Pitney Bowes Magazine Fuels Partner Programs
The magazine "was originally a communication tool for our small-business customers, designed to bring unique ideas to [them] to help them grow their businesses," said Carlene Armetta, vice president, partnership development, Pitney Bowes Small Business Solutions. "But over the past year, we have integrated [the magazine] into our overall marketing program that we provide to partners."
The magazine, produced by Washington-based custom publisher the Magazine Group along with internal staff, mails to 720,000 small businesses in the United States with revenue of up to $3 million. About 4,000 copies go to shuttle airlines. Industries include healthcare, engineering, law, accounting, real estate, advertising, construction, landscaping, equipment rental/leasing, computer programming and insurance.
Instead of just advertising in the magazine, for example, PB's partners can "build an integrated marketing campaign with Pitney Bowes," Armetta said. "They can have access to PB customers via e-mail, they can use direct mail or an insert program to reach them, and they can have access to [our] small-business Web site, PitneyWorks.com."
PB has shifted its strategy from "going out and trying to get advertisers to advertise in the publication to explaining to agencies and clients that we not only have a magazine that they can advertise in, but that we have other channels they can access as well."
Companies that have advertised in the publication include IBM, Sprint, Dell, the U.S. Postal Service, Brother International and Discover.
Pitney Bowes also has done reciprocal programs with these advertisers. IBM has run ads offering discounts on IBM equipment as well as e-mail campaigns and statement inserts also promoting the discounts. In return, Pitney Bowes gained access to IBM's small-business customer base.
"So we'll do direct mail and some statement insert programs to IBM small-business customers so that we can try to acquire new customers," she said.
Armetta said that the publication's circulation trails only Fortune Small Business, which has about 1 million.