Guest Column: Magazines—The Medium of Action in a Slow-Moving Economy
If awareness is the marketing objective, marketers would be well-served to have TV as the lynchpin of their plans and to have magazines play an important supporting role.
But when purchase intent becomes the marketing objective, the roles reverse. Magazines play a starring role, with TV in the background. On average, it costs just $1.23 per person whose purchase intent shifted due to magazine ads, compared to $1.77 for TV (44 percent more) and $2.61 for online (112 percent more). In fact, the cost to get one person to want to buy your brand via magazine advertising is not that much more than it is to get that person to be aware of your brand.
The story doesn’t stop there. Marketers who care about effectiveness have gravitated toward search as a way to bolster their marketing efforts. Guess what medium leads in generating searches for merchandise online, even without considering how many more ad dollars are allocated to TV? Respected research provider BIGresearch found that magazines beat broadcast and cable TV and even online media in this area. In fact, magazines were the only medium to rank in the top three of 18 media studies across all age groups.
And for those marketers who want buzz? Mediamark Research & Intelligence data show another strong connection between magazines and digital media. Marketers who want to build word-of-mouth should know that Facebook and My-Space users are heavy users of magazines, as well as the Internet. Other media rank far behind. Magazines and the Web also stand out as having the most trustworthy opinions—another important factor in buzz marketing.
What does this mean for magazine publishers? Nothing gets attention like the need to survive. That means that today’s economy provides an unprecedented opportunity. Sharing the lessons learned about how magazine ads can improve clients’ advertising results in the short term can garner marketers’ attention like never before. Add to that the fact that magazines can deliver this impact at a superior return on investment, and you have an extraordinarily compelling story.