Tuesday, August 18, 2009

OutputLinks says versioned newspapers is an idea whose time has come. I agree, but . . .

Publisher's Note:
Although not exactly an HVTO topic, we feel that this personalized newspapers article may be a preview of things to come as document consolidation and cost reduction considerations drive companies to consider utilizing delivered newspapers and periodicals for delivery of transpromo documents. Imagine personalized rather than generic ads and maybe even your utility bill in your mailed Wall Street Journal or Fortune magazine. Could it happen? Anything is possible with print.
Andy & Julie Plata, Publishers, OutputLinks
Here's the but. . .
The real opportunity is for clickable versioned, not personalized, newspapers. The high margin value of a newspaper is as token of membership in a community of interest. An audience of one is not a community. Audiences of 30, 300, 3000, or 3,000,000 can be a community. A classroom and a school are communities. A linkedin group sometimes becomes a community. Twitter and facebooks have a gezillion communities.

It's just like T-shirts for rock bands. Or golf shirts. Or baseball caps.

The "clickable" part is to generate searchable clickstreams that can evolve into Google Ad Sense for the real world. The mass market lives in the real world.
Versioned Newspaper Trials in USA and Europe:
"The concept of a newspaper with stories selected just for you may sound far-fetched but it’s an idea whose time has come.

Just imagine how it would be to get your morning paper without all that real estate stuff. How much more interesting it might be if it were just about local news and sports. Or finance news and international stories. Or women’s news. Or motor cars. Even celebrity gossip.

Trials now being conducted in the USA and Europe suggest that, within the next few years, that idea may become commonplace as the newspaper industry seeks new ways to remain relevant in the face of encroaching online news delivery. . . .


  1. Michael - Whether the content is versioned for smaller communities or personalized to the individual is an open debate. However I believe that driving the advertising to the personal level is definitely going to happen. At the personal level is where you can make the add the most relevant and that usually equates to more sales. And this ultimately is what advertisers want.

    When you use CodeZ QR to throw 1to1 QRPurlZ into the personalized and relevant ads now you have made the print clickable and the rest is history.

  2. Dr Qr,
    We agree. But here's the distinction I'm trying to make. Purchase is a pull decision. Getting something new on to someone's field of vision requires a push media. For advertising to really work it has to be pushed at a prospect or suspect with a seamless way that allows him to pull more information and complete the transaction.

    Print is the most effective push media, in the sense of getting something new onto a person's radar. The Smart QR allows the connection to a pull media to be seamless.

    It's only a difference in how one looks at. But I think it clarifies a path to scale much more quickly.

  3. Just one more thought about advertising. "driving the advertising to the personal level" might not be the best metaphor to clarify the process.

    A more useful metaphor might be something like spreading seeds, nurturing them and hope they flower.

    The in-principle problem is that interest is not static. Rather, it occurs in a micro-second at different times and different places. Print and anywhere, anytime TV are push media because they have a half life that allows them to be immediately accessible when the "interest event"

    I think this helps explain the success of Google Ad Sense. The marginal cost of getting a message on the prospects radar is close to zero. The advert is presented at a moment of awakened interest in something close to the offer.

    Even with all that the sell through rate is tiny. But a tiny percentage at a massive scale at can work quite well.