Innovation in Print: A B2Me Magazine… The Interactive One on One Printed Magazine. The Mr. Magazine™ Interview with American Printer magazine publisher Andy PlataApril 23, 2012
Magazines, successful ones, are much more than good content. The future of magazines is in the experiences a magazine can create with its audience. The more individualized the experience, the better the odds of making it. So, what if you create a magazine with YOU or Your Company specifically in mind and also have the capability to show me your creation in ink on paper. Not just in some ink-jet personalization of a cover or an inside page, but rather with a seamless integration of your name, the name of your company, the selection of the articles all combined in one issue mailed right to you with YOU as the bull’s eye of the dart board and the center of gravity for the entire issue.
Well, that’s what Andy and Julie Plata have created as they relaunched American Printer magazine this month. They were on a mission to create the first B2MeMagazine–the first business to me rather than business to business magazine. They wanted to personalize the magazine, exactly like they have personalized direct mail campaigns, and they wanted to do it in print. “A B2MeMagazine is a ‘Business to Me Magazine’ that is created specifically for the individual subscriber. Articles and ads are dynamically generated at time of print in accordance to the subscriber’s demographic profile.”
My first copy arrived and to say that I was impressed will be an understatement. My name and the name of the Magazine Innovation Center were there, on the cover, on the back cover, in some of the ads and also in some of the editorial pages. Nothing out of the ordinary, just a seamless unpretentious mention of my name and the Magazine Innovation Center. The examples, following my interview with Mr. Plata, speak volumes of the innovative ways of enhancing and personalizing print in this digital age.
I reached out to Andy Plata, the co-publisher of the magazine, and asked him a few questions regarding this personalized venture in innovation in print, aptly in a magazine devoted and aimed at American Printers and named American Printer:
Samir Husni: What is the genesis of the idea behind the B2MeMagazine?
Andy Plata: We wanted American Printer to be born again for renewed life after we purchased it in September after it had been shut down by Penton Corporation in August. As we investigated the best way to accomplish this objective we developed the B2MeMagazine platform to provide the 130 year old American Printer and other subscriber-based publications with a 1:1 personalized platform that would provide the multimedia interactivity that today’s readers seemed to expect.
SH: Do you expect this concept to take hold in the magazine business?
AP: Yes. It just makes sense that it will. We have personalized computer screens, personalized TV and radio programming, personalized … so of course people should and will expect personalized magazines. And the good business people who publish magazines will provide their readers what they expect – a personalized magazine experience.
SH: Your relaunch issue have 20% personalized content with the promise that it will 100% by 2013… What is your plan to create a fully personalized magazine?
AP: We could produce a 100% personalized magazine right now but we chose to take a crawl/walk/run/fly approach instead. The reason is that B2MeAds™ require tight integration of subscriber database information to dynamically generate individualized content and graphic elements for each subscriber. This is a new concept for many of the designers and agencies who produce the corporate ads. So we decided to take time to help the creatives understand how best to support this exciting personalized 1:1 platform. They say it takes a village …
SH: American Printer now integrates the power of print, web and social media all in one… can you explain this concept and how it will amplify the future of print?
AP: The effectiveness of any kind of communication experience is increased by enhancing the richness of the communication. American Printer enhances the magazine reading experience through the B2MeMagazine platform. The platform provides subscribers a tactile print-magazine experience integrated with mobile and web experiences all via the personalized immediacy of B2MeCode™ launch points that include QR, Purl and other pattern-recognition. The future of print technology will be defined by how effectively printers seamlessly integrate current and future communications technology onto printed pages to provide the best communication platforms for their clients’ desired messages. American Printer’s endeavors to have its subscriber base of printers experience the future of print in each issue of the magazine.
SH: Thank you.