, president of Imagination Publishing. "Across the board, our magazine clients have reported that custom publishing yields better results than direct mail, which generally has a response rate of around 2% to 3%."
The idea has obvious benefits for those companies that are focused on generating business from existing customers rather than on spending to acquire new customers.
A well written custom magazine can demonstrate to the customer that the company understands their needs as a consumer, building a feeling of trust, while also raising the company's profile in the minds of consumers.