Are short-run publications right for your marketing mix?

Are you an internet retailer with a big catalog? Are you an association or non-profit relying on e-mail and your website for customer communications? How has the response been from those efforts? If you’re like most people, you are probably wondering how to bring more value to your members or customer base and, in turn, increase loyalty and revenues. If so, short-run targeted publications may be the answer.

First, let me say that short-run pubs aren’t for everyone. However, if you’re an internet retailer relying on your catalog and weekly e-mail specials to get you to loyalty heaven, then keep dreaming. Most people likely regret signing up for those e-mail alerts because their mailboxes are full of offers they’ll never read. It’s just another time consuming task to clean up ‘junk mail’ and it’s certainly not building customer loyalty.

In many cases, short-run publications are a better form of target marketing. By analyzing customer data, you can create several smaller, more-targeted catalogs to improve response rates and increase customer loyalty. In today’s market, you need to engage your customer base with relevant information and offers. It has to be something that they are interested in reading.

Associations and non-profits have always understood the value of short-run publications. However, many have stopped printing them because it’s cheaper to put everything online. I can’t argue with the traditional economics of online vs. print. But, when you look at the value of having it both in-print and online, there’s a compounding effect in terms of delivering value and building relevancy – which results in improved customer loyalty.

Many associations are struggling to find relevance in this new age of technology that allows anyone to create their own social and professional networks, and where information is freely available on the web. How do you compete? Short-run publications are part of the answer. They can be time-consuming and expensive, but an organization like The Strathmore Company can help you create them and then offset the costs with advertising. So there’s no excuse for not putting one out.

If you’re trying to build long-term loyalty and additional revenue from your existing customer or member base, then short-run publications are certainly something to consider. If you are worried about the costs, please call one of our reps and see what ideas we have for you. If you have already made up your mind to create one, then you are on the road to loyalty heaven and I wish you all the best!

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