branded publishing

Strategic Uses of Branded Magazines

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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!

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

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”!

 

 

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Print in 2015: Alive and Kicking!

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Once digital marketing and media became mainstream communication vectors and proved their worth as cost-effective and easily-tracked ways to promote products and services, print did in fact experience a decline in popularity. But now, in 2015, we’re hearing a lot about the return of print. I wouldn’t call it a “comeback,” though, because in spite of what some pundits were saying, print never really went away. It’s been there all along—and what’s changed is that people are now realizing its full potential.

Right now, both retail B2C marketing and corporate B2B marketing are increasingly turning to print to reach their target audiences. Take a look at these examples of print magazine launches within just the past few months:

  • The payroll company ADP launched its own hard-copy magazine that sales teams can distribute to their clients and prospects. Full of custom content, it’s designed to keep CFOs, payroll managers, and HR leaders abreast of industry changes that affect their business.

  • Airbnb, a company that specializes in online accommodation bookings, launched Pineapple, a hard-copy magazine intended to help the company build stronger offline connections with its customers.

  • A leading technology company known almost exclusively for its online presence, CNET launched a hard-copy consumer-facing magazine that’s available both at traditional newsstands as well as at major department stores.

It’s not just magazines that are being printed in greater numbers. For example, J.C. Penney is set to bring back its famous print catalogue (which had been moved completely online five years ago). And at least one YouTube channel has created its own line of print books.

Why all this interest in print? Explanations abound, but most of them have one thing in common: haptics.

Haptic communication is communication through touch. Print has it … and digital media don’t. Clicking on a mouse or holding a mobile reader in your hands offers a completely different haptic experience than flipping through the pages of a book or magazine.

Forbes recognized the power of haptics a couple of years ago in an article titled “Print is dead? Not so fast,” which pointed to “tangibility” as one advantage that print has over digital media. Writing in Slate, Jack Schafer explains that, although he gets plenty of his information online, he found that he “started missing the blue Times bag on my lawn and the glossy goodness of the Sunday magazine” when he ended his subscription to the print New York Times. He adds, “While it’s a joy to carry 25 editions of The New Yorker and whole libraries of books on an iPad, for real reading satisfaction I still reach for the print editions.”

When they physically handle print media, people engage with it in ways that are impossible with digital media. Touching and turning pages helps readers absorb and retain messaging more effectively. And as I’ve discussed before, print has staying power: people tend to keep print media around a lot longer than digital media (which can be discarded with one keystroke).

If your organization isn’t already using print media as part of its messaging, now may be a good time to rethink your marketing strategy. More and more business powerhouses are recognizing the ability of print to connect with clients and prospects, and print publications—especially custom and branded magazines—are making a big impact in the marketplace. Don’t miss the opportunity to put print to work for your company, too!

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Mamu Media Launches a New Magazine

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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!

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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

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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!

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