Magazine Ads Make Sales: MPA's Ellen Oppenheim on the independent study that proves advertisers need print
INBOX: What does the study's findings mean for magazine publishers?
OPPENHEIM: It means we have a very good story to share with clients about why magazines are important to include in the media plan. … This research does show magazines work, but it's incumbent upon the advertisers to do their research. And that's what's so interesting about this: You've got all these client-commissioned summaries, and they're just telling the same story again and again.
There's another company, called Marketing Evolution, who studied ad effectiveness in 2006 and efficiency [ROI] in 2008, and what you see [between the two companies' studies] is this pattern that's pretty impressive. But one of the challenges magazines face is that they're a very personal medium, and what makes them so valuable to consumers makes them harder to measure in terms of advertising—there's no signal coming out; it's harder to track.
The pattern for magazine advertising is unmistakable. Each and every time you see a study, you see the importance of magazine advertising in helping drive sales.
INBOX: What role do magazine ads play in influencing consumers? How are they different from other advertising mediums?
OPPENHEIM: The thing we've seen through other independent research is that consumers like magazine advertising, primarily because they can control it and it also tends to be very contextual.
What happens in the buying process is advertisers buy magazine ads for a campaign because they fit with the creative and marketing objective. Whereas in other media sometimes they just drop ads in based on the audiences where they're not as contextually relevant. We know that consumers like magazine advertising and they pay attention to it, so that helps it to work harder. And we think that's the reason why magazines are performing so well.
INBOX: If magazines are so important to generating ROI from ad campaigns, why are magazine ads falling?
OPPENHEIM: Well ads are falling in almost every medium right now because advertising budgets, in general, are down. So the rising tide lifts all ships, and unfortunately the lowering tide lowers all ships. We're sort of caught in that mode.