AT&T Case Study: Print ROI Four Times that of TV

rethinkpossibleYou can’t argue with the numbers. The Mobile Marketing Association recently published the results of an AT&T campaign for the company’s Moto X smartphones, and the results are clear.

According to Guy Consterdine in FIPP, “magazines should be allocated a higher share of the advertising budget than they usually receive,” noting that the researchers found the return on print magazine ads to be far greater than expected in boosting awareness.

“[Research marketing firm] Marketing Evolution found that the return on investment (awareness generated per advertising dollar spent) of mobile was twice that of TV, and print magazines’ return on investment was four times that of TV,” Consterdine notes about the AT&T case study.

The campaign initially put 93% of the budget toward television ads, 5% to desktop online, 1% on mobile, and 1% in print magazine ads. The campaign was then analyzed to model an optimum budget split, to maximize ROI across the channels.

“The result was that the optimised allocation placed 72 per cent of the budget in TV (instead of the actual 92 per cent), five per cent to desktop internet (the same as the actual), 16 per cent to mobile (instead of one per cent), and eight per cent to print magazines (instead of one per cent),” notes Consterdine.

Consterdine questioned why they didn’t recommend putting more of the budget toward print, as it returned higher than mobile. The answer is more about availability than effectiveness.

“One [reason] is the availability of inventory. For a campaign running for a limited time period there are only so many issues of each magazine which are published during that period,” Consterdine continues.

“Additional titles might be added but there comes a point where the marginal titles are not very cost-efficient against the target audience. The second consideration is that print magazines may have a limitation on the reach they can achieve among the target audience, in some cases,” he notes.

This study does a good job of quantifying the case for print magazine advertising, and offers a useful look “under the hood” for budget optimization. All of it points to the continued effectiveness of print as a way to engage with your target audience.