Magazine, Media

Magazines Rule/Magazine Rules

“Some people” say that magazines are dead.  Magazines have an ad campaign in their own medium saying that isn’t so.  “People surf the internet,” they say.  “People swim in magazines.”

I actually tend to agree with the magazines.

If a person finds a magazine they like, getting it in the mail can be a real joy.  If a person gets magazines as a status symbol, they still might read an article or two in order to be in the know.  Either way, an advertiser can reach them and be effective with it if they follow certain rules.

#1 – Relevancy.  You may have the same target audience as the magazine, but don’t be the weird guy selling insurance in a fashion magazine.  Or at least, wait until the magazine decides to talk about insurance because they feel their readers would find it useful.  Then put your ad there.  This is what I try to do for my travel clients.  One offs in irrelevant magazines, or at least issues that don’t pertain to what you’re selling, is like tinkling in the breeze.

#2 – Efficiently reached doesn’t matter if it doesn’t matter.  One of my very favorite colleagues has a great saying: if you are a guy and someone is trying to sell you a beautiful dress at a really cheap price, you still shouldn’t buy it just because it’s a good deal… You’re a dude.  Translation: You’re offered to reach millions of people across the nation in a magazine for pennies per thousand, but you really only need to reach people who live less than ten hours away from you.  It’s not an efficient buy since it doesn’t matter if you reach those millions of people.

#3 – Know your goals.   Some clients’ goals are lead generation.  Some have reach, efficiency, or killer added value as their need.  Some, have it to spend the money with friends.  In any case, you have to hold up each opportunity against those goals and see how they weigh against each other and your metrics for success. 

Note to planners: Be honest to reps as to why you do or don’t buy them.  They have to tell their bosses something and it’s easier to tell them the truth. 

Note to reps: If you don’t get a reason – don’t bug the heck out of the planner, sometimes there’s just no reason to give.  If you do get a reason – really, really don’t bug the heck out of the planner.

Note to clients: Help your planners determine what the answer to rule number three is and don’t hesitate to tell your reps what that is.  Then at least when the rep contacts your planner, s/he will be able to really know whether you had a conversation with the rep or not.  They’ll already be on the same page.

Do you as a planner, rep, or client, have any rules we could/should add to this list?

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2 thoughts on “Magazines Rule/Magazine Rules”

  1. As someone that is supposed to be fully immersed in all things digital, I still love physically grabbing a magazine and escaping for an hour. I can’t get that same feeling online, because I constantly multitask in that environment.

  2. Totally agree Patti. Although many consumers are getting more and more content online many still love to pick up that magazine and dive in as the content is focused on things they love i.e. food, fashion, travel. Plus many use it as a continued source of info for months after publication so clients get the added bonus of repeat exposure with their target audience.

    Although at some point magazines may become obsolete I don’t think it will be anytime soon. The real worriers of loosing their audiences to the internet are the newspapers. For timely information on important topics the internet just works better and it’s no surprise it shows in newspaper sales across the US.

    P.S. Love your mention of the “dude buying a dress” scenario from your colleague. After the almost year and a half I spent with said colleague that is the one thing he said that I still remember and have referenced to other people. It’s a simple thought but I think it’s easy to forget when you get wrapped up in the buying process.

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