The Ad Comeback Story of the Decade

traveller-magazineIndustry studies show that the benefits of magazine ads often outweigh newer digital avenues, particularly in the all-important area of building consumer trust.

Ten years ago many in the industry were saying that magazines were down for the count. As the recession ground on and digital advertising became hotter, the ad revenue for many publications did a nose dive. Yet the medium refused to die. And now, magazine advertising is making a strong comeback, according to Kaycee Cleary in AMG.

“Companies may be investing more in digital advertising, but modern businesses know that combining print and digital advertising — creating a true cross-channel advertising plan that leverages the strengths of both — is the key to success,” Cleary writes.

Clearly is a proponent of the audience-centric approach to advertising as the path to success, with print playing a larger role than many might expect.

“Instead of thinking about individual communications with your audience, think about building an experience at every touch point,” she explains. “That means using cross-channel advertising to leave the right messages in the right places and times.

“Beautiful, glossy images and long-form ads will be well received by magazine readers who read slower and stay on pages much longer than web browsers. Quick and inviting digital messages can lead consumers either to more information via blogs and articles or to a sale with incentives based on the shopper’s history. Or, you can create the path for the consumer by starting with a print ad that invites the shopper online to continue the conversation,” Cleary continues.

From our point of view Cleary may be a bit too optimistic about the value on digital advertising; she neglected to mention the crazy ramp-up of digital ad blockers and the general consumer distrust of digital ads. The massive fraud in the digital ad industry has made many question the wisdom of pouring more money into this silo.

Still, we do agree that digital channels can and do have a role to play, especially in the acquisition of new fans to your brand. Advertisers are embracing the multi-channel space, and research tells us that magazine ads work best to build relationships and trust with your audience, while digital can be a good way to expand your reach.

Cleary’s article gives some good tips for building out a solid and successful multi-channel advertising approach, starting with using magazines to support your digital efforts and “create a foundation for your cross-channel strategy with magazine advertising that will build consumer trust and create more brand awareness.”