A new report seeks to debunk the conventional wisdom that print, as an ad medium, is on the decline.
The study, by Marketing Evolution, El Dorado Hills, Calif., and commissioned by the Magazine Publishers of America, looks at 19 marketers, including Ford, Johnson & Johnson, Motorola and Target, and measures the efficacy of their ad buys in magazines, on the Internet and TV from late 2004 through June 2006.
The report found magazines drove through the "purchase funnel," leading three of four "funnel stages" reported. Magazines led in familiarity (85%), purchase intent (72%) and brand imagery, where 73% of those surveyed were able to identify a logo based on a magazine ad. In the only stage in which magazines didn't lead, ad awareness, magazines still scored 66%, meaning that percentage of people said magazines made them aware of the brand. That compared to 73% for TV and 55% for online.
The studies covered automotive, pharmaceutical, entertainment, electronics and "general" categories.
Though MPA commissioned the study, Marketing Evolution CEO Rex Briggs said the data stands on its own: "Any time we do a study, it has to be released regardless of the results. And I can hear the cynics saying 'This never would have made the light of day if the results hadn't been so positive for magazines.' I'm sure that if the results weren't what they were, we would be presenting the findings in a much smaller conference room."
MPA will present the findings at the annual American Magazine Conference this week in Phoenix.
The report is a challenge to conventional wisdom in the marketing industry. While the overall spend on magazine ads is flat this year at $33.5 billion through August, per TNS, Internet ad spending is up 18.3% from $5.3 billion to $6.3 billion versus last year's period. TV also is up at 5.1% to $41.1 billion through August. Overall spend on advertising rose 4%.
Christine MacKenzie, executive director of multibranding at Chrysler, told executives this year, "We're spending on something new, so don't expect us to spend as much on something old. It is simply not enough to just put an ad in a magazine."
IBM cut its print spend almost 52% the first half of 2006. "It's very hard to break through in print," said Deirdre Bigley, IBM vp-worldwide advertising. "It's not doing what it used to."
Liquor companies, which have long relied on print, are also shifting ad dollars to TV and the Internet. In Q2 2004, 71% of the marketing spend from spirits companies was dedicated to print, per TNS. In Q2 2005, print was 56.7% of the mix. Cable TV spend doubled to $25.5 million in Q2 2005 vs. 2004 while Web spend jumped to $8.6 million from $1 million.
Jack Trout, marketing consultant at Trout & Partners, Greenwich, Conn., said, "I don't think magazines as a medium have gone away. As far as creating brand familiarity, it makes sense that magazines would lead because we're talking about an audience that is very much involved with the editorial of a particular magazine. Look at Car & Driver. Those people read the hell out of that."