Magazine media is loved, trusted, effective and more alive than ever

Get magazine media on the radar of everyone responsible for a brand, advertiser or agency, now!! No time to lose. Give it your best effort, dig up all your secret weapons and put the message out there. This is the message from Esther Braspenning, chairman of the FIPP Research Committee and media knowledge manager of The Ppress, the Belgian magazine association.
We are at the start of a new semester. La Rentrée they call it in France, the 1st September when the country awakes from its August-nap. Back to school, back to work, the end of summer. Here in Belgium the advertisers association celebrates that with an annual barbecue where ‘tout le monde’ of marketing and media comes together to discuss their holidays and start the new work season with a bang (and a hangover?)
In many companies September and October are traditionally very busy months. A lot of measures will be taken in a last minute attempt to up this year’s results and on top of that planning for the start of 2015 (however short-lived those plans may be). Translated to our world this means: get magazine media on the radar of everyone responsible for a brand, advertiser or agency, now!! No time to lose. Give it your best effort, dig up all your secret weapons and put the message out there: magazine media are loved, trusted, effective and more alive than ever!
That is why at we have come up with a summer quiz with the slogan: don’t send your media knowledge on holiday. We challenge advertisers and agencies to test whether they are up to speed with the latest research and the real facts about magazine media. And we have truly set them a challenge; no such thing as a free lunch (or barbecue). Thus far the top score is 7 out of 14 so nobody passed the test yet. My conclusion is that we have our work cut out for us as advocates for magazine media. 
At the barbecue we present everyone with a handy booklet containing the right answers, while giving them an overview of magazine media facts, figures and storytelling. We hope it will make life a whole lot easier for agencies and advertisers when considering their media choice: one stop shopping for magazine media supporting evidence. 
In that respect our Magazine Media Scan resembles the second edition of FIPP’s Proof of Performance (in other respects, like comprehensiveness, we wouldn’t dare to compare ourselves to POP v2). This treasure trove of magazine media knowledge bundles everything you ever needed and wanted to know. 
This second, updated edition, expected by the beginning of November (Go Guy!*), will present us with many new facts and figures, specifically where the non-print parts of magazine media are concerned. More and more publishers are investing in solid research on magazine brands, magazine media platforms and cross-media advertising. They are discovering that while the media world changes at a fast pace, readers are loyal to their favourite magazine brands, linking the same brand values to all its content regardless of the carrier and at the same time quickly adapting to the ubiquity and always-on accessibility of their favourite brand. 
We have all been rowing against the stream these past years when the combination of technological developments and economic downturn shook the magazine media world very roughly out of its comfort zone. I take a bow to those publishers who were strong and brave enough to invest in new research nonetheless, providing us all with insights into the new and improved magazine media. Thanks to them POP v2 will answer questions like: 
• How does cross-media advertising work within a magazine brand? We all need to find out. 
• How and when do readers interact with mobile and social and which content do they crave in the morning or evening? 
• Will the paper version of the magazine continue to fulfil a role next to digital versions? 
We are so much looking forward to reading Proof of Performance v2!
And after all this, we will still be left with some questions. And new ones will arise as our business evolves. That is why we all need to keep investing in our business by doing great research which puts the right message out there: yes, we are in the middle of a huge business reconstruction; but we are alive and kicking and here to stay! (I am already looking forward to seeing your entries for the 2015 FIPP Research Awards.) And there are grounds for optimism regarding magazine media. Last month PwC’s Outlook predicted a turnaround in the fate of magazine publishing when digital income will finally start to compensate the loss in print circulation and advertising as of 2015 (see more on the FIPP Insight website). Fortunately the latest GroupM forecast (in this Insight) also tells us that things are very slowly looking up again, as global ad investments seem to be on the rise again. More money in the market means more opportunity but we all know that we will have to fight hard for it, so let’s get ready! (i.e. read POP v2). 
While you are at it, put another thing on your To Do list for La Rentrée: get FIPP’s new World Digital Magazine Media Factbook (more about this and free download of the executive report in this Insight newsletter). Big Data analytics, paid content, native advertising, programmatic advertising, product development, tablets, e-commerce and smartphones. All the buzzwords, all the trends you need to know in order to handle the changing landscape and rapidly shifting revenue streams in your market. Or to look sharp in any media discussion (not to mention the small talk at the advertisers barbecue). 
That leaves me with only one more thing to say: On your marks. Get set. Go!
PS: I really hope FIPP will organise their webinars on both publications again. Love it when they summarise all this stuff for us.
*Guy Consterdine, FIPP research consultant and author of Proof of Performance v2
Esther BraspenningChairman FIPP Research Committee and media knowledge manager, The Ppress, Belgium
Twitter: Brussels12

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