With every second person in the marketing industry punting online marketing and social media, and every third person (OK, make it every fourth) pointing to the demise of conventional advertising, who would even think about advertising in magazines?
Well, let’s think. Er, how about marketing managers? Brand managers? Product managers? Sales managers? Media planners? Advertising execs? Business owners?
The reason? Because people still read magazines. And lots of them. Take Huisgenoot: As of 2011, 313 581 copies were sold a week, with around two million people reading a copy. Take its English-variant, You magazine: with 195 821 copies sold per week.
Of course, these are just two examples. There are countless others: Fair Lady, Bona, Cosmopolitan, Drum, Home and Garden , Home and Leisure, Destiny, O, Stuff, Heat, FHM, Golf Digest, Top Billing, Getaway, Men’s Health, the list goes on and on. And then there are the business magazines, like BBQ (Black Business Quarterly), Entrepreneur, Financial Mail and Finance Week. And trade magazines like Engineering News, The Project Manager, Mining Weekly, Advantage Magazine etc.
It’s an undeniable fact: people are fond of their magazines and have a bond with them. Tell your wife to stop buying her weekly Huisgenoot (incidentally, the magazine with the highest readership in the country) and to rather read it online – were it is available online – and you’ll likely go without dinner for a week. Due to the loyalty shown towards magazines, readers in many ways become dependent on them. As with your morning cup of coffee: go without it for a day and you’ll barely survive.
Closer to home – well at home actually: if my wife picks up that her weekly You magazine has not been delivered, she’ll be pretty annoyed. Much like her husband in fact if I see that my daily copy of The Times is not in the post box or that my Saturday Star or Sunday Times are not under the front gate on the weekend.
People like to cozy up to their magazines. Something they can’t exactly do with their laptops (although admittedly a lot of them are taken to bed). And it is this relationship that people have with their mags that marketers tap into. Knowing that if they place an advertisement in someone’s favourite magazine, it will be read – and hopefully acted upon.
It’s similar with business magazines and trade magazines, although it’s not a love affair that people have with them but more a feeling of dependence. As a businessman (I’m a small ad agency), I like to keep abreast of developments and for this reason am an avid reader of newspapers and the Financial Mail. As a mining engineer, or systems analyst, you’ll want to know what’s happening in your industry, and will likely snap up the Engineering News or your favourite IT magazine as soon as it hits the shelf or does the rounds around the office.
Whilst it is common knowledge that we can get all the news we want from the internet and via our smart phones (fantastic that this is so), we still like our magazines and newspapers. And likely always will.
For this reason, print advertising will remain on advertising media schedules. (Despite the fact that readership and circulation figures are largely down from where they were prior to the start of the global recession).
The challenge for advertisers or marketers is of course (as it has always been) to decide which magazines or newspapers to advertise in. There’s scarcely an industry that doesn’t have at least two or three publications targeting readers.
And this is where you need to work with an advertising agency or media planning facility who have the tools to tell you which publications perform better and were you should advertise to best reach your target markets. Brief them correctly and they’ll take the guesswork out of the conundrum: where best to advertise?
Advertising in magazines works. But clearly, it’s just one medium and should always be viewed as part of a communications package. So be sure to supplement it with other forms of advertising: Street pole advertising. Billboard advertising. Radio advertising. Cinema advertising. And, budget permitting, TV advertising. As examples.
And whatever you do: don’t forget online marketing. If you don’t have a decent website that is professionally optimised, run Google Adwords campaigns and partake in social media, you seriously ought to. In fact, advertising in magazines or newspapers should only be done once you’re satisfied that your online marketing is the best it can be.
Need advice? I’m Gerard Kavonic of This country’s smallest ad agency. Take a look at my website www.kavonichone.co.za or call me any time on 083 444 9888. If I can point you in the right direction, I’d be happy to.