Spoilt for choice: What it’s like working with marketing experts

We don’t all sit in an office filled with creatives, but I do, and sometimes I forget how lucky I am to just be able to have something produced to help get my message across. The other day we were talking about how helpful a video would be to explain how speed networking works at our conferences. I put some ideas together and mocked up something that was, in all honesty, pretty terrible, then asked my video expert to take over. Next minute we’ve got an instructional video complete with moving graphics, smooth transitions and a professional voiceover. This kind of stuff happens all the time as my newly designed business cards will show you. We’re pitching for a new client? The design team turn my somewhat boring text into a colourful, easy-to-read, well laid out masterpiece. Need to [...]

How to reach the right audience

In business, there’s a big difference in the value between being seen by a lot of people, and being seen by the right people. You should have a clear description of who your ideal customer is, then you need to work out where they are and how you can access them. Reaching fewer people, but people who are actually your target audience, is far more valuable than advertising to a huge number of people who have little interest in your products or services. If you can find a publication or a way to reach you target audience on a large scale then you’ve hit the jackpot. It’s not easy, but it is possible to get your message in front of the right people. You just need to do your homework. Before you decide where and how to spend your marketing budget, take the time to [...]

Using content to convert

The written word is a powerful tool to convey a message. These days you have a lot of options around where you can share a story to enhance your business. Let’s look at what content works best to market your business in print, online and beyond. There’s a place for traditional magazine advertising, particularly when brand awareness is the goal. One drawback of a standard advertisement in a magazine is that there is a limit to what you can say through your logo, an image and some text that highlights your key points. It’s valuable, sure, especially as part of an overall marketing campaign, but results are enhanced by also sharing longer written content. What can words do that an ad can’t? Well-written content can reach the heart and mind of consumers in a way an advertisement never could. Words can take your reader on [...]

Words or pictures? How to make the most of print space

Buying space in a magazine is exciting. Knowing that your brand, image or story will hold pride of place in a physical publication means something. There’s a prestige associated with appearing in print; a kind of shine that digital has never truly been able to capture. Once you’ve decided on buying space in a print magazine, you should put some thought into what you want to achieve from that space, and your goals will then direct how to make the most of the space. Advertisements help build your brand If brand recognition and familiarity are your goals, a good looking print advertisement can help you stick in the mind of current and potential customers. You can highlight the key features of your business, product or services, but it’s not the forum for an in-depth description of everything you offer. Advertisements that try to tell the [...]

How print and digital marketing can be friends

Digital marketing is often seen as the cool younger cousin of traditional print advertising, but that doesn’t mean there’s no place for some good old ink on paper in your marketing efforts. Whether it’s a display ad or some editorial content, combining the forces of digital with print is often a winning formula. You know the taco ad where the family are arguing about whether they should have hard or soft tacos and the little girl cleverly points out they could have both? Working across print and digital marketing sometimes feels like you’re dealing with that crazy family steadfastly arguing for their own preferred medium. Like the happy family who settle on a mix of soft and hard tacos, successful marketing campaigns often utilise both print and digital ads to get their message out there. There is no ‘best way’ when it comes to marketing [...]

Did Facebook just kill the internet with a print magazine?

In what at first glance looks like a sign that the world has gone mad, Facebook recently released a print magazine called Grow. Facebook tells us it’s a logical step that stemmed from business executive events it has been holding in the UK. We already knew that sometimes a screen just doesn’t cut it. The Grow magazine is apparently filled with in-depth interviews and spotlights on certain businesses and leaders. Facebook will not only send a free copy to those who attended their executive conferences, but make copies available in airport lounges and train stations. Despite initially calling it a magazine, Facebook has backtracked a little to claim it’s actually a marketing programme. If it looks like a magazine and has pages like a magazine; it’s a magazine. It also says so on the cover, but Facebook tells us it’s more of a “thought leadership [...]

Comparing apples and oranges: readers vs subscribers explained

When comparing magazines you might get offered conflicting figures on readers and subscribers. These are two very different things, so it’s important to understand the difference and make sure you’re comparing apples with apples, and oranges with oranges. This is because readers and subscribers are two different ways of looking at a publication’s circulation. Much like apples and oranges, when you know what the differences are you’ll be able to tell them apart and make sure you’re comparing the same thing. So let’s break down the differences between the two. A publication's readership represents the likely reach of a publication. This is usually calculated by contacting a representative sample of people and asking how many people read a single copy of a publication. Subscribers on the other hand represent the sale or distribution of one copy of a publication. Each subscriber represents one actual physical [...]

Are you a digital dinosaur?

The other day I was in cafe reading the latest issue of my favourite print magazine when a hipster pushed past three tables and brandished his 4th-generation, colour 60G iPod in my face as he imparted a nugget of wisdom that presumably had been causing too much pain to keep to himself: “Print is dead.” “I beg your pardon,” I replied, thinking I may have misheard “Prince” and the man was informing me, belatedly, of the pop star’s demise. “Print is dead; it’s all digital now,” he repeated, with smug certainty. He looked pointedly down at my magazine, and then, perhaps with a hint of disappointment that it didn’t blink out of existence upon his proclamation, stomped off as gracelessly as he had come. A woman sitting near me looked up from her morning paper and her iPhone-tethered laptop and shook her head sympathetically, saying, [...]

How to catch a magazine lying about circulation

In a hopelessly comma-heavy, coma-inducing and tediously legalistic way, numerous Australian laws state that it is illegal for a publication (or any company) to lie about the size of its audience (or anything, really) to get advertisers (or any kind of investment). But does that stop some of these publications? Nope. Suppose my friend, Kevin, has a mannequin repair business and is contacted by a publication, Missing Limb Monthly, claiming to have a circulation of 5200. Kevin has never heard of the publication (red flag!) and when he asks about an audit he is given the runaround (abort! abort!). Kevin is not sure but eventually they call back and give him a really good deal – a discount from the asking price of $4950 for a two-page ad down to $1500 – so he ends up advertising with them. But a few months down the [...]

Publishers need to stop whingeing and start adapting

If a new competitor enters the market and succeeds where other businesses are failing, they have two options: either close up shop or compete. The Victorian Government is considering a third option for taxi drivers who have been losing money to uber, placing a $2 levy on all rides to compensate taxi drivers for the disruption to the industry. I’d suggest a levy on all digital ads to bail out newspapers, but I’m worried the Government would actually take me seriously. Businesses don’t get bailouts if there’s someone doing something better than you. There isn’t one for publishers, and frankly, there shouldn’t be. While news reports signal the fall of the publishing industry, the fact is that all business is challenging. Have publishers actually been hit harder than anyone else? If you’re selling a car ride service and someone else comes along offering customers exactly [...]