Print placement: How to appeal to new readers and advertisers

31 May, 2017

Print is not dead. As newsstand sales fall, smart publishers are turning to print placements to reach new readers and appeal to advertisers.

Any marketer will tell you, there are three Ps in marketing: product, price and place. Getting the product right is only part of the battle, particularly when it comes to publishing. In this digital age, producing a great magazine, newspaper or branded content is the easy part; determining where to find the right readers and how much to sell your product for are far greater challenges.

Place and price are inextricably linked. Newsstand sales are in steep decline the world over. North American magazine newsstand sales fell a whopping 52.4% between 2011 and 2016 [MagNet]. UK consumer magazine readership contracted 5.6% last year, driven primarily by sliding sales through traditional news outlets [ABC]. As a result of this, and the wealth of free content just a click away online, publishers are slashing subscription prices.

These may seem like desperate times, but publishers need not resort to such desperate measures, says Stefan Ramseier, head of sales and logistics at distribution specialist Asendia Press EDS. There is another way: the placement of free print issues in specified locations to reach a publication’s (and advertisers) target readers. Here Stefan explains how publishers can use print placement to appeal to new readers and advertisers…

Where are your readers?

A fundamental question. As a press specialist, we primarily come from a newsstand distribution point of view. Everyone knows that this is not the best market to grow in at the moment, with reader numbers stagnating or in decline. Whether it’s classic publishing houses pressing to get new subscribers or readers, or branded publications looking to reach potential customers, the challenge is the same: to find new touchpoints. They need to be looking at every possible channel.

Consider who your readers are and where they are likely to have time to browse a publication. Based on this profile, touchpoints can be identified. For example, hotels, restaurants, garages and banks may prove successful for lifestyle magazines – these are classic touchpoints – and high-class branded publications may identify airport lounges. For example, we distribute a high-end watch manufacturer’s brochures to such places.

Clearly careful thought is required; it makes little sense to place a special interest mountain sports magazine in luxury hotels, for example. Three to five star hotels campsites in mountain areas would make better sense. By choosing the right location, you are allowing yourself to be more exposed to your readers and potential customers.

Let your magazine do your marketing!

So, with newsstand sales declining, magazine publishers need to do get their products in people’s hands. For high-class magazines and branded publications it is particularly important – it’s a question of feeling the product as much as it is reading it. We don’t recommend neglecting classic advertising tools such as telephone marketing and direct marketing and promotions, but why not use the product as the marketing tool? The best advertising for your magazine is your magazine!

Weigh up cost versus reward

There are clear cost savings to be had by using your magazine or branded publication as another marketing tool, chiefly because it allows you to avoid any additional fixed costs in having supplementary marketing material printed. Let’s say you have 10,000 pieces printed in a normal print run; having 1,000 pieces more is going to be much the same. It won’t take a huge investment because you have already paid the fixed costs of that run.

Of course, publishers need to work out exactly how many pieces they need and where they need to go. Other considerations include the amount of space provided for the product at touchpoints and collection of old issues. This will all have a bearing on price. If you’re distributing your product to locations in Europe, the costs will be moderate. The further afield you go, the higher the cost. Clearly, you have to weigh up the cost versus the potential reward.

For companies placing branded material, the payoff is clear: greater exposure to potential customers. For classic publishing houses, this solution results in larger production volumes, allowing them to negotiate better prices with their advertisers. They are interested in this solution because it allows them to prove that they are reaching the right readers for their advertisers by placing their product exactly where these people will be.

Therefore, they appeal to new readers and advertisers. What’s not to like about that? To find out more about Asendia’s press and publishing solutions, click here.


Stefan Ramseier

Head of Sales & Logistics, Asendia Press EDS