Branded publishing

Strategic Uses of Branded Magazines

When you hear the term “branded magazines,” your first thought is probably of print magazines that are customized with an organization’s name and sent out to a mailing list. That’s a pretty accurate assessment—but it isn’t a complete picture.

We’ve pointed out how print is a powerful medium that lets companies keep their messaging from getting drowned in the fast-moving river of digital content. Because digital content is free (or nearly free) to create and distribute, everyone’s doing it. But how much of that content actually gets noticed? If you think about how quickly you yourself hit the delete key whenever an advertisement lands in your own inbox, you’ll realize that everyone else is doing the same thing. We’re inundated with digital content these days and barely notice most of it—and that’s why print media can stand out.

But when some bit of digital content does catch your eye, how much of an impression does it make on you? Thanks to haptics, print media has a huge leg up on digital media in this regard: the act of physically handling the content vehicle (a printed magazine) increases the reader’s engagement with it and ability to retain the messaging.

Clearly, getting print magazines into the hands of clients and prospects is a great way for your company to connect with those audiences. A printed piece that arrives in the mail can have a powerful impact!

But don’t rely solely on the mail to get the job done. Remember, businesses are built on relationships—and successful companies work constantly at creating and strengthening relationships with their clients, prospects, and other target audiences. And one of the most effective tools for working on a relationship is direct, person-to-person contact.

No doubt you already know the impact of an in-person visit—with a handshake, eye contact, and time spent together in the same space. Now imagine making that visit with branded magazines in hand.

We’ve long suggested using branded magazines as marketing tools for in-person sales calls. At a professional conference last fall, we met with a client who does just that. One of the tools her organization’s sales team highlights in its market engagement is its branded version of our bimonthly hard-copy magazine HR Insights.

The sales team loves the magazine because it gives them a reason to visit their clients. Hand delivering the latest issue gets them in the door and having a conversation. In-person visits are a time-tested method for maintaining business relationships—and one that especially stands out in an era of mass communications.

Companies also know that in order to maintain their business relationships, they must continue to add value beyond the staffing they provide. Sometimes, this takes the form of positioning themselves as innovators, sharing information about industry-specific trends, or informing clients about relevant legislative updates, for example. Sending this information to clients through the mail in a branded magazine already distinguishes those companies from those that rely exclusively on digital mass mailings. Delivering that information in person sets that apart from the competition even more.

Would you like to learn more about how your organization can leverage branded magazines as outreach tools by incorporating them into in-person visits? Mamu Media can help you develop effective strategies for this. Contact us to find out how!

Print is Back, Baby!

The numbers are in and the main media outlets agree with us: print is back, baby!

Even as e-readers surged in popularity over the past decade, they never dominated the media market and in fact e-book sales have actually fallen lately. A recent New York Times article, “The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far from Dead,” points out that “while analysts once predicted that e-books would overtake print by 2015, digital sales have instead slowed sharply.”

In short, even as pundits were busily crowing about the demise of print media, it has remained very much alive and kicking.

The rise in pricing for some e-books accounts for some, but not all, of the downward trend in e-books. Another noteworthy factor—and one that applies to digital media across the board, not just to e-books—is that many people just like paper better. In fact, research indicates that at least one demographic group that might be expected to skew toward digital media, “young readers who are digital natives,” actually “still prefer reading on paper.


I’ve covered this territory here before, explaining how print communications are more memorable than digital ones, not least because of the ability of words on paper to connect with and engage readers more than blips on a screen.

But don’t just take my word for it (or put all of your faith in what scholars have said on the subject). Think about your own relationship with print. Even if you are a diehard e-book reader, I bet you still have some paper media around that means something to you.

Your marriage certificate, a birthday card your kid made for you, the handwritten notes your dad packed in your school lunches during your childhood, ticket stubs from a concert by your favorite band, newspaper clippings about when your team won the championship game—those are the kinds of things you keep and treasure. But how often do you dig through your e-mail to find the link to the online e-card someone sent you a couple of years ago? When is the last time you found a digital communication to be deeply meaningful to you?

Think of a particular medium as a vessel for a message. It’s the container that communicates something from the author to the reader. And as Craig Mod points out:

Containers matter. They shape stories and the experience of stories. Choose the right binding, cloth, trim size, texture of paper, margins, and ink, and you will strengthen the bond between reader and text. Choose badly and the object becomes a wedge between reader and text.

Digital media has been amazingly effective at reaching large numbers of people quickly, easily, and inexpensively. But what good is that reach if it has no lasting effect and endures only briefly? Or if it never meets its target at all but rather gets drowned out in an electronic cacophony of countless other messages competing for attention?

If you’re taking the time to craft a message, then make the effort to communicate it effectively. Before you send your words out into the world, be sure to choose the best container for them.

“Pickls” and Post-its: The Staying Power of Print

When I walked into the office today, my gaze landed on a yellow Post-it note that’s been stuck on the wall next to my desk for well over a year:

i Love my Dad more then Pickls

My daughter, who is a huge fan of pickles, wrote that two years ago, and I still smile every time I see it.

She now knows how to spell pickles correctly. She still writes me cute notes every once in a while, but now she sends them as texts via an app on her Kindle. Seeing that Post-it this morning make me realize that I haven’t printed or saved any of them—not even the ones loaded with emoticons. What does this say about the relative value of analogue connections?

Even though the Internet and digital media enable us to connect more easily with friends, family, and customers anywhere in the world, those connections have a different “feel” than those with a physical component, such as face-to-face meetings, handwritten letters, and high-quality printed marketing pieces that arrive via snail mail.

The theory of haptics goes a long way toward explaining why we interact with print differently from how we interact with digital media. We pay attention to and engage with print more than we do with digital, too. And when compared with digital media, physical items have unrivaled staying power in our lives. We cherish the Post-its and birthday cards but often delete texts without a second thought.

That’s why, two years after my daughter wrote it, I still have the little square of yellow paper with her handwritten comparison of me and “Pickls” on it. That’s why people have shoeboxes full of old love letters. That’s why, even in this age of quick and easy photo sharing through Instagram and Facebook, people still love to send—and receive—printed vacation postcards.

And that’s why well-designed, high-quality print media such as branded magazines can have a huge positive impact on your communication efforts. People connect with print. And as I’ve pointed out before, “Magazines have staying power—both on people’s minds and on their desks.”

True, branded magazines rarely include heartfelt sentiments about parents and preserved vegetables. But they do contain information that’s of value to your customers and prospects—and it’s delivered in a format that’s appealing, engaging, and memorable. If you give branded magazines a try, you may find that you like them just as much as (or even more than) you like “Pickls”!




Mamu Media Launches a New Magazine

Think back to the last time you were on the hunt for a new job. Did you send in the exact same resume, executive summary, and objective for each and every position you applied for? Probably not. I’m guessing that you crafted an application specifically for each one.

If you’ve spent any time in the job sector (especially in recruiting or any other HR discipline), you know that searching for a job requires marketing yourself. You need to identify the opportunities for which you’re a good fit and sell yourself specifically to those positions.

At Mamu Media, we understand the importance of tailoring a message to its audience. When we launched our company and our branded magazine, HR Insights, we identified our target customers: temporary staffing companies that, in addition to managers and business owners, called on HR professionals to market their services. With that audience in mind, we built the magazine around broad topics with a focus on workforce management.

We also understand that to be successful in staffing sales, staffing firms need to develop relationships throughout a client company—with office managers, recruiters, HR managers, business owners, directors, department heads, operations managers, HR leaders, warehouse managers, and more. With such diversity among their audiences, staffing firms can’t expect to use the same message with each one. They need to tailor their message to each audience.

To meet this need for customizable messaging, over the course of the next year Mamu Media will be expanding our range of branded publications. We’ll be introducing versions that will help our clients appeal to audiences that hire for specific areas, such as IT, finance, light industrial, and health care.

We’re excited to announce the launch of the first of these new magazines: Labor & Industrial Insights. This publication addresses the needs and interests of hiring managers and companies that hire for light industrial positions. All of the content will be written with a light industrial audience in mind and will cover topics such as workplace safety, OSHA updates, workforce management, and management tips.

Take a look at a sample of Labor & Industrial Insights. Does it look like something that can help you with your marketing efforts? If so, let’s talk!





Sales Management: Improve Your Numbers through Branded Publishing

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

—Henry Ford 

Last week, I met with one of Mamu Media’s prospects who, though he’s been sharing in the staffing industry’s recent success and growth, has not been able to push his firm over the $25 million threshold. Some might say that he’s not doing too badly for himself. Like most entrepreneurs, however, he knows that his business can be in only one of two states: growing or dying. And flat sales from one quarter to the next means that he’s lost out on opportunities for growth.

He founded his company about a decade ago, after leaving one of the large national firms. Immediately after setting up his own shop, he started deploying the tactics that had made him wildly successful at the national firm and worked his sales strategy purely by the numbers: x calls —> y meetings —> z orders. Because the sales were good over the years, he had seen no need to deviate from this formula. Unfortunately, although his numbers were decent, they were also stagnant.

During our meeting we spent some time discussing his business development model. On the surface he seemed to be doing everything right. He had a dedicated sales team and a good grasp of social media. He sponsored local networking events, supported by a great recruiting team that sourced leads and also did some selling on their own. Clearly, he’d already figured out the importance of active sales management.

I asked him, “When was the last time you stepped back to evaluate your business-development strategy? And I mean really take a look at it to see what works and what doesn’t work—and what you can do differently?”

His response? “Never.”

In Sales Growth: Five Proven Strategies from the World’s Sales Leaders, Thomas Baumgartner and his coauthors interviewed over 120 global sales executives and learned that those with business strategies that prioritized sales management outperformed (by leaps and bounds) their competitors who didn’t. My prospect, who already had some terrific sales management practices in place, was already reaping their benefits. To increase his numbers, however, he needed to do more. And that’s why he was talking with me.

Although sales management is essential to run a business effectively, the top leaders in any field do more than just manage the process. They constantly innovate and come up with strategies to improve on their people and processes.

With this in mind, I believe there are only three ways to grow a business:

  • Add more customers (through new sales, new products, or acquisitions)

  • Take a share-of-wallet approach by asking current customers to buy more often or to increase their order sizes

  • Prioritize client retention and turn each new customer into a lifelong partner

The most successful companies are those that have mastered all three of those strategies.

During my meeting with the prospect, I suggested that he use Mamu Media’s branded publishing services to help him implement those strategies. I explained how print magazines are especially effective because of their message longevity, relevance, customization possibilities, and reach (especially when compared to other print and digital media). This format would enable him to stay in front of multiple target groups: clients, prospects, and dormant or sporadic accounts—and form new and stronger connections with them.

The result of our conversation? The prospect became a client! After I demonstrated just how effective branded publishing can be in promoting business growth, he was convinced to give it a try. I’m confident he’ll be thrilled to see how effective these publications can be in helping him implement successful growth strategies—and equally delighted to see his company’s flat numbers go up, up, up!