When I was in the magazine business, we always found a way to use research numbers to our advantage against our competitors. We had a number of syndicated research sources to help us along — and a great research department. When Simmons made monthlies look bad, we dumped that service in favor of MRI.
It helped to have a good editorial product (Smithsonian Magazine) attract a large, highly educated, upper-income audiences. More data are good for storytelling.
Today, I prefer reading a few select periodicals, but readily admit to getting most of my news via Internet-only media. Where do I notice the ads more? In print, of course. Naturally, the MPA agrees:
The magazine industry, which has historically opposed time-spent-with-media metrics as fair basis for comparing the involvement consumers have with various media, is warming to the idea, albeit, with a caveat. Instead of looking at all minutes of media usage as equal, the Magazine Publishers of America today is releasing an analysis that assigns a relative value to each minute consumed, and not surprisingly, consumer magazine stack up very well vs. other major consumer media on that basis, including TV, radio, the Internet, and even the other major consumer print medium, newspapers.
“One of the things that is important in understanding how advertising works, is to separate the consumer relationship with the medium from the consumer relationship with advertising in the medium. And very often people look at time spent as a leading indicator of advertising engagement, or advertising wantedness,” Ellen Oppenheim, CMO of the Magazine Publishers of America told MediaDailyNews, explaining why the MPA’s new “Ad Value Per Minute” analysis is a relevant measure for advertisers and agencies to use when planning and buying media.
Raw time spent analyses, she said, are about consumer usage of “the medium, not the advertising” within them. To get at the relative value of time spent with advertising in the major media, the MPA factored a well-regarded analysis conducted by a respected third party, ad impact scores created by consulting firm Deloitte (“State of the Media Democracy” Study, 2008), and incorporated it into a new “Time/Ad Impact Ratio” for the major consumer media.
On that basis, magazines index with more than twice the impact of TV, online or radio, and are actually considerably higher than printed newspapers too.
For any skeptics who question how magazines could enjoy such a commanding lead, other recent research provides supplementary evidence of consumer involvement with magazines and magazine ads relative to other media:
- When consumers read magazines they are much less likely to use other media or participate in non-media activities while reading, giving them more opportunity to engage with the advertising or the editorial content (BIGresearch, December 2008)
- Magazines consistently get higher scores on the engagement dimension of “ad receptivity” than TV or the internet (Simmons Multi-Media Engagement Study, 2008)
- Magazines yield the lowest ROI for purchase influence (Marketing Evolution, 2008) and the greatest imact on purchase intent (Dynamic Logic/Millward Brown, 2007)
- Magazines are the medium most likely to generate web search (BIGresearch, December 2008)
- Magazines are the medium most likely to complement the web in reaching social networkers (Mediamark Research & Intelligence, Fall 2008)