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How to Determine What Type of Publication is Best for Your Ads

By Hannah Hill on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 @ 11:50 AM |


The following is a guest post by Jenna Bruce.

It shouldn’t come as news that the modern media landscape has been fragmenting for the last decade, presenting advertisers with a plethora of media outlet choices. Understanding which media publication to employ for campaigns can be a daunting challenge, even for the sharpest media minds.

How to Determine What Type of Publication is Best for Your AdsBefore we get into some of the specific types of publications advertisers should focus on, let’s talk about what these publications should offer your advertising dollars.

They Should Hold the Reader’s Attention

Today’s consumers are inundated by an almost-constant barrage of distractions while consuming media. Getting them to focus their attention on your advertisement for more than three seconds is akin to getting a duck to play Scrabble, or something equally as difficult.  Having said this, there are certain types of media that offer less distractions which in turn allow readers to not only focus better but actually engage with your brand’s messaging.

They Should be Trusted Sources of Information

As more channels open up to advertisers, more studies are done as to which of these media channels and publications consumers turn to for information that will help them make a buying decision. Why spend your advertising budget on a channel consumers don’t trust? That makes about as much sense as the recently-announced Cujo remake (no, we’re not making that up). In a minute, we’ll reveal recent research conducted by Readership Institute (RI) at Northwestern University that specifically points to one type of publication that consumers trust more than any other.

They Should Offer Unique Targeting Opportunities

Any campaign will fall flat unless it’s strategically targeted to a specific audience. The publication you choose should be able to deliver targeted reach with a creative that has been specifically designed to appeal to your ideal audience, and the ads should get in front of the right demographic at precisely the right time.

How to Determine What Type of Publication is Best for Your AdsThey Should Target Those with Discretionary Income

Most advertisers we speak with are pretty honest about their main goal – they want to make money and as much of it as possible. Fair enough. We’ll usually ask them if it matters whether they make that money the slow and hard way or the fast and easy way. We don’t have to tell you what their response usually is. There are a couple different publications that are the media of choice for the wealthiest consumers – you know – the ones with money to spend.

So, What Type of Publication is Best for Your Ads?

Now comes the part where you’ll accuse us of being biased, but in our defense, shouldn’t we be huge fans of the media we promote? Here’s the thing, if you advertised in publications that offer just a few of the benefits we mentioned, you’d be doing pretty well. But imagine how well you’d be doing if you advertised in publications that offer all these benefits.

That’s where good ol’ fashioned magazines and newspapers come in. Yes, people are still reading them. Consider this:

  • 92% of adults have read a magazine in the last six months, and 58% of those adults read those magazines in printed form
  • Studies show newspaper and magazine readers have more discretionary income than non-readers. In fact, according to the Ipsos MediaCT’s 2012 Mendelsohn Affluent Survey, 82% of those with household incomes of $100K+ read at least one of the 150 measured print publications
  • Readers of printed material are less distracted and more focused than consumers of digital media
  • According to a research report by Readership Institute (RI) at Northwestern University, newspapers ranked first for “most believable and trustworthy.” Magazines rank right behind them
  • Because newspapers are segmented by section, which allows readers to get only the information they want, advertisers can take advantage of these unique targeting opportunities by placing ads in those sections where their target consumer will find them
  • According to “How America Shops and Spends 2013,” more than 80% of adults took some form of action after seeing an ad in the newspaper and more than half of these people made a purchase.

We don’t know about you, but to us, print advertising in newspapers and magazines makes a whole lot of sense. Certainly more sense than remaking a movie about a rabid dog unleashing terror on a small town. Download ‘Proven Methods for Reaching Affluent and Educated Consumers’ to learn how to maximize print advertising.

Download Proven Methods for Reaching Affluent and Educated Consumers


  1. Four Reasons Newspaper Advertising Still Matters to Your Business
  2. Print is Not Dead and Other Lessons I’ve Learned This Year
  3. Newspaper Ads Capture Attention With or Without Content
  4. Magazine Readership Increases, and That’s the Truth
  5. Six Reasons Advertising in Magazines is a Necessity

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