Many industries across the country have been affected by the downturn in the economy. There has been substantial press about how hard the automobile sector and the manufacturing sector have been hit. Not as much press has been focused on the publishing industry which has also been severely impacted by the economic recession.
To no one’s surprise, consumer magazines suffered a beating in 2009 in terms of advertising revenue. According to full-year results released today by the Magazine Publishers of America’s Publishers Information Bureau, ad pages for the year were down 25.6%.
This affects the direct marketing industry in several different ways; some of the hurdles we face, with respect to the publishing industry are:
No one really knows where we stand in terms of the economy recovery….is it here?....has it happened?....how much longer do we have to wait?
News for 2011 is better than 2010. According to the Publishers Information Bureau, there was magazine ad revenue and page growth in seven of twelve major advertising categories during the first quarter of 2011 versus 2010.
With fewer magazines being published and less ad space available, there have been fewer direct mail pieces. Most, if not all publishers, eliminated marginal mailing lists while others cut out an entire mailing.
With budgets under such a tremendous amount of stress, other, less expensive, direct marketing techniques have been gaining ground.
Declining direct mail volume has been met with an increase in the volume of email and social media messaging. Whether it is email, Facebook, or Twitter, these media are relatively new and everyone is learning as they go. It is crucial for magazine publishers to know who their subscribers are and how they would like you to communicate with them.