With a very different use of digital than we’ve been talking about lately, Marvel’s going to try and drive some more foot traffic to retailers with some targeted advertising.  The press release is a bit on the “buzzword bingo” side of the English language, so allow me to attempt a translation.

The gist of it is that Marvel’s going to use “GeoTargeting” – which usually means checking a person’s location by their IP address or their phone signal – to show people where their local comic shops are when getting an email from Marvel.  (See graphic on the left.)  It sounds like Diamond may be curating the database of retailers that these interactive ads are drawing from.

Marvel likely is sitting on some very large mailing lists, so this is an interesting experiment.  It is possibly contingent on mail recipients opting to view images when reading the mail in question and it’s not clear if a privacy filter will block the interactive ad or GeoTargeting component from working, but that’s more of an additional de facto filter than anything else in the bigger picture.

We’ve reached out to Marvel to find out a little more about the program and specifically where these ads are likely to turn up beyond their email lists.

Either way, this looks like a good faith attempt to get people into shops.  We would be curious to hear from retailers if anyone starts seeing new faces.

Official PR follows:

Marvel Reveals New GeoTargeting Technologies To Aid Comic Retailers
New York, NY—March 8th, 2017 — The fun and excitement is happening each and every week at your local comic shop! Today, Marvel is excited to announce a new marketing initiative specially designed to increase comic store foot traffic and bring new readers into stores through the use of GeoTargeting technologies.

“Marvel is always looking for ways to get more people through the doors of their local comic stores,“ says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “With these new tools at our disposal, we’re looking to tap into fans of Marvel television, films, animation, games and even our licensed product and turn them into comic book readers. Not only will these prospective readers learn exactly where their nearest shop is, but all the great Marvel comics waiting for them when they get there!”

Once again leading the way in how comics reach larger audiences, these new technologies will provide both new, casual, and hardcore fans with information about comic shops in their area (location, store hours, phone #) and the exciting Marvel Comics waiting for them inside! Embedded within Marvel e-mails, shared across over Marvel social media networks, fed through advertising partners, and more – this ambitious program is estimated to reach millions of prospective readers – both new and existing!

“Comic book shops have been and always will be the lifeblood of our industry,” says Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. “It’s Marvel’s mission to not only keep those retailers stocked with exciting comics, but to keep fans coming through their doors week after week to engage with those communities. We have a lot of exciting ideas for how to reach new and lapsed fans in 2017, and this is just the start.”

Rolling out first with spring Marvel comic launches, including X-MEN GOLD and SECRET EMPIRE, Marvel is set to reach entirely new audiences in 2017! The biggest characters and creators are waiting for you at your nearest comic book retailer!

Retailers: Please contact your Diamond Comics representatives for information on how to get Marvel Comics your most up-to-date addresses and phone numbers.

Want to learn more about how comics publishing and digital comics work?  Try Todd’s book, Economics of Digital Comics or try some fiction.


  1. I love those generic comics shops!

    How does one measure the effectiveness of this initiative?
    Coupon codes?
    Will Marvel offer a program similar to other publishers, where a store orders the full line of comics, in exchange for being promoted as a “Marvel Store” via Marvel’s emails and FB posts?

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