- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On March 4, 2015
- Magazine advertising
“The report of my death was an exaggeration” -Mark Twain.
If a magazine could talk it might well quote Mark Twain.
We live in a world where a new digital marketing platform seems to come out daily. But just because digital media and marketing tools are launched so frequently does not mean that existing media like print magazines stop working. One of the other interesting characteristics of marketing is that as everyone jumps out of an “old” medium (like print magazines) that medium starts to work better (for example test the effectiveness of hand written notes vs. email).
We do publish magazines so maybe you want some proof. Here’s research from the Magazine Publishers Association 2014 report. Each slide has references to the primary research that supports it.
Magazines are widely read
A lot of people still read magazines. If you are looking to communicate to your local community you will do well by putting your message in a magazine.
Magazines get a good reception
As you can see below magazines are more trusted than other media.
Magazines win with readers as “a way to learn about new products” or “get me to try new things”. These are the kind of responses that hospital marketers are looking for. These are the kind of feelings that might drive patients to try a service line or enroll in one of your educational classes.
You can also build your brand by telling a patient story (either in an ad or advertorial or sponsored section) that ties to readers inclination to find “some content [that] touches me deep down”. This a high probability way to make your brand memorable with prospective patients.
Healthcare does well in magazines
The research shows that advertising for healthcare products and services works well.
As you can see in the table below magazines outscore the Internet, TV, radio and newspapers in driving response to healthcare ads. Responses include actions such as calling a toll-free number for more information or discussing an ad with a doctor. The kind of actions that most hospital marketers would like to see their community taking.
If this data on magazine advertising has you intrigued here are a couple of tips from the research for how to succeed in this medium.
Tip #1: Plan for more than once
It’s well known to magazine publishers that you need to run ads several times to really create results. The data from the MPA supports this. In the chart below you can see that various positive results rise with multiple exposure to ads. These results include brand awareness and favorability as well as purchase intent.
The data suggests that if you are going to run an ad in a magazine you should get the budget to run it 3 times at the minimum and probably as many as 5 times.
Tip #2: All positions work
Advertisers can get hung up on where their ad appears in a magazine but the data below suggests all magazine ads work well regardless of which part of the book they run in.
50% of readers were aware of an ad even if it ran in the last fourth of a book. 60% plus of those readers took an action, such as saving the ad or visiting the advertiser’s website.
Tip #3: Digital magazines work too
OK so magazines don’t only come in print form these days. There are digital magazines too. And it turns out digital magazines work pretty much as well as their print cousins.
Readers of digital magazines also had good recall of ads and actually took action even more often.
The final slide below shows that ads that appear in digital magazines are also very effective at building brand awareness and favorability.
The research suggests that magazines are not dead as an advertising medium and that you should not direct all of your marketing dollars into digital mechanisms like social media. The future probably includes digital and print media working hand-in-hand. It’s a fair bet that combining digital and print effectively is the key to outstanding marketing success in the years to come.