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Touchy-feely premium for printed product permanence

The intimate and tactile relationship between print products and consumers will be a key factor in the medium’s longevity, say industry experts.

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Appearing at the Mumbrella Publish conference in Sydney, Natalie Taylor, national sales director publications and catalogue group of BlueStar Group, said ‘touch’ is a key point of difference to other mediums.

“Print is the tool that you stop and engage. It is tactile, you are consuming it in your own time. What we try to do with our publishers is having that point of difference,” Ms Taylor said.

“It is the engagement, the spark, the innovation it can have, and if you can spin that in the right way to your advertisers, it has a greater cut-through.

“As the studies say, it does create a sensory experience when you actually touch something because you are emotionally linked to it.”

Fiona Corsie, content marketing manager at APT Travel Group, believes that emotional link is an important part of the reason her company’s travel magazine averages a readership time of 60 minutes. This is an impressive figure when compared to time spent reading digital.

For Rob Gallagher, CEO of Adventures Group Holdings, the strong reader relationship that print seeks to generate means there’s no substitute for quality when it comes to product creation and development.

Mr Gallagher recounted an experience with an employer who rolled back investment in particular products – using lighter, cheaper paper and removing gloss. He found when this trend was reversed and the opposite was implemented, readership and revenue rose.

He also cited the inherent trust that readers have with printed copy, a quality which he believes can be linked to increased readership, revenue and sales.

Deborah Bibby is the editor in chief of Jones Magazine, David Jones’ in-house print product. She found that products featured in the magazine, sometimes stocked in thousands, quickly sell out within weeks of the publication going on sale – a problem when publication is a quarterly printed.

Cassie Laffey, content and publications manager, Flight Center Travel Group also appeared on the panel which was moderated by Lauren Quaintance, head of content, Story(ation).

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