Print Magazine Ads Continue to Tell it and Sell It for Brands

When it comes to your customer journey, there are different marketing tactics that work well at different places in the funnel; that’s no surprise for any student of marketing. Some advertising is great at building brand identity; other ads engage; still others do a fantastic job at conversion.

What may surprise you is this: there is one tactic that does the heavy lifting across the entire funnel, helping to build awareness, engage and sell.

Image source: The Association of Magazine Media

According to Linda Thomas Brooks, president and CEO of the Association of Magazine Media, “print is one of the most effective ways to deeply engage consumers, build brand awareness, and sell products.”

Brooks recently spoke at an agency conference, notes Ellen Harvey writing in Publishing Executive.

“During a presentation at DigiPub: Harnessing the Power of Data-Driven Print in November, Brooks shared third-party research on printed magazines, which reveal an alternative narrative,” Harvey explains. “Marketers are beginning to reawaken to the value of print as well,” she continues.

She’s right about that; media buyers still believe in print and are increasingly vocal about the reasons why.

According to Brooks, there are four key reasons why ad strategists continue to return to print, at all points along the funnel:

  1. Print magazines have reach. “According to Nielsen and GfK MRI research conducted in the spring of 2017, the top six magazines — including People, Better Homes & Gardens, and National Geographic — have a larger reach among 18- to 49-year-olds than anything on television,” Harvey notes, based on the research.
  2. Print magazines drive results. We’ve seen this data before; when print is added to the advertising mix, brand lift and purchase intent goes up significantly, at both ends of the funnel.

  1. Magazines are trusted. The trust bump is real. “The consumer has said, ‘Here’s my name, home address, and credit card info.’ They have invited that magazine into their home and the advertiser gets to be the plus one,” Brooks explains. This kind of trusted relationship – which the print magazine opens automatically for their advertising partners – can’t be bought with any amount of digital advertising.
  2. Print magazines demand more attention. “The research showed that when consumers want to understand a specific topic or be inspired by something, print magazines are the preferred format for all age groups, including millennials,” Harvey explains. Similar research from Pew Research Center tells us that when it really matters, millennials want it in print.

This time of year is always a good time to reassess where you are spending your ad dollars, and why. As we look at where print really fits in the customer funnel, it’s pretty obvious that the answer is “everywhere.” Brand exposure, awareness, engagement and purchase can all be improved with print magazine ads.

And there is a chorus of industry voices acknowledging the ROI impact of print magazine ads. When it comes to your brand metrics, magazines tell the story, and magazines sell the story.