CPC says custom publishing more powerful than ever

A new study from Roper Public Affairs and the Custom Publishing Council (CPC) reports that custom magazines and other custom media have increased in popularity and influence since 2005.

According to the study, conducted via telephone with 1000 adult Americans in February-March 2009, 70% of respondents said they liked custom publications, and 59% at least occasionally page through printed custom publications.

In addition, 2/3 of respondents said they were likely to buy from the same company that provided a custom publication, and nearly that number (63%) said they had bought something they saw in a custom publication. Nearly ¾ of respondents preferred getting information on companies from “an interesting collection of articles” to getting the same information from advertisements, and 78% believe that companies that send custom publications are interested in building strong relationships with customers.  

“It reinforces the point we’ve been trying to make to marketers throughout the recession, which is that if you really want to stay afloat and want a cost-efficient and cost-effective method to do that, custom publishing is a vehicle that you should use,” said Mike Winkleman, chairman of the CPC. “We found that ¾ of people would prefer to learn about companies through a custom magazine than an ad, and since custom publishing is more efficient than an ad, marketers might as well put their money in custom publishing.”

Electronic custom media are also coming into their own, though they still lag behind print. Thirty-six percent of respondents said they look at electronic custom publications occasionally or more often.

There is an age difference in the print v. electronic preferences. While only 45% of the total survey group said that electronic custom publications provide a valuable service, 57% of those 18-34 said so.

In an interesting twist, considering the current rough patch in the print industry, most of the positive numbers on custom publishing have increased since the study was last conducted in 2005.

“Four years later, custom publishing has grown in terms of acceptance, recognition, and from an ROI perspective,” Winkleman pointed out. “All of that increased generally on order of around 6 points, and that was exciting because that’s the thing we need to be able to tell marketers: that not only do people like custom publishing and read it, but that they take action.”

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