When I tell people I’m in the magazine business, there are almost immediately cracks about gainful employment and “the state of the industry.” Because The YGS Group publishes magazines for specific industries and associations, we benefit from niche audiences who appreciate having a paper copy of industry-specific best practices delivered every month.
YGS is in the printing business because it’s a great business to be in. Believe it or not, print advertising is still the most effective way to promote your product or service, for a variety of reasons.
Tangibility and Its Effect on Action
If you ever go to a conference or a business meeting and someone gives you a handout before the meeting starts, what do you do with it? Do you put it in your folder and forget about it? No, you look it over, engage with the content, and keep it to follow along later. You may even make notes in the margins, questions you have, and reminders to follow up later.
The same kinds of interactions happen with consumers and print media and print advertising. When is the last time you threw away a magazine instead of at least skimming through it? The tangibility of the piece in front of them creates an immediate need to investigate further. In fact, the MPA Factbook 2014, published by the Association of Magazine Media states that 61 percent of magazine ads prompt readers to take action, whether it’s recommending the product to a friend, visiting a website, or clipping a coupon.
According to the same report, print magazines are the only form of advertising media reaching the same proportion of readers spanning three generations. Racial diversity exists in print readership also, with around 90 percent of African-American, Asian American, and Hispanic American adults reading more than 10 issues per month.
Perhaps the most compelling statistic to join the print ad bandwagon is the ROI. Across multiple categories, households that viewed print ads spent more money on products than those households that didn’t view print ads. From candy to lipstick, households spent anywhere from 2 to 36 percent more in a year based on the print ads they were exposed to. This equates to an ROI from $1.69 up to $20 per every $1 spent.
Is Print Advertising Sustainable?
In the future, how will we justify printing magazines and where will we make up the loss in print ads? We won’t need to.
Even in digital formats, magazines are still high sellers: 79 percent of the best-selling iPad apps were magazine brands as of September 2014. And people are spending just as much average time with the digital versions of magazines as they do with the print versions, as much as 53 minutes per issue.
The big picture is that print is still one of the most viable mediums for advertising based on the facts of high reader engagement, audience diversity, the opportunity for a large ROI, and the ease of transferring the same ads into digital editions.