Tag Archives: direct marketing

Is Print Dead? Not According to These Magazines

With the proliferation of online information, Web sites, blogs, and ecommerce, it can be easy to underestimate the still powerful impact of the written word on paper. Far from being dead, print is re-emerging in new ways, new industries, and reaching select target markets. Some of the new magazines may surprise you. Companies that do business online are now using print publications to reach customers and explain their businesses, as well as entice customers to continue to buy from the online companies.

The companies producing these new magazines cover a number of area that may surprise you; lifestyle, pet care, travel, food, and more. Brands that have introduced new magazines include Bumble, Dollar Shave Club, Casper, and Airbnb. The publications are a way to expand the brand’s reach and retain customers’ interest. After all, when reading online, there are continual interruptions with pop-up ads, videos, and other digital noise. Compared to that, a print magazine seems like a soothing way to relax and explore new topics at our leisure.

The approach is not always an easy one for companies. According to Pew Research, roughly 93% of Americans not get some level of news online. However, this hasn’t stopped companies – in 2017 there were 134 new print magazines launched. These magazines tend to be focused on specific niches and target markets where consumers have focused queries and interests. Not everyone wants to read about puppies, or international travel, or music. But for the customers who do want that depth, magazines provide information and escape.

What do you want to read?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who reads magazines? Which ones, and why?
  2. Show some of the new magazines available:

Bumble mag: https://bumble.com/the-buzz/introducing-bumble-mag

Away: https://www.awaytravel.com/here-magazine

Casper: https://casper.com/woolly-magazine/

DSC: https://www.dollarshaveclub.com/content/story/author/melmag

Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.com/magazine

  1. Divide students into teams. Have each team examine a publication (online).
  2. Who is the target market?
  3. When do magazines make sense?
  4. Each team should next select a brand/company that might use a print magazine. For this company, have teams develop a magazine concept: Target market, editorial focus, possible articles, advertisers, etc.

Source: Jerde, S. (6 May 2019). Who said print was dead? What’s behind the proliferation of new titles. Advertising Age.

 

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Fund-Raising with Healthy Options

We can usually tell when it is fund-raising season for schools and sports. Kids stop by houses and businesses, selling chocolate bars and other items to help fund a variety of programs and causes. And, although we happily buy and eat the candy, there can be some regrets over the empty calories, and the lack of sales going to local businesses. Wouldn’t it be better to offer healthy alternatives, and support local businesses? Of course! Enter a new company: FarmRaiser – connects fundraising groups with local products and foods.

FarmRaiser was founded in Michigan with a mission to connect local farmers and food artisans with schools, athletic teams, bands, and other causes. Vendors must meet standards for sustainable practices, and artisan products that do NOT list sugar as the first ingredient are welcome. The company states that “if a product has more than five or six ingredients, and if any of them are ones your grandma wouldn’t recognize it doesn’t make the cut.”

Campaigns are customized by working with a FarmRaiser “cultivator” to help determine fund-raiser goals, local products, and vendors. Each campaign also gets its own Web page on FarmRaiser.com. The company estimates that 85% of funds raised stays in the community; the average profit margin is 53% for the groups. The process is straightforward: once the cause is registered, FarmRaiser helps create a custom online and mobile market. At the end of the sale period, students help distribute the produce and products to their customers. Groups can choose various products and goods from multiple regions. Try combining Michigan cherries, with Texas Salsa.

What sounds good to you?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the fundraising activities that students might have done. Discuss what was it about, proceeds, products, process, etc.
  2. Introduce the topic of changing the product mix and sales process.
  3. Show a video about the company: https://vimeo.com/147806697
  4. Show Web site: https://www.farmraiser.com/
  5. Divide students into team. Have each team select a cause and develop a product set.
  6. Set SMART objectives for the company.

Source: Rieth, D. (Summer 2018). Home field advantage. Edible Michiana.

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Daily Emails Swamp Inboxes

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Have you noticed the volume of emails from retailers lately? Check you inbox. Count the number of emails from retailers that contain offers, sales, promotions, and reminders. Customers are getting more emails than ever before and it is easy to understand what is behind the increased volume; according to the Direct Marketing Association, email offers and reminders generate an average of $39.40 in sales per dollar of advertising.

Although most consumers like to be notified about a new deal or sale, they also don’t want to be annoyed or have mailboxes fill up with solicitations. When retailers over-do it with emails, consumers retaliate by opting-out of all communications with a retailer and its partners. The result is that retailers are now employing more sophisticated techniques and strategies, and are targeting customers with information that is of interest to them instead of sending out bulk emails.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, tailored emails can outperform social media for driving consumer action. One key to success is having the email and message be relevant to the individual consumer, but without overkill on frequency lest the consumer hits the “opt-out” button for future communications. To keep their email distribution high, many companies are adding addresses by asking customers for their email address when checking out at the brick-and-mortar stores, offering to send receipts via email as well as upcoming offers and deals.

 

Check your email – what is in your in-box today?

 

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

 

  1.  Have students save all the email offers that they receive. (Can do this for a week, month, or make it a semester-long project.)
  2. What are the emails? Offers?
  3. Were there items that were in shopping cart but not purchased?
  4. Were there new offers from retailers that you have never shopped at before?
  5. What are the main messages? Are these effective?
  6. How can companies increase their email distribution lists?

 

Source:  Minneapolis Star Tribune, 12/18/2012

 

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