Much has been written and talked about regarding magazines. Whether it is titles launching to reach a new audience or long-standing magazines going the all-digital route (see Newsweek) or shuttering their doors completely, it’s hard to tell which direction magazine publishing is headed. Last week we told you about one promotion from Meredith that was developed with the goal of increasing advertising and filling the non-content pages of all Meredith’s titles. We won’t revisit that as you can go to that post and get the full update or at least our point of view on it. Today let’s focus on why advertisers need to be including magazines, whether in print or digital, as part of their advertising campaigns.
Recently The Association of Magazine Media published their 2012/2013 Magazine Media Factbook, outlining how readers interact with magazine publications in print and online forms. The Factbook has more than 100 pages of in-depth magazine data to help advertisers understand why they should consider magazines. Taking a step further, there are four main takeaways advertisers should understand regarding reaching target markets with magazines.
1. The first thing to understand is that people are reading magazines. Take whatever you’re hearing about print dying and the imminent closure of all publishing houses and throw it out the window. Here’s why: 92% of adults (95% of those younger than 35 and 96% of those younger than 25) have read magazines in the last six months. Now to be fair some of this is happening in digital platforms, we can’t deny that. But not all, as only 38% of 18- to 34-year-olds read magazines on electronic devices. Now I’m no math wiz, but that leaves about 58% who are still holding the printed version of Sports Illustrated or Shape as they read. The audience is huge, and it can be sliced and diced however you want, with titles specializing in content and hitting very specific demographics. So find the magazine right for your product or service, and buy some pages.
2. You have friends right? Oh, sorry, I didn’t know that was a sore subject. OK, think about your family or co-workers, they have friends right? And I’m guessing they talk to their friends and tell them all about their new vacuum, favorite whiskey, or the car they just drove off the lot. That ‘telling’ and ‘sharing’ happens in a number of ways in addition to word of mouth. It also happens in social media, and magazine readers are trusted influencers. So get your brand in front of them (with great creative), convince them to buy your product, and they’ll tell all their friends. No really, they will.
3. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: We want consumers to see our ad, go to our website to get more information, do some more research and eventually make a purchase, either now or next time they’re in the market for our product. Guess what? No medium triggers online search more than magazines. The numbers range by specific age group and sex, but of adults 18+, magazines and broadcast trigger searches in 36% of consumers. Any major league hitter would be pretty happy with that batting average.
4. It is really this simple: Magazine advertising increases sales. Download the Factbook and check out slide 30. Brands advertising in magazines experienced a sales lift of 3% to 36% compared to the control group. If you’re a successful marketer maybe you see the 3% and think, ‘No biggie.’ But tell me anyone in your organization wouldn’t be interested in a 36% sales lift and I’ll tell you about some oceanfront property in Arizona I have for sale.
So there you have it, the data is real, and in case you missed it at the beginning, you can download the entire Factbook here. There is a ton of information in there and we’ll be back next week with some more details about magazine advertising and what you should be doing to create effective campaigns. In the meantime, if you’re ready to get some ads placed and want to stay out of the contracts magazines want you to sign, check out our eBook on the benefits of making your buys independent of contracts.
Scott Olson is the director of marketing at Mediaspace Solutions. His career has spanned marketing positions in the non-profit, software and utility sectors providing various marketing experiences. You can connect with Scott on Facebook, Google+, Twitter or LinkedIn.