PuIizzi to Print Panners: Bite Your Tongue

“Bite your tongue.”

That’s the basic reply from Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi when people tell him that print magazines are irrelevant.

“No content distribution type ever really dies,” Pulizzi wrote in LinkedIn last week. “It only changes. Vinyl albums are seeing a resurgence. And almost 700 million printed books were sold last year. That’s 100 million more than in 2012 (according to Statista). Radio? Even with Sirius XM, Spotify and Apple, radio continues to survive.”

The same goes for print magazines, as witnessed by recent industry news.

“Computer hardware manufacturer Raspberry Pi recently purchased two computer magazines from Dennis Publishing,” Pulizzi notes. (We covered that story a few weeks ago, in case you missed it.)  “That makes five magazines and over 20 print books now published by Raspberry Pi’s Press division. And this is just the start.”

What has changed is how magazines are viewed in the business model for a company like Raspberry Pi.

“Is Raspberry Pi generating more advertising revenues and subscriptions through the magazines? Not really,” Pulizzi writes. “But are they selling more products and services? Absolutely. Are customers more loyal because of the magazines? No doubt.”

That’s because print magazines have an undeniable impact on a brand’s legitimacy and trust factor, which have a huge impact on a consumer’s relationship with a brand and their willingness to do business with them.

Are you missing the opportunities in print magazines? Pulizzi defines six reasons why print is such a solid marketing opportunity for modern brands:

  1. It grabs attention.
  2. It helps shrink audience development costs.
  3. What’s old is new again.
  4. It helps your customers know what questions to ask.
  5. Print still excites people.
  6. Print lets people unplug.

Pulizzi’s understanding of print’s impact comes first-hand; his own company witnessed the results of this strategic addition to their multi-channel marketing strategy a few years ago.

“CMI launched CCO magazine back in 2011,” Pulizzi notes. “A few years later we discovered that those who read the magazine consistently became our best customers.

“Online marketing and social media are definitely here to stay. So say ‘yes’ to social media, apps, and the rest of it,” Pulizzi continues. “But don’t forget that print can still play an important role in your overall marketing mix.”