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By Rachel Ward

A Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the M.S. in Publishing degree at Pace University

Graduation Date: May 2013 Thesis Advisor: Professor Soares


Introduction..........3 History of Consumer Magazines.... 4 Background of Print Consumer Magazines in the 20th Century..5 Current State of Print Editions.6 Digital Devices and the Impact of Digital on Print..7 What is Consumer Marketing?........9 Newsstand Sales.......9 Direct Marketing Techniques....10 Key Industries in Consumer Marketing 11 Fulfillment Industry...11 Printing Industry12 United States Postal Service......13 Types of Direct Consumer Marketing Promotions....14 Direct Mail.14 Customer Retention...18 Insert Cards....19 Digital Marketing Promotions...20 Environmental Issues.21 Sustainability of Print and Environmental Certification....21 Recycling and Production Issues for Digital Devices23 Consumer Response to Marketing.24 Apprehension Towards Digital Marketing24 Perceived Value and Scope of Print Products....25 Business Model..26 Reasons for Dependence on Current Print Model.....27 A Happy Medium: The Hybrid of Print and Digital Promotions...28 Conclusion.30 Bibliography..32

Rachel Ward Introduction Consumer magazines are no longer limited to the printed page. Whether for pleasure or business, consumers can access their information from a myriad of sources. In the past few years, tablets, iPad apps, and smartphones have quickly become a contender for delivering the content once found only in the traditional, printed glossy. However, even though it seems as if the whole media-consuming world has shifted over to digital, there is still a market for consumer media in print formso long as the publisher knows their audience. Food Network Magazine, a Hearst publication, was launched as recently as 2009 (Dobrow 2009). Part of what made this particular venture

successful was that it launched across multiple platforms, including print and digital. In a white paper from Publishing Executive titled 23 Tips for Adapting From a Print-Centric to Cross-Platform World, Vicki Wellington, publisher of Food Network Magazine said, [p]eople thought the timing was crazy. However, as the article states, the publisher knew it was likely to work. Knowing your readers can help you decide what new products to build out and when (23 Tips for Adapting 2010). The ways in which publishers have marketed to consumers have also evolved from a full reliance on print to a hybrida veritable middle groundof print and digital depending on the customers preference. It is in this hybrid of print and digital that print marketing will be able to flourish in this digital age. Frank Verrill, President of Advanced Image Direct, a direct mail firm in California, argues that [t]he savvy marketer knows that print supports digital and vice versa (Hosford 2010, vol. 97). The emotional response garnered by a printed piece can often far outweigh the response gained from just another e-mail in someones inbox. In a consumer channel preference study done by

Rachel Ward 4 Epsilon Targeting, 60% of U.S. consumers reported an emotional boost from checking their physical mailbox for new mail (The Formula for Success 2011). Although some consumers may have turned to digital to access their content or to a bundled hybrid of print and digital, printed consumer advertising, in the form of direct mail campaigns, bill and renewal promotions, and insert cards, are still part of a viable, sustainable business model that is utilized, relied on, and valued by consumers and publishers alike.

History of Consumer Magazines Although printing has been around since the 15th century, magazines first took root in the United States in the 1700s. The first two American magazines were of a political nature (separate publications created by Andrew Bradford and Benjamin Franklin) but even so, they signified the beginning of what would become an integral medium to American and international culture. Most readers received their magazines through subscriptions. However, circulation for the first magazines was limited to the area in which a reader lived, not only for transportation purposes but because the postmen literally could only carry so much weight (Johnson and Prijatel 2007, 81). A postal law passed in 1794 helped to define the rates of magazine postage for publishers, allowing more magazines to start up (Ibid). From these humble beginnings to the end of the nineteenth century there would be over 3,300 magazines in circulation (Sumner and Rhoades 2010, 130-131). Nineteenth century magazines were expectedly more diverse than their eighteenth century counterparts. Magazines such as Harpers, The Atlantic Monthly, and Scribners

Rachel Ward appealed to the middle-class sensibilities of their readers instead of having a purely

political nature like their prototypes of the eighteenth century (Johnson and Prijatal 2007, 65). Scientific American is an example of a popular trade newspaper that became a monthly magazine that covered technology and scientific discoveries (and is still in existence today) (Ibid 64). A new reader base emerged as well. The average American housewife actually became a prime consumer of publications such as Ladies Home Journal and McCalls, magazines that catered to the liberated needs of middle-class women (Ibid 65). Indeed, even today, 19% of women read a magazine every day on average, compared to just 7% of men (Statistics Norway 2010). Background of Print Consumer Magazines in the 20th Century Consumer magazines came to play an important role in the average Americans life and this role has only increased as technology advanced. Going into the 20th century, a few key changes made greater circulation a possibility among readers. These included developments in transportation, an increase in postal mailing discounts, and developments in production technology, which increased the rate at which magazines were printed (Sumner and Rhoades 2006, 131). Another important advancement in the early 20th century was the standardization of compulsory education across all the states (Simpson 2004). Typically, those who were educated were those who read. So as education opportunities increased in this time period, so did the number of readers (Johnson and Prijtal 2007, 66). By 1918, compulsory education had become a national standard across the states (Simpson 2004). This standardization of education meant that not only were readers more widespread but that there was also more of a need in this market demographic for things to read, whether for pleasure or information.

Rachel Ward 6 As publishers learned more about their consumers, they could tailor content to fit their readers age, demographic, and most importantly, income level. This is what became known as audience specialization. George Horace Lorimer, editor of the quintessential, but now shuttered, Saturday Evening Post, said that the Post reached two classes of men: Men with income, and men who are going to have incomes, and the second is quite as important as the first to the advertiser (Johnson and Prijatel 2007, 6667). This realization of how influential a magazine can be is crucial to understanding how and why consumers, even today, read magazines or aspire to the lifestyle thats advertised. Magazines are there to inform, persuade, and entertain their readers. Anyone willing to invest in the cost of an issue or subscription is open to persuasion. The 20th century magazine became the symbol of education, money, and aspiration. The finer things in lifefrom fashion to a better job to traveling to exotic placescould all be found within their pages. Not only did magazines provide useful information for readers lives but they could help readers aspire to even fuller lives (be it financially, emotionally, or physically), a key driving incentive for the publisher to provide desired content. Current State of Print Editions From their beginnings as conveyors of political essays to their role in the twentieth century of fashion and travel inspiration, the place of magazines in modern times is still as relevant as ever. Esquire and Cosmopolitan are two magazines that have a strong basis in print that are still successful today in the same form. Esquire magazine, which was founded in 1933 (Lawrence 2004), has a current rate base of 700,000 (Esquire, Rate Base Information 2012). Cosmopolitan, another Hearst magazine staple with a current rate base of 3,000,000 (Cosmopolitan, Rate Base Information 2012), was

Rachel Ward 7 founded in 1886 (McGuire 2010). Both have withstood the test of time and have evolved from print to digital editions and apps. In 2012, Cosmopolitan became the first Hearst brand to surpass 100,000 digital-only subscribers (Cosmopolitan Exceeds 2012). In the case of Cosmopolitan, the content has evolved in that its become one of the quintessential womens magazines. While it can be somewhat divisive among certain groups for its questionably racy and liberal approach, this has also made it a staple in our society. In this sense, consumer magazines are not always fluff when it comes to their content: Cosmopolitan was actually the first magazine to discuss the Pill in the 1960s (Benjamin 2012). Its true that what is lasting about the power of magazines like Esquire and Cosmopolitan is the strength and universality of their content. However, there are elements of print that make it a viable, smart option for consumers and not just an outdated media format. For one, some research actually suggests that it takes the consumer longer to read on-screen than it does to read on paper (Szalavitz 2012). That same research also holds that readers can retain information read in print better than they can through digital means. This can be due to the larger print and also what are called spatial landmarks, which is a way for readers to remember where something was on the page (that is, top of the left page, bottom of the right page, etc.) (Ibid). Third, the experience of print is undeniable. The sense of size and weight of a print issue goes beyond content to provide a tangible, real experience for the consumer (Husni 2012). Digital Devices and the Impact of Digital on Print Around the year 2000, subscribers began to have the option of getting digital editions for some of their magazines (McIlroy 2011). Today, subscribers now have even

Rachel Ward 8 more options when it comes to accessing their desired content. They access subscriptions or individual copies from their smartphones, tablets, and e-readers. They can even receive print in addition to digital editions, depending on what the publisher offers. Essentially every device is positioned to offer something to fulfill the customers needs. Tablets such as the iPad or Kindle Fire can provide premium content to readers that they are able to access through newsstand apps or stores built into the device. In addition to print-only, some publishers offer digital replica versions of the magazines while others are released entirely as digital only. Each type of publication, whether print or digital, requires its own staffing to produce the output. Lonny, a home dcor magazine, is an example of a magazine that launched digital only (Custom Media Insider 2011). However, there are two sides to the debate between print versus digital editions. The basic question that faces the publisher is whether to treat them as separate mediums or to treat them as extensions of each other (Ives 2012). Through price testing, Hearst magazines offered one dollar more for digital subscriptions to be bundled with the print versions. Despite such a low, incremental cost, readers tended to pay a higher premium to receive only their preferred medium even though bundling was a cheaper option (Ibid). Some print magazines even continue to raise their newsstand prices while maintaining readers. Esquire and House Beautiful increased their rates by at least $0.50 since 2010 and Popular Mechanics has increased by $1.00 since February of 2012 (Vladimir Damianov interview 2012). In essence, it really comes down to customer preference. While the incremental cost for getting the digital edition along with print may not be much more money, what this shows is that there are generally two audiences when it comes to print editions and digital editions. This can also be inferred by looking at how

Rachel Ward 9 digital editions are priced. One would think that the price would drive consumers toward one medium over the other. However, some digital editions, such as HGTV Magazine, cost more than twice what the print edition costs (HGTV Magazine Digital Subscription 2012). The subscriber also gets fewer copies (in this case, six digital for $3.99 each versus $1.80 for 10 issues) (HGTV Magazine Print Subscription 2012). John Loughlin of Hearst Magazines argues that tablets are an opportunity to re-brand digital content and reestablish it as having value in the same way that print does (Ives 2012). So issuing digital editions is important for publishers because they are giving existing print readers an opportunity to access a new medium. However, it is also enabling them to reach a demographic that prefers digital mediums as evidenced by the disparity between pricing.

What is Consumer Marketing? Getting the actual copies (whether print or digital) into the readers hands is a specific science that industry professionals spend their lifetimes learning to master. Essentially, consumer magazine marketing is when publishers market to the consumer directly. The two primary areas are customer acquisition (gaining new subscribers) and customer retention (maintaining existing subscribers). Most marketing attempts come down to these two different areas. The primary consumer marketing avenues to reach consumers include newsstand sales and direct marketing. The ways and means of reaching them vary, however, just as the type of reader varies. Newsstand Sales

Rachel Ward 10 One way for consumer marketing departments to gain subscribers is through the sale of single copy, or newsstand, sales. While the name newsstand evokes images of newspaper-laden racks at the corner store, newsstand sales are made up of airport stands, the end caps at the grocery store, or even large, retail distributors like Walmart or Barnes & Noble. While it varies for each publisher, newsstand sales generally make up 13% of the budget for circulation departments (Johnson and Prijatel 2007, 167). In 2010, overall newsstand sales across all Audit Bureau of Circulation-reported magazines amounted to 10% of the national circulation numbers (Historical Subscriptions 2012). Although they are relied on as a source of revenue, newsstand sales have seen declines in recent years. The ABC 2011 magazine circulation numbers reported close to a 10% decline in newsstand sales compared to 2010 (Vega 2012). While the newsstand was never a main revenue source, there is room for growth (especially for the digital newsstand) in terms of bolstering the newsstands appeal and more dynamic forms of consumer interaction will have to provide that. Direct Marketing Techniques Unlike newsstand sales, the consumer marketers true skill comes into play when it comes to direct marketing to consumers. Historically, consumer marketing was all print, but now it has become a combination of print and digital initiatives. Where publishers formerly would rely on newsstand sales, direct mail promotions, and insert cards, they now have these options in addition to a myriad of digital ones. Julie Boser, Consumer Marketing Manager at The Atlantic magazine, views the different marketing options not as competition with one another but as a source of what she calls incremental production (production meaning new subscribers) (Julie Boser interview

Rachel Ward 11 2012). Common digital campaigns include e-mail blasts, using social media, and doing targeted marketing campaigns that trigger a promotion to the consumer via print and email. Once those subscribers are gained, keeping them is the next step in the marketing process. The typical conversion rate for new subscribers is about 40% (Sumner and Rhoades 2010, 73). While this rate of conversion increases the second year by 20%, that same 60% renews at only a 5% rate over the next few years. Because the conversion pool gets smaller with each year, consumer marketers must constantly look for ways to gain new readers and find new revenue streams (Ibid, 73).

Key Industries in Consumer Marketing There are three industries that play an integral role in the printand digital marketing business for publishers. These are the fulfillment company, the printers, and the United States Postal Service. Without any of these three, marketers would be unable to conduct their business, as each one is reliant on the other. The fulfillment industry works in partnership with publishers and printers to process and manage the marketing efforts for the magazines subscribers. The printers work with the publishers, who in turn work with the United States Postal service in determining mailing packages and, most importantly, that they meet mailing regulations. While each area plays a widely different role, they all come together to present a finished product to the consumer from the publishers. Fulfillment Industry

Rachel Ward 12 Underlying newsstand sales and direct marketing is a key element that enables the publisher to utilize these avenues. This key party in the consumer marketing industry is the fulfillment company. Fulfillment companies are the primary facilitators of all consumer magazine print and digital promotions as well as issue fulfillment. While the overall offerings of each company vary, they must specifically be able to manage the data in the subscriber records, credit card information, customer service, reporting tools, product and premium fulfillment, all aspects of the mailing process (which takes place at a lettershop), and the receiving and processing of the return mail. While smaller publishers could find the necessary services for their subscribers through smaller fulfillment agencies, the larger ones are best positioned to manage high volumes of subscriber data and also meet their publishers changing needs. Fulfillment companies play an invaluable role in the mailing and reporting process for major publishers. Printing Industry In addition to the fulfillment company, commercial printers are vital in order to supply finished paper components for the publishers. Publishers have the option of going direct to a printer or of using a print broker, who can oftentimes leverage savings or simplify the print ordering process so the publisher can focus on the creative and reporting aspect of marketing. In the United States there are over 35,000 commercial printers, although consolidation is becoming more frequent as operating costs cannot always be sustained at smaller printers (First Research 2012). While some fear the demise of print in light of the evolving shift to digital, others see the shift in a more optimistic light in respect to the publisher. Dave Rittman, National Accounts Manager of Colorfx, LLC, and a 25-year veteran of the printing industry, says that the competition in the

Rachel Ward 13 print and direct mail business has produced a buyers market for print. He holds that [p]rices and margins in the print industry are at record lows . (Dave Rittman interview 2012). For the savvy marketer, leveraging the value that the market is creating for buyers can increase buying power and give printers additional incentive to meet clients needs. United States Postal Service A third key industry to the consumer marketing business is the United States Postal Service (or USPS). There has been recent news in the industry that the postal service is suffering and on the verge of collapse. However, this is not necessarily the case and it is not entirely due to digital shifts. At an inaugural Postal Summit held in New York in early 2012, the Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe shed some light on the issues at hand. Infrastructural issues, not print mailing decreases, are largely to blame for higher costs being passed on to the publishers (Raphael 2012). Publishers simply cant leave the current revenue model for mailing as it is too ingrained in their circulation model and gains the strongest response from consumers at large. In reality, the USPS is laden with issues related to unions, retirement benefits, and career USPS employees (Ibid). A restructuring is necessary in order to not spike rates for mailers who want to continue to mail. However, the USPS is working to offer incentives to mailers, which include the use of QR codes (discussed later in this paper) in addition to the newly created Every Door Direct Mail program. In this program, the USPS guarantees delivery for the marketer within a local area without requiring a permit number and also offers a low postage rate (Ciabaton 2011). There are restrictions as to how many pieces

Rachel Ward 14 can be mailed per day in a given area, but this is another way that publishers can save money by taking advantage of USPS incentives to continue mailing.

Types of Direct Consumer Marketing Promotions The types and formats of direct marketing can vary among different publishers and their consumer marketing departments. This is usually due, in part, to the content of the publication as well as the audience they are intending to reach. For customer acquisition (new subscribers), the following methods are generally employed: direct mail, insert cards, and digital marketing promotions such as e-mail blasts and QR code options on print pieces. For customer retention (existing subscribers), a combination of mailed bill and renewal efforts are used in addition to insert cards, and digital marketing promotions for e-renewals or e-bills. Lastly, digital marketing promotions, which include e-bills and e-renewals, are essentially e-mail campaigns that are sent out to subscribers or new prospects with the intent of gaining a response. Direct Mail Direct mail promotions are campaigns to gain new subscribers through targeted list selections. They usually consist of an outer envelope, a letter with a compelling message, a return business reply envelope (with postage paid), and at least one insert that either references the letter or provides additional information (see figure 1 below for an example of a typical mailing package as well as common specifications for each component to fit together correctly). On the blog The Digital Nirvana, Trish Witkowski argues that, [a] successful direct mailer involves many components and those

Rachel Ward 15 components must work together to send the right message to provoke a call to action. Indeed, a direct mail package is more than just a piece of paper in an envelope. An interesting, quality package can do much when it comes to gaining a response (Witkowski 2011).

Figure 1. This is a graphic of the typical components in a mailing package at the ideal specifications. (Graphic by Stephanie Kvidera, Graphic Designer. Ideal Mailing Package. CDS Globals Creative Mailing Solutions Department. [2011]).

Because direct mail campaigns must reach new consumers whose information is not currently owned or maintained by the publisher, multiple outside sources come into the mix. These include list owners, list brokers, and fulfillment houses. List owners are people or organizations that have the right to use information on consumers. The lists, which can be sold or rented, can be organized in many different ways depending on the needs of the publisher (Maitland 1996, 7-8). Something important for the publisher to keep in mind is that not just any list will work. A clean, current, and appropriately targeted list is vital in order to make the best use of the mailing (Witkowski 2011). A second party in the direct mail business is list brokers. In essence they are intermediaries

Rachel Ward 16 between the publisher and the list owners, often helping to simplify the research required by the publisher to find the best lists (Maitland 1996, 8). A third, key party in managing a successful direct mail campaign is the fulfillment house. This is where the printer ships the print components so they can be inserted, printed with the name and address information, and prepared for the mail stream. A crucial last step in the return mail process is for the responses to each package to be counted and measured. The fulfillment house is also typically the place where the return pieces are processed (Ibid, 9-10). Data integrity is vital because it is how the publisher measures the success or failure of the entire campaign, down to the last detail of which types of offers, messages, or package combinations worked the best. In the past, when it came to direct mail, the choices were often limited to the look of the package, the message content, and whether or not to include particular inserts in the package (Maitland 1996, 50-56). Now, these factors still exist but are bolstered by the options of using QR (quick response) codes; pull-off sticky notes that are integrated into the outer envelope; personalized variable data; and PURLS. A QR code is a black, 3D image that the consumer scans with a barcode reader app on their smartphone. Once scanned, the prospect is immediately directed to a website with an offer thats tailored to that particular prospect based on demographics (location, income level, age, gender).

Figure 2. This is an image of a QR code. (QR Stuff.com, accessed May 2012. http://www.qrstuff.com/.)

Rachel Ward 17 Personalized variable data is illustrated in the image in figure 3. This can be anything from a persons name programmed to appear in multiple points within a message to an image being changed on the print piece to correspond to a certain geographic location depending on the subscribers mailing address.

Figure 3. This flyer is an example of variable data where the consumers name is programmed for different locations on the piece. (Graphic from The Print Labs. Variable Data Printing. 2011. http://www.theprintlabs.com/variable-data-printings/.)

PURLs, on the other hand, are personalized URLs which direct the consumer to a website that has an offer directed to that particular prospect. The PURL is similar in some ways to QR codes in that it takes the consumer from print to the web. Another marketing promotion that is being used more frequently is a trigger campaign. A triggered marketing campaign is when a print mailing is timed with an email or mobile blast so that the prospect is contacted at timed stages via different communication routes (via e-mail, print package, etc.). The print mailing may be sent out at a staggered stage then followed up by an e-mail a few days later. In between, or even

Rachel Ward 18 before the print mailing, an e-mail message can be directed to those same prospects to support the message or elaborate on the first offer. The goal is to keep the offer in front of the prospect so that it is fresh in their minds. For Hearst magazines, the e-mail match rate varies depending on demographic and reader bases. Cosmopolitan, with a typically younger base, is up to 80%, whereas Good Housekeeping, with a typically older base, ranges around 30% (Vladimir Damianov interview 2012). All these options, from QR codes to variable data, from PURLS to triggered campaigns, create a dynamic and varied approach for publishers to reach a new potential subscriber with a compelling message. Customer Retention Once subscribers are gained, the next step of the consumer marketing process is to maintain those subscribers. Similar to direct mail, a combination of mailed letters and packages can be used in addition to including insert cards in subscriber copies of the magazine. Instead of a single mailing, however, renewal campaigns are done through a series of efforts, appropriately timed packagesconsisting of an outer envelope, a letter with a call to action, a reply envelope, and oftentimes an insert with additional information or offersthat are sent out to subscribers over intervals throughout the year. Some of these efforts could also be a coverwrap or an onsert which is glued or polybagged to the actual magazine that the subscriber receives. This is an eye-catching way to draw attention to an expiring subscription. A new recent trend has also been to move mailed standard or first-class packages to attached mail. Attached mail is full mail packages (outer envelope, letter, reply envelope, and insert) that are literally tacked with removable glue onto the front of a magazine to be mailed to the subscriber. Instead of the subscribers address being printed onto the white box on the magazine, the address

Rachel Ward 19 in the envelopes window serves as the address. These not only save first-class or standard mail postage rates, but they ensure timely, relevant delivery to the reader (not to mention a visual reminder as to what they are missing if they dont renew). While each publisher can vary the number and type of efforts they send out, there are typically at least two or three efforts up to as many as 20 or more depending on the budget of the department. What makes renewals an important part of consumer marketing budgets is that they are considerably cheaper to gain than new subscriptions. Renewals, or conversions, cost about 10% of what it costs to gain a new subscriber (Sumner and Rhoades 2010, 82-83). Thats not to say that direct mail is too costly or risky because one doesnt exist without the other. It is simply harder to find new, interested consumers whereas renewals are readers who were already convinced at one time that they saw something of interest to them. As Sumner and Rhoades put it in their book, Magazines: A Complete Guide to the Industry, a renewal is like talking to an old friend (page 82). It is also worth noting that subscriber renewal offers increase with each year by a marginal amount. Given the low cost to reach out to and maintain these readers, renewals are a great source of maintaining revenue, not to mention crucial to establishing long-term readership. Insert Cards A third type of consumer marketing promotion is to use insert cards. Many people recognize these as the pesky cards that always fall out of their favorite magazines. However, these function as an inexpensive way to promote both new business and existing business. In addition they also serve to cross-promote other magazines depending on their use. Insert cards are also very similar to coverwraps and onserts, as

Rachel Ward 20 mentioned earlier. Because these cards are inserted into large volume printings of the magazines (for subscriber and/or newsstand copies), the cost per thousand (cpm) to print them is generally very low. The response rates, however, are also generally low. Some say a good response is 3% but can oftentimes be as low as 1% depending on the magazine (Barbee 2008). As a supplement to mailed packages, which are more expensive, insert cards are a good way to add renewals or subscriptions to a diversified promotion mix. Digital Marketing Promotions Digital marketing is used for new business acquisition, customer retention, or cross-promotion. It can be supplementary to print promotions or it can be done in lieu of print promotions. The main type of a digital marketing promotion is an e-blast, which is an e-mail campaign sent out to selected consumers. Typically the e-mail is comprised of a compelling message or call to action, urging the consumer to pay online, renew their subscription, or to subscribe for the first time. A catchy, purposeful subject heading is used and a link is included at several places on the e-mail for easy access for the consumer. Direct e-mail blasts typically go out to a larger pool of consumers, whereas customer retention e-blasts are more selective, going out to subscribers as part of the renewal effort lifecycle. Most e-mail lists are retained in-house, whereas outside lists can be rented (with consumer permission) through direct mail agencies. However, there are rules governing these types of promotions that publishers must adhere to. The CANSPAM act that was initiated in 2003 requires the marketer to have an opt-out button in the e-mail for the consumer to turn off e-mail notices (Rafner 2012). In addition, the marketer needs to include their physical address in the e-mail for validity purposes (Ibid).

Rachel Ward 21 Many publishers also pursue search engine optimization for internet search engines so that a consumer can easily find the website to subscribe to the magazine. Once directed to a website, or landing page, the consumer can renew or start a new subscription online. At Hearst Magazines, Brian Fichtel says that their team is always exploring the use of new channels (Brian Fichtel interview 2012). He also indicates that e-mail is becoming a more important channel for their internet-sourced orders. Whether used in combination with other efforts or as part of a trigger campaign, digital initiatives can supplement print or serve an independent source of subscription production.

Environmental Issues The idea of Going Green is a hot button topic in the publishing and printing industry. However, the common perception when it comes to print is that it kills trees, is unsustainable, and that it is loading our landfills with unnecessary paper waste. These perceptions are just that: perceptions (and inaccurate ones at that!). The idea of Think before you print! is very different from Please recycle! There is also data to support the idea that print is much more green than it is commonly thought to be. In addition, paper products are generally more sustainable than the electronic devices used to access material, such as computers, smartphones, and tablets. While there are recycling options for both mediums, it is truly inaccurate to say that the medium of print is environmentally harmful especially in comparison to electronic devices (Goleman and Norris 2010). Sustainability of Print and Environmental Certification

Rachel Ward 22 Many certified paper suppliers get their paper from mills that are committed to reforestation projects. In fact, every day 1.7 million trees are planted to offset the amount of trees harvested for paper (NB: It is worth noting that number is still three times what is harvested, according to an International Paper sponsored white paper on the topic titled Down to Earth) (Down to Earth 2009). To be certified, there are multiple programs in the print industry that offer environmental certification. FSC, SFI, and PEFC certification are rigorous programs that rely on a strict, chain-of-custody in ensuring they uphold environmental standards. The FSC certification, for example, is upheld by 10 principles, each of which has multiple standards that must be met in order to receive certification. These standards range from respecting the indigenous people that used to live or currently occupy the land to ensuring that employment is first made available to neighboring communities (FSC Principles & Criteria 2012). Publishers that work with certified paper mills are not only showing that their paper meets these strict requirements, but that the print vendor they work with actively recycles the wasted paper on-site at their facilities which is a requirement of the certification programs (Dave Rittman interview 2012). Indeed, the option of pursuing recycled paper is one that some publishers are opting for. It is not only environmentally responsible, but it can be a great platform to present to consumers to show that an active effort is being made to preserve the environment. Dave Rittman of ColorFX says that recycled paper is generally more expensive. However, he also says that, the increased costs can be managed through the percentage content of post-consumer waste in the recycled stock. 10%-100% PCW (postconsumer waste) content options are available (Dave Rittman interview 2012). What this means is that the publisher can invest in 100% recycled paper or choose a more cost-

Rachel Ward effective route of using a lower percentage of recycled paper stock. This is still


incrementally helping the environment and also giving publishers the ability to label their paper materials as made of recycled paper (often a selling point for some consumers). Recycling and Production Issues for Digital Devices Another factor in the argument against whether or not print is sustainable arises from the comparison of creating and recycling print materials versus digital devices. The creation of one e-reader alone requires the mining of 33 pounds of minerals and 70 gallons of water to produce and refine the metals needed for the wire board and batteries (Goleman and Norris 2010). In comparison, a book (in lieu of a magazine) requires about two thirds of a pound of minerals and only two gallons of water to make the pulp (Ibid). Overall, the impact that one e-reader has on greenhouse gas emissions is roughly one to 100 books (Ibid). Its not only the e-readers themselves that contribute to high energy and mineral consumption but the data centers that simply power the internet in the U.S. use 214% more power than the paper and pulp industry alone (Down to Earth 2012). While tablets and smartphones can be recycled, some studies indicate that the products dont always reach the intended facilities (Parsons 2010). It may come down to the recycling centers simply being difficult to find, or at least harder to access than paper recycling (which is taken care of in some suburbs right at ones doorstep). One issue that arises from this is that the effects of e-waste on the environment are much more toxic than those from paper production or recycling. Electronic waste contains toxic components that include lead, mercury, arsenic, and beryllium (Ibid). They must be disposed of properly in order to not harm others. A study done by the Government Accountability Office titled Harmful U.S. Exports Flow Virtually Unrestricted Because

Rachel Ward 24 of Minimal EPA Enforcement and Narrow Regulation, found that countries like China and India are handling the products unsafely due to a lack of regulation (Stephenson 2008). While it can also be argued that the consumer cannot always follow the chain of custody for paper recycling, to argue that e-readers and data usage of electronic devices are far greener than paper consumption is inaccurate. Both require strict chains of custody in overseeing that the environmental standards are met for not only the environment but for consumers and those who may be affected by the toxins.

Consumer Response to Marketing The ways in which consumers respond to print and digital varies depending on demographics but studies indicate that print appeals to most consumers in a very strong way. The emotional boost that a direct mail package can give to a consumer versus another e-mail in their inbox is an important reaction that marketers understand and monetize. Dave Rittman of ColorFX printing says that [t]he connection comes from a combination of emotional, psychological, and practical response of the consumer to targeted, personalized messaging. And that connection, Rittman says, is about the right message to the right person as the right time (Dave Rittman interview 2012). E-mail may be less expensive than a print mailing but a seemingly blind e-mail blast may elicit a negative response if not carefully managed. Apprehension Towards Digital Marketing In general, there can be an apprehension towards digital marketing. Some consumers dont feel they benefit from sharing personal information online. The push from publishers and marketers to gain that information without a valid reason creates a

Rachel Ward 25 sense of distrust. According to a study done by LoyaltyOne, 88% of consumers feel that they lose and companies gain by collecting their personal data (Morrison 2012, vol. 83). Another 74% feel they dont receive a benefit for having shared their data (Ibid). To consumers it is a one-way street. Unless they can understand the value thats added to their lives by sharing information, they can be overwhelmingly negative towards online data collection. This is a good reason for marketers to look for ways to incentivize subscribers with their offers. Another important aspect is that of consumer privacy concerns. Online privacy concerns are a valid point with the consumer because of so many scams online. With an increasing number of junk e-mails appearing in inboxes everyday, some consumers even have separate folders for the e-mails they receive (Morrison 2012, vol. 83). The fact that consumers dont even want their regular e-mail messages mixed with advertising ones is what Chad White, a director at Responsys digital direct-marketing agency, calls an indication of distrust (Ibid). This is only compounded by the fact that consumers may feel they are being bombarded with e-mails that are not specific to their buying history. Instead of incrementally helping the publisher gain subscriptions, this can have the opposite effect and actually turn consumers off to the brand completely (Ibid). Perceived Value and Scope of Print Products Aside from print promotions, the importance and permanence of a postal mailing address is validated by the other types of documents sent via mail. From birth records to checks, from voter registration papers to tax statements, important life documents are sent via mail for not only assurance of delivery but because of how important the content is. The perception of the value of an e-mail over printed material delivered to a mailbox is

Rachel Ward due to the types of documents that are mailed, not only to but from the consumer.


Undoubtedly there has been a shift in consumer habits in areas such as bill payment, with some paying bills exclusively online. However, only 11% of consumers across all industries (utilities, media, medical, etc.) pay their bills online (Yeager 2011). This means almost 90% of consumers still pay their bills via traditional print mediums. The perception of making payments with credit cards or checks through mail is that there is assurance of delivery as well as a physical copy for the consumer of their bill (Ibid). Print mail also triggers an emotional response in consumers that simply isnt replicated by an e-mail. In an Epsilon Targeting study, 60% agree they enjoy checking the mail box for postal mail. Compare this to 75% of people who agree they get more emails than they even open and you find that consumers arent even getting some of the messages that are directed to them (The Formula for Success 2011). A hand-written note or card through the mail also costs more (buying the envelope, paying for postage, not to mention the effort of taking the letter or postcard to the post office or mailbox) so the perceived value can be greater to the receiver. Postal mail also seems more targeted, personalized, and private, as evidenced by the 37% of consumers who believe traditional mail methods are more private than e-mail (The Formula for Success 2011).

Business Model In general, current subscription and new business acquisition publishing models rely on print advertising and printed media as a major source of generating revenue and increasing sales. Most publishers generate at least 70% of their revenue from print versus digital (Dwyer 2012). To make an immediate, disruptive shift from print promotions to

Rachel Ward 27 all digital, publishers would lose a high percentage of their subscribers in the conversion. Not all consumers prefer digital communication, as evidenced by the 90% that choose to pay bills via the traditional postal system. However, to deny that digital is the wave of the future would be to ignore the inevitable. While it needs to be a gradual shift, publishers must find a middle ground that enables both mediums to work together. Reasons for Dependence on Current Print Marketing Model While there has been a shift from print to digital when it comes to the content that publishers offer, consumer habits in terms of response and communication have not shifted at the same rate. [P]rint magazine revenue remains a key to the economics of most companies just as print promotion revenue is (Raphael 2012). To move away from print entirely (and conversely, to move to digital entirely) would upset the framework that supports existing circulation revenue models. Additionally, the scope of how many consumers are reached would be drastically affected. Print can actually reach a larger market currently. Not only would older demographics be less likely to use e-mail or smartphones, but the younger generation has a surprisingly different preference as well. Interestingly enough, younger audiences increasingly prefer mailed promotions over email. The 18-34 year-old demographic prefers mailed promotions two to three times more than online ones (Boldt 2010). In this same article, author Ethan Boldt claims that 45% of men and 36% of women dont even have a Facebook account. So, for example, if a publisher were to use social media only, marketers could be missing a significant portion of their audience, says Warren Storey from ICOM (Ibid). The opportunity to reach a younger demographic with strong buying power that actually prefers mailed promotions cannot be ignored.

Rachel Ward A Happy Medium: The Hybrid of Print and Digital Promotions


By incorporating both print and digital promotions, multi-media and cross-media marketing can be a great way to use the best aspects of both marketing methods (print and digital) to reach the largest number of subscribers in the most effective way possible. This is a solution that uses the best of the historical modes of marketing coupled with new technologies that are becoming increasingly relevant. Trigger marketing can supplement e-campaigns with a direct mail add-on. Print renewal efforts can be partnered with e-mail efforts to enforce the call to action for the subscriber. Indeed, print mailings do not need to be separate communication methods from digital campaigns. Bruce Jensen, vice president of sales for Transcontinental Printing, argues that printing, in combination with other platforms, remains the primary driver of consumers to the internet (Greenbaum 2011, vol. 54). The traditional role and view of direct mail was that it was, in and of itself, a direct-response format. Today, it is key to driving consumers to the web as a part of a digital or mobile strategy (Special Report: Direct marketing report 2011, 27). There are a variety of ways that technological advancements can work in partnership with print to drive a higher response to subscription promotions or renewal efforts. In support of cross media campaigns, Julie Boser of The Atlantic says that, [a] print piece can be a reminder to go online and subscribe. [and that an] e-mail can be a reminder to bring out the checkbook and make a trip to the mailbox (Julie Boser interview 2012). The advertising rule of three is also a natural product of cross-media promotions when it comes to using digital and print to elicit a consumer response. The idea is that a consumer needs to be contacted or reached three different times in order to

Rachel Ward 29 begin thinking about or wanting to purchase your product (or subscription, in this case) (Morgan 2008). In this sense, the use of print, digital, and cross media efforts fits the natural conclusions behind some key marketing ideas. QR codes, for example, can provide an abundance of ways to connect print to digital that have the potential not only to yield higher responses but to also generate cost savings. The USPS has offered postage discounts to publishers who use QR codes on their mail pieces (in addition to their Every Door Direct Mail program mentioned earlier). By taking advantage of the incentive, the USPS offers postage savings of 2% for first-class and standard mail pieces, the primary mail classes used for consumer marketing (Postal FYI 2012). Some consumer marketing departments, such as The Atlantics, are considering using QR codes solely based on the savings that are offered them (Julie Boser interview 2012). These incremental savings that the USPS can offer publishers amount to considerable savings depending on the mail volumes. By having a QR code incorporated into a direct mail piece, the publisher can also save money on the business reply envelope postage that they would otherwise have to budget for on each piece mailed, not to mention substantially decreasing the response time than through mail (Henkel 2010). Not only does this save money for the publisher (a huge driving incentive), it creates a sense of interaction between the marketer and the consumer that is absent from normal e-mail campaigns or direct mail promotions (Ibid). By incorporating a trigger system to a direct mail piece with a QR code, the publisher could also setup an automatic text message or e-mail to contact the consumer depending on information they provided to the publisher (Ibid). Tom Foti, manager of Marketing Mail, believes that this demonstrates how the value of mail is increased by interfacing with technology to engage customers (USPS Formally Announces 2011).

Rachel Ward 30 Additionally, the QR codes help to track responses more efficiently as the code links can be tracked to see how many are scanned (Ibid). This helps to more accurately determine campaign effectiveness in addition to staying in front of the consumer with a compelling, relevant message.

Conclusion Printas a conveyor of entertainment media and relevant marketing promotionsis a sustainable medium for consumer magazine publishers. In addition, current consumer marketing business models are reliant on print promotions in respect to their reader demographics. Indeed, the mutual exclusivity of print and digital need not apply when it comes to both reading formats (print and digital) and especially consumer promotions. Mal Skelton, Production Director of Immediate Media in the UK, says that [d]ifferent formats offer different experiences, and they dont need to be mutually exclusive (Skelton 2012). Through the evolution of marketing trends moving from print-only to print and digital, a profitable and successful middle ground can be reached that incorporates the best of both worlds while also reaching the largest audience. Additionally, publishers must shift their paradigms from the question of Print or Digital? to instead focus on content. If the content is valuable enough to the consumer, then it is less about print versus digital, and more about giving them something they will pay for that will inspire them to live fuller lives (Husni 2012). Incorporating environmentally sustainable print promotions into a cross-media campaign involving digital promotions is an effective way of ensuring success on all platforms for the future. The potential for print is as strong as ever and its effective use [will be] complimented

Rachel Ward 31 by evolving technology, not replaced by it (Dave Rittman interview 2012). People still respond to print and will for a long time to come.

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Rachel Ward Simpson, Barry Dean, The Common School Movement and Compulsory Education, Ludwig Von Mises Institute, November 29, 2004, http://mises.org/daily /1679. Skelton, Mal, Interviewed by PrintWeek, Publishers Take on the Pressing Issue, Joe Francis, March 30, 2012, http://www.printweek.com/news/1124695 /publishers-pressing-issue/. Special Report: Direct marketing report Redefining direct mail. Marketing. November 16, 2011. Page 27. Statistics Norway, Women are Culture Vultures, White paper on Cultural and Media Use, 2010, accessed May 28, 2012, www.ssb.no/ola_kari_en /kultur_2010_en.pdf. Stephenson, John B. Harmful U.S. Exports Flow Virtually Unrestricted Because of Minimal EPA Enforcement and Narrow Regulation, September 17, 2008, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-1166T. Sumner, David and Shirrel Rhoades. Magazines: A Complete Guide to the Industry. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2010. Szalavitz, Maia, Do E-Books Make It Harder to Remember What You Just Read? Time Magazine, March 14, 2012, http://healthland.time.com/2012/03 /14/do-e-books-impair-memory/. 23 Tips for Adapting From a Print-Centric to a Cross-Platform World, Publishing Executive white paper, August 10, 2010, http://www.pubexec.com/article /free-publishing-executive-whitepapers-available online/1.


USPS Formally Announces QR Code Discount, Touts Savings From Contract, Target Marketing, May 24, 2011, http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/usps -formally-announces-qr-code-discount-touts-savings-contract-25018260/1. Vega, Tanzina, Magazine Newsstand Sales Suffered Sharp Falloff in Second Half of 2011, The MediaDecoder blog, New York Times, February 7, 2012, http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/magazine-newsstand -sales-suffered-sharp-falloff-in-second-half-of-2011/. Vladimir Damianov (Senior Promotion Director of Consumer Marketing at Hearst), email interview with Rachel Ward, June 5, 2012. Witkowski, Trish, Direct Mail Savings are in the Finishing, The Digital Nirvana blog, March 16, 2011, http://thedigitalnirvana.com/2011/03/direct-mail-savings -are-in-the-finishing/.

Rachel Ward Yeager, Bryan, A Reality Check on Bill Presentment and Payment, The Digital Nirvana blog, March 7, 2011, http://thedigitalnirvana.com/2011/03/a-realitycheck-on-electronic-bill-presentment-and-payment/.