Thursday, April 19, 2012

Advantages of Magazines

The benefits of magazine advertising include the ability to reach specialized audiences, audience receptivity, a long life span, and visual quality.

Target Audiences.  The ability of magazines such as Men’s Health, Fast Company, and Sassy to reach specialized audiences has become a primary advantage of magazines.  For example, a set of magazines published by the Hearst Corporation is called the Seven Sisters and is clearly targeted to contemporary American women.  These seven include Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies’ Home Journal, Family Circle, Redbook, Women’s Day, McCalls, and Good Housekeeping.

Audience receptivity.  Magazines have a high level of audience receptivity.  The editorial environment of a magazine lends authority and credibility to the advertising.  Many magazines claim that advertising in their publication gives a product prestige.  Clearly an ad in Fortune would impress business audiences, just as an ad in Spin would impress teenagers.

Long life span.  Magazines have the longest life span of all the media.  Some magazines, such as National Geographic and Consumer Reports are used as ongoing references and might never be discarded.  Other publications, such as TV Guide, are used frequently during a given period of time.  In addition, magazines have very high reach potential because of a large pass-along, or secondary, audience of family, friends, customers, and colleagues.

Format.  People also tend to read magazines at a slow rate, typically over a couple of days, so they offer an opportunity to use detailed copy.  The magazine format also allows more creative variety through multiple pages and other features.

Visual Quality.  The visual quality of magazines tends to be excellent because they are printed on high-quality paper that provides superior photo reproduction in both black and white and color.  This production quality often reflects the superior editorial content.  Well-respected writers often write feature stories.

Ten Reasons to Advertise

Ten Reasons to Advertise

1. Advertising Creates Store Traffic
Continuous store traffic is the first step toward increasing sales and expanding your base of shoppers. The more people who come into the store, the more opportunities you have to make sales. A National Retail Federation survey found that for every 100 items shoppers plan to buy, they make 30 unanticipated purchases.

2. Advertising Attracts New Customers
Your market changes constantly. Newcomers to your area mean new customers to reach. People earn more money, which means changes in lifestyles and buying habits. The shopper who wouldn't consider your business a few years ago may be a prime customer now.

3. Advertising Encourages Repeat Business
Shoppers don't have the store loyalty they once did. Shoppers have mobility and freedom of choice.  You must advertise to keep pace with your competition. The National Retail Federation states:  "Mobility and non-loyalty are rampant. Stores must promote to get former customers to return and to seek new ones.”

4. Advertising Generates Continuous Business
Your doors are open. Employees are on the payroll. Even the slowest days produce sales. As long as you're in business, you've got overhead to meet and new people to reach. Advertising can generate traffic now...and in the future.

5. Advertising is an Investment in Success
Advertising gives you a long-term advantage over competitors who cut back or cancel advertising. A survey of more than 3,000 companies found that advertisers who maintained or expanded advertising over a five-year period saw their sales increase an average of 100 percent, and companies that cut advertising grew at a less than half the rate of those who advertised steadily.

6. Advertising Keeps You in the Competitive Race
There are only so many customers in the market ready to buy at any one time. You have to advertise to keep regular customers and to counterbalance the advertising of your competition. You must advertise to keep or expand your market share or you will lose to more aggressive competitors.

7. Advertising Keeps Your Business Top-of-Mind With Shoppers
Many people postpone buying decisions. They often go from store to store comparing prices, quality and service. Advertising must reach them steadily through the entire decision-making process. Your name must be fresh in their minds when they decide to buy.

8. Advertising Gives Your Business a Successful Image
In a competitive market, rumors and bad news travel fast. Nothing sets the record straight faster than advertising; it tells your customers and competitors that your doors are open and you're ready for business.
Vigorous and positive advertising can bring shoppers into the marketplace, regardless of the economy.

9. Advertising Maintains Morale
Positive advertising boosts morale. It gives your staff strong, additional support. When advertising or promotion is suddenly cut or cancelled, salespeople and employees may become alarmed or demoralized. They may start false rumors in the honest belief that your business is in trouble.

10. Advertising Brings in Big Bucks for Your Business
Advertising works. Businesses that succeed are usually strong, steady advertisers. Look around. You'll find the most aggressive and consistent advertisers are almost invariably the most successful. Join their ranks by advertising and watch your business grow!

Cultural History of Magazines

Magazines were truly America’s first national mass medium, and like books they served as an important force in social change.  The mass circulation magazine grew with the nation. Between 1900 and 1945, the number of families who subscribed to one or more magazines grew from 200,000 to more than 32 million.  New and important magazines continued to appear throughout the decades. 

Magazine industry research indicates that among people with at least some college, 94% read at least one magazine and average more than 11 different issues a month.  Nearly the same figures apply for households with annual incomes of over $40,000 and for people in professional and managerial careers, regardless of educational attainment.  The typical magazine reader is at least high school graduate, is married, owns his or her own house, is employed full time, and has an annual household income of just under $40,000.  Advertisers find magazine readers an attractive, upscale audience for their pitches.

How people use magazines also makes them an attractive advertising medium.  People report: Reading magazines as much for the ads as for the editorial content, keeping them available for up to four months, passing them along to an average of four similar adults, and being very loyal, which translates into increased esteem for those advertisers in the pages of their favorite publications.  In 1950 there were 6,950 magazines in operation exceeding 22,000 in 2002, 12,000 of those being general interest consumer magazines.  Of these, 800 produce three-fourths of the industry’s gross revenues.  Ten new magazine titles are launched every week (Magazine Publishers of America, 2000). 

Magazine specialization exists and succeeds because the demographically similar readership of these publications is attractive to advertisers who wish to target ads for their products and services to those most likely to respond to them.

Introduction to Mass Communication
Media Literacy and Culture
Second Edition
Stanley J. Baran