Evidence that magazine advertising changes consumer behaviour

Do the advertisements in a magazine actually change consumer behaviour? Are print advertisements still powerful  in increasing engagement and ROI for advertisers? A panel discussion at the FIPP Congress in Rome today provided conclusive evidence based on two major winning projects from the 2013 FIPP Research Awards.

Marius Cloete, head of research, PPA, UK, discussed the success of the Magonomics study, overall winner of the FIPP Research Awards, from an econometrics and ROI point of view. He said that people are equally likely to remember a piece of advertising as they are a piece of editorial, and that the levels of action are very similar for advertisements and editorial content, based on a study done with Mindshare.

People are not screening out advertising, said Cloete. Instead, they view it as part of the overall package. When looking at consumer behavior, Cloete found that nine per cent of the respondents from his study have gone out and purchased the products being advertised, while four per cent purchased based on editorial content. 

“There is an extremely high correlation between bonding of a product and the amount of money that you pay to spend on that,” said Cloete, and that consumers will spend about 38 per cent of their spending on the products they have bonded with.

Britta Cleveland, vice president research solutions, Meredith, USA, discussed how Meredith magazines drive incremental sales and positive ROI based on the Best Long-Term Programme of Research winner, “Magazines Drive Efficient Sales-Guaranteed.”

Cleveland stressed the importance of accountability. “With the choice of media options that are out there,” she said, “there is more and more need to make sure that every penny spent on advertising actually does pay out.”

She discussed the methodology used with a case study of an established brand that had in store support, but no advertising. A test and control group were used that were matched based on brand and category behaviour, with the only different variable being the exposure to advertising.  In measuring the impact that advertising can have on sales, they saw an 18 per cent increase in sales with the test group. The results were so good that they guaranteed ROI and increase in advertising sales to those who spent a certain amount of money with them to run a campaign.

Cleveland concluded with an optimistic message that there is a proven consistent positive performance for magazines, that brand sales can increase without the support of other media, and that magazines deliver nearly three times higher ROI than targeted campaigns on ad networks.

“Magazines are terrific at getting consumers closer to brands,” said Cloete.

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