“The written word is all that stands between memory and oblivion. Without books as our anchors, we are cast adrift, neither teaching nor learning. They are windows on the past, mirrors on the present, and prisms reflecting all possible futures. Books are lighthouses, erected in the dark sea of time.”
An Evaluation of the Marketing Techniques Used for Traditional Print and Digital Publishing
An evaluation of the marketing techniques used for traditional print and digital publishing reveals that there are numerous techniques that are used to promote both print and digital publishing. This paper seeks to identify and critically evaluate these marketing techniques and identify their strengths and limitations.
Traditional Print Publishing
The success of a business venture is determined to a large extent by the marketing techniques employed to promote the particular product or service. Marketing describes the process of introducing consumers to a certain product or service. Marketing also involves advertisements and promotions aimed at persuading potential buyers to consider trying the service or products on offer.
Successful marketing initiatives have the effect of boosting sales, establishing the reputation of the company and increasing product recognition among the buying public.
An important tenet in marketing dictates that any successful business should be primarily focused on the customer as opposed to the product or service on offer; however, this is not to detract from the importance of quality (Bridgewater and Doyle, 1998).
This implies that for the success, in terms of sales, of a book, journal, magazine or any other form of print publishing, it is important to put in place, well articulated marketing initiatives.
Traditional print publishing refers to books, magazines, journals and all other texts that are printed in hard copy. This approach is referred to as traditional to distinguish it from the contemporary approach that involves online publications.
In the world today, the quantum advances that have been witnessed in the information and communication technology (I.C.T) sector all around the world has necessitated the shift from conventional hard copy publishing to online publishing.
In recognition of this fact, stakeholders in the traditional print publishing industry have had to formulate innovative market techniques to counter the effects of mounting competition in the market.
To determine the most suitable marketing technique to use for traditional print publishing, it would be useful to consider the nature of the publication and the market demographic that is considered the target clientele of the print publication in question (Ranchhod et al, 2004).
To illustrate this fact, the marketing strategy that would be adopted for a magazine aimed at teenagers, for instance 17 magazines, would employ a different marketing strategy as compared to a magazine targeted at older women, for instance Cosmopolitan magazine.
Marketing Techniques for Traditional Print Publishing
In marketing traditional print publications, there are several techniques that are used. The suitability of a particular marketing technique is instrumental in determining its effectiveness. In essence, this means that a successful marketing technique is one that is suitable for the product that it is designed for.
To determine the most suitable marketing technique, it would be useful to examine some marketing techniques that are currently in use. A popular marketing technique that is in use currently is the media, an example f this is the use of television advertisements.
Television advertisements are important in marketing because they have the potential of reaching a large number of people based that a large segment of the population has regular access to a television. In addition, in the case of the use of television in marketing a regional publication, the advertisements can be restricted to regional television channels and in that way be limited to the target clientele.
Television advertisements also have the advantage of reaching the target audience at the point at which they are most attentive for instance in the middle of an interesting movie, at this point, the audience is likely to properly absorb the message.
Television advertisements are also considered a viable tool for marketing print publications because they are usually very interesting, the attention of the viewer is captured by both audio and visual messages that combine to make the message infinitely more credible and memorable (Trivers, 1996).
In summation, television advertising is a powerful medium that if used appropriately, can serve as a useful marketing tool for print publications.
An alternative view proposes that television advertising is not suitable for marketing most print publications. This is because television advertising is quite expensive. Television air time, especially at prime time is quite costly, and this might prove to be a barrier for the adoption of the marketing technique by most print publications especially those that are at the start up stage.
Television advertisements are also complex and require a lot of time to create. Furthermore, most people do not like to watch television commercials, instead the commercial break is an opportunity for them to go to the bathroom, to get a snack or to change the channel altogether.
This implies that, potentially, the large amount of money and time spent on making an advertisement may all go to waste as the target clientele do not view it. (Swanson and Everett, 2000)
Marketing of print publications using television is not limited to advertisements and commercials. It also includes exposure of the print publication in various ways. Some famous authors have marketed their books by appearing on talk shows and other television programs.
Oprah Winfrey, the undisputed queen of talk shows has a segment in her program called Oprah’s book club. Being featured in Oprah’s book club translates to unprecedented interest and a boom in sales of the book in question. (Rooney, 2005).
For example, the book: ‘the secret’ by Rhonda Byrne became a cult classic after being featured in the show and is ranked as one of the bestselling books of all time. Marketing on television also extends to product placement. This is an unobtrusive marketing strategy that involves the positioning of a particular print publication prominently in context in movies, television shows or even news programs. (Ibid)
Media advertising for print publications is not limited to television. It also includes radio commercials. The use of the radio as a marketing medium has been on the decline in recent times. This is because a small percentage of people listen to the radio these days. The introduction of internet radio had the effect of increasing radio listenership to some extent.
Marketing for print publications over the radio is fairly inexpensive and has the potential of reaching a reasonable segment of the target clientele. (Lee and Johnson, 2005) The use of the media for marketing print publications also involves the use of newspapers, magazines and journals.
This technique is considered to be quite effective because people who read these publications would probably constitute the demographic being targeted by the marketer.
In considering marketing techniques that are used for print publications, we cannot discount the impact of word-of-mouth advertising. Most people who read an interesting publication will not hesitate to recommend the publication to other people. Word-of-mouth advertising has the advantage of putting across the message relatively rapidly and with no expenses whatsoever (Harris, 2004).
Closely related to unwritten advertising are publicity tours. Usually authors may tour a particular region, country or even continent to promote their work by a series of book signings, public readings and discussions with the readers. These publicity tours are quite effective as a marketing tool.
In conclusion, there are countless marketing techniques used for the promotion of traditional print publishing. For a particular marketing technique to be effective, it is important to assess the suitability of the technique concerning the nature of the print published.
Digital publishing has been touted in recent years as the new frontier in the world of publishing. Digital publishing refers to the process of organizing audio, visual and written materials and presenting it as a cohesive whole. Digital publishing can be illustrated to be the electronic equivalent of conventional ink and paper publishing.
Digital publishing is considered as the wave of the future because it has several advantages over conventional print publishing. Digital publishing has cost benefits. In conventional print publishing there is the necessity to print the text and put in place mechanisms for the distribution of the publication.
This is costly compared to digital publishing that requires very little financial input. (Coser et al, 1982) Digital publication also has the advantage of being a quick and efficient process as compared to conventional print publications which are a time intensive process.
This implies that digital publications, unlike conventional print publications can deal with topical issues in real time, for example, breaking news stories. In the wake of the recent uprisings in the Arab states in Africa, the world was getting a blow by blow account of the events as they unfolded thanks to digital publishing.
In addition to this, digital publishing has the benefit of a large global audience; print publishing is restricted by geographical boundaries. Furthermore digital publishing is particularly beneficial to authors and writers who are not yet established in the market. These writers can pursue the option f self publishing which is a relatively inexpensive medium of getting the public to gain access to you work. (Bergsland, 2002)
Digital publishing is not without its drawbacks. An example of this is the issue of piracy. Digital publications are susceptible to piracy as they can be easily accessed by users without any compensation for the author. Digital publishing is also vulnerable to issues of plagiarism that is a serious problem in cyberspace. Another criticism that has been leveled against digital publication is that it is impersonal in nature.
Most people have a sentimental attachment to the written word, indeed, books are popular gift items. However, digital publications lack this essential quality leading people to opt for the paper and ink alternative.
In addition, people who read digital publications often quickly skim through the publications as opposed to reading the book in detail, in order to acquaint themselves with the message that the writer is trying to put across. Essentially, digital publications are ideal for quick references but are ill suited for reading for leisure and pleasure. (Thompson, 2005)
Marketing Techniques Used for Digital Publications
There are a number of marketing techniques used for the promotion of digital publications. An emerging trend in recent times is the use of social networking sites as a marketing technique for digital publications. (Cole, 2003) Recent statistics indicate that Facebook, the social networking site has more than half a billion active users at the moment.
The number of users on twitter, my space, hi-5 and other social networking sites are just as significant. These statistics imply that there is a large online community that is potentially receptive to marketing initiatives that deal with digital publications.
Word-of-mouth is not a marketing technique that is limited to print publications; it is also applied to digital publications. However, word-of-mouth in reference to digital publications is associated with disseminating information about a digital publication by use of digital means of communication.
This is done through such means as e-mails and blogs. The effect of word-of-mouth online marketing techniques is that it generates a buzz, an interest, as it were, in the digital publication which is a hallmark of an effective marketing initiative.
Marketing techniques for digital publications also include the use of advertising on websites. This technique involves posting an advert for the digital publication on a website that is associated or related to the subject matter of the digital publication in question. To illustrate this fact, a digital publication that is about travel destinations may be posted on a website for a travel agency.
Moreover, the marketing techniques for digital publications may include the highly controversial use of e-mail advertising. (Altstiel and Grow2006) This technique involves sending out e-mails about your digital publications to various people. However, it is important to note that this technique is considered an invasion of privacy as evidenced by the fact that the e-mails are unsolicited.
In conclusion, it is evident that, digital publishing is the future of publishing. In recognition of this fact, it is imperative that even more marketing techniques are innovated to promote digital publications.
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