7 Stone Cold Truths about Magazine Ads

magad1Dennis Kelly is a rabid advocate of testing.

“Earlier in my career, I may have jumped at that to say you MUST use, blah blah blah blah, or else the campaign won’t be effective,” Kelly writes in Masthead Online. “The ever changing landscape means that all these providers have their place. They all work to varying degrees. Sometimes spectacularly well. Other times dismal failures.”

The key for him is testing.

“Keep trying, to see what’s working. When it works, keep trying to improve it. When it’s working to your satisfaction, put your media muscle behind it,” Kelly advises. Using this method helps us determine the strengths and weaknesses of a particular media or channel for our needs. And it’s helped him discover some specific strengths in magazine media.

According to Kelly, magazine advertising offers the follow advantages:

  • “Magazines command the readers’ attention. The reader is much more likely to be engaged with their magazine(s) of choice without the distraction of other media.”
  • “Magazine advertising gives you the opportunity for more persuasive storytelling and detail and a deeper connection with the reader.”
  • “The multitude of magazines appealing to specific niches allow your messaging to be very targeted and focused on specific interests of your audience.”
  • “You can customize your ad from issue to issue, or magazine to magazine to test content, and measure response to different appeals.”
  • “Magazines are a trusted friend you invite into your world on your time. And you can go back to it multiple times after only one purchase, and refer to it as long as you like.”
  • “Multiple studies have confirmed that increased magazine advertising in the media mix will improve the overall ROI (Return on Investment) across a diverse range of product categories.”
  • “Face it- Magazine advertising sells. Magazines are often cited as the key driver in the purchase. cycle, providing the stimulus for readers to act on the ads they see.”

The tighter the niche, Kelly notes, the more the audience is able to self-select and the more effective you’ll be. Which helps explain the success that small niche publications are having in the last few years.

Kelly offers some great tips on how to most effectively use magazine ads; the entire article is worth a read and some serious testing of your own.