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Are Magazines A Viable Advertising Medium?
Studies Say Yes

For years, advertisers have demanded ROI figures from magazines. They also say the reach of magazines is declining. Some even proclaim print is dead. As a result, advertisers are shifting more and more dollars away from magazines to online products. In today's tough economic environment, this can be devastating. In fact, these perceptions can prove fatal as many advertisers cut their spend even more. You can accept this or you can do something about it. Despite the old cliche, perception is not reality.

If you were asked what media outlet is best at triggering an online search, what would your advertisers and potential advertisers answers be? It would be surprising if the majority answered magazines, but that is what a BIGresearch Simultaneous Media Usage Study in 2007 found.

According to the study, 47% of the respondents indicated magazie advertising influenced them to start an online search for a product; compared to just 26% for Internet advertising. Online communities and blogs only received 10% and 8% response rates respectively. Other advertising mediums perceived to be more effective than magazine advertising fared better than online advertising; broadcast television 43%, newspapers 41%, cable television 36%, radio 30%, and direct mail 30%.

Another misconception is magazine advertising is not appealing to the younger demographic. According to the study, 46% of 18-24 age group indicated magazine advertising led to an online search, a slight 1% decrease from the overall tally. Online advertising saw significant gains with internet advertising checking in at 35%, online communities 23%, and blogs 17%. Yet, even with these increases, magazines are an extremely valuable medium for reaching this demographic.

Another study debunks the myth that the GenX and Millenial generations do not read. According to Mediamark Research & Intelligence study, there are more than 60 million magazine readers between 18 and 34 years of age.

The same study also states that magazine usage is up 5.7% since Spring of 2004 and reaches 85% of the adult population. This increase is second only to the 19.8% growth rate enjoyed by the internet, but the internet reaches only 70.2% of the adult population.

In a tough economy, many advertisers are looking to cut their spending. It is imperative that you make your case. As you can see, there are studies showing the power of magazines for generating revenue for advertisers. The Magazine Publishers of America have an arsenal of tools to help you overcome the perception that magazine advertising is not effective. For more information please visit


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