Custom Publishing Tips

One of the prominent questions that I have been asked in my meetings with potential clients…

This has got to be one of the biggest issues that I have ever faced in the Indian custom media scenario. Eight out of ten times in every meeting with a potential client who is interested in custom publishing, I have been asked a certain question.

“If I launch a magazine, my intention is to see profits from month one (or month three). Can you make that happen?”

Every time someone asks me that, it makes me wonder if this potential client is interested in branding their company or trying to launch a new media house! Really, if making money is all that matters in launching an in-house magazine, then why not just start a mainstream publication. Why bother with an in-house publication?

I’ve also spoken with a significant number of potential clients outside of India too. And there’s a stark difference between the Indian market and the international one. Outside of India, the most common question that I hear is…

“If I launch a magazine, how will it help me brand my company, and what other benefits can I get from it?”

That question rings a beautiful monotone in my ears. I’m happy to hear it. A few clients do know the real advantage of an in-house magazine, and they are clear with what they want from the magazine. But I’m not trying to make some Indian companies look bad, but that’s life. It just shows the way we work. In India, we want results. And we want it now! Branding, building loyalty and creating brand awareness are crucial to any company. But these are intangible elements. And they need considerable time to take measurable strides. You can’t count these elements, and you really can’t call a custom magazine publisher, and ask him to show you results in a bank balance. But over time, there are other ways to see the innumerous results of an in-house magazine.

Speaking about the profitability of an in-house magazine, I must say that it is a definite possibility. Well, unless a specific company doesn’t want to include advertisements in its magazine. In my experience, I have seen that almost all in-house publications that have been produced by Confetti Media have reached a point of self-sustenance in less than a year’s time. Many of them even see an average profit of 200% on their production cost with every new issue. The only exception that I have seen is one of my earlier clients who needed a magazine more as a brand building initiative rather than as a revenue generating medium. But well, we all know our requirements and limitations.

So if you ever consider having your own in-house company magazine, which I think is an absolute necessity if you want to stay connected with your customers and increase evangelism, do ask yourself if you’re doing it just to make more money? Or are you using it to increase your brand value and your company’s customer satisfaction?

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