The product becomes a channel
The editorial market, historically the one on paper, has often been the precursor and at times the inventor of promotional techniques and mechanics.
If we exclude the financial promotions, for obvious reasons, of the average price of the editorial product, all the other mechanics were adopted and often experimented by publishing houses, editorial units and dealers. Activities of loyalty, CoMarketing, gift on pack, sampling and various gadgets are still today the fulcrum of publishers and newspapers.
Evaluating the conducts, the strategies and the tactics adopted in the recent past by newspapers and magazines, you can ascertain a frequent birthright of mechanics, that have afterwards become habitual successful promotions of vast consumption. Therefore, can analysing actual behaviour of the daily and weekly newspapers help us guess what the future successful promotions for other product sectors will be?
The immediate objection points out that the sales point of reference is one of the few to be frequented daily by many of us: it is not a small advantage in distributive terms (but there are also bars, gas stations, tobacconists….). However, it is exactly this strength point that was overridden by the publishers, who putting the contents on a second level (and sometimes even ignoring them) have been able to convey with strength and authority of their own trademarks and newspapers every other product genre: therefore not only the similar “entertainment” – with music, games, films, serials – and the obvious “information” – with magazines, consultations, collections, biographies and anthologies – but also model-making, fashion accessories, toys and more.
Nothing to object from a promotional point of view: goals like the conquest of new readers and purchasing loyalty have often been reached and at times surpassed also thanks to the appeal of the offers attached to the newspaper or magazine. The doubt is that they are no longer or not only just promotions.
Actually, we have seen a curious transformation in a product sector in a distributive channel, something vaguely similar to the now far away transformation of the pharmacies in bazaars of wellbeing and hygiene.
Even in the bar where we drink coffee every morning we find various products, promoters and promotions, but they are not conveyed by the primary product: no one asks us for a few euros more to sell us, with the usual cappuccino, some other goods.
The substantial difference is that the editorial promotions have the extra “recommendation” of the newspaper or magazine, that is the real promotional added value, which allows the newspaper or magazine to request a reduced economic contribution in order to sell us a product selected and suggested by it.
Editorial marketing, therefore, is marketing that finances itself, that has known how to make a choice sometimes a painful one ( it is not always rewarding to think that one’s own product is sold by merit of the promotion and not thanks to its contents) but that has allowed the publishers to make profitable what before was a remarkable cost: the distribution.
Published on PROMOTION MAGAZINE 103, October 2006