The CPC is preaching the gospel of custom publishing through education and outreach.
Custom publishing is no longer the industry’s eager but smaller cousin. Advertisers are now spending upwards of 25 percent of their marketing budgets on custom publishing or better than $700,000, on average, per advertiser per year. Overall custom spending is set at $48 billion annually, larger than the magazine industry. About 24 percent of custom publishing is spent on magazines.
Even so, the industry still isn’t a household name, but the Custom Publishing Council is trying to change that. "Part of the challenge is getting the marketer to direct their dollars to the custom publisher," says Lori Rosen, executive director of the Custom Publishing Council, adding, "the research and studies show it strengthens brand awareness and enhances the overall value of a brand."
Custom publishers are still only getting a fraction of that spending, because many companies still prefer to do the work in house. The goal is to get companies to see the value of farming out the work to custom publishing companies, Rosen says. The council is trying to do that by educating the public and by getting custom publishing companies to offer new and flashier products. "As people see their competitors doing more custom publishing and as the magazines become glossier, we’ll see a shift toward more outsourcing," she says.
The council was founded in 1998 as a "subdivision" of the Magazine Publishers of America. At the time, the organization had about 26 members, says Rosen. It went solo in 2002 and now has 87 members. Rosen says the council has about 200 companies targeted for membership. "We’ve come a long way, but there is still a long way to go."
VITAL STATS: Total custom publishing spending, including production, personnel and distribution was $45.8 billion in 2005, representing a 29 percent increase from last year. U.S. companies are now spending upwards of 25 percent of their marketing budgets on custom publishing, for an average of more than $700,000 per company, per year. About 24 percent of custom publishing spending is spent on magazines.