5 Amazing Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Magazine Printing

5 Amazing Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Magazine Printing

Understanding the competition is a crucial business activity for businesses of all types and sizes. Conducting regular competitive research will help your business operate more efficiently, be it making practical decisions around product development and production or exploring a new marketing strategy or audience. While many who conduct competitive research would like to see it as undercover information gathering acts, it is actually very common — in fact, many vendors in the magazine printing industry would be happy to share some trends they are seeing in your business area (without violating non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements, of course). Keep reading for a few things Dollco Print Solutions Group has witnessed in the magazine printing world over the past few years.

5 Trends in Magazine Printing

1. Onshoring

Recent economic tensions have caused stress in the book and magazine printing world, primarily because many publishers were outsourcing printing and production to Asia. Not wanting to pay a potential tariff to get their final product back into the country, many publishers have preemptively brought their printing and production back to North America.

2. Consolidation

Naysayers have been predicting the death of magazine printing for over a decade, but it is alive and well. Like any other industry, there will be mergers and acquisitions (Meredith acquired Time Inc., while Hearst snapped up Rodale and Time magazine was purchased by Marc and Lynne Benioff), as well as closings (rest in peace, Details magazine). However, as magazine publishing companies streamline their operations to become more efficient, they find that they can produce the same great content at a lower price by leveraging economies of scale — such as producing all of their monthly publications at one printing company. 

3. Custom Content

Magazine publishers have always had great content available at their fingertips, one of the primary reasons that advertisers align their brands with print publications. To make up for the decline in ad sales revenue, many publishing houses have created in-house content studios that produce custom magazines and periodicals specifically for advertisers. Publishers will mail the custom content alongside their own, but not always — advertisers turn to custom content studios for their ability to produce high-quality pieces and manage the entire process end-to-end.

4. Quality Matters

While many businesses look to find the cheapest printing solution possible, publishers of high-end magazines focus on creating a high-value product. The rise of magazines, like Kinfolk, Cereal, Whalebone, and Purist, prove that consumers care about the printed quality of a magazine.

5. Going Niche

Focusing on specific topics and audiences is nothing new in the magazine industry, but niche publications continue to thrive by staying focused on one specific category and thoroughly understanding the content and information that their audiences want and need. In recent years, media businesses from outside the world of magazine publishing have jumped on the niche trend and are finding success. For example, Facebook launched Grow and Airbnb now has an Airbnb Magazine.

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Competitive research is an essential tactic for finding out what your competitors are doing and learning about trends within your industry. Mark Cuban, the American businessman, investor, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, co-owner of 2929 Entertainment, chairman of AXS TV, and one of the main “shark” investors on ABC’s Shark Tank, sums up the value of competitive research: “Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them, not you. Understand what your competition is doing and make your business stand apart.” To discover more magazine printing trends, contact the experts at Dollco printing for a free quote — it might surprise you to learn that you are paying more than your competitors!