Will the Internet kill magazines? Did instant coffee kill coffee?
New technologies change many things. But not everything. You may surf, search, shop and blog online, but you still read magazines. And you’re far from alone. Readership has actually increased over the past five years. Even the 18-to-34 segment continues to grow. And typical young adults now read more issues per month than their parents. Rather than being displaced by “instant” media, it would seem that magazines are the ideal complement. The explanation, while sometimes drowned out by the Internet drumbeat, is fairly obvious. Magazines do what the Internet doesn’t. Neither obsessed with immediacy nor trapped by the daily news cycle, magazines promote deeper connections. They create relationships. They engage us in ways distinct from digital media. In fact, the immersive power of magazines even extends to the advertising. Magazines remain the number one medium for driving purchase consideration and intent. And that’s essential in every product category. Including coffee.
How will your magazine adapt to the Programmatic Revolution?
Programmatic advertising is teaching advertisers to expect seamless online buying of ads that are precisely targeted to the best prospects across broad networks of publishers. Do you think print will be exempt from those expectations? The pressure will mount for us to take the bureaucracy out of buying ads in magazines. And we’ll need to think more about offering subsets of our audience—such as “influentials,” C-level executives, or residents of select ZIP codes—to advertisers at high CPMs. And joining with other publishers, maybe even competitors, to create magazine-advertising networks that can offer targeted audiences at scale?
Have you applied lessons from your digital ventures to your magazine?
If native advertising is working for your website are you talking to those advertisers about putting their messages into print as well? Your digital folks know which links and headlines get the most clicks and which are actually read when clicked. They know whether your audience likes listicles or slide shows. Sure, your magazine has a different audience and focus than your digital vehicles. But the data from your website is probably better than the magazine industry’s traditional BOPSAT (Bunch of People Sitting Around Talking) method of determining what readers want.
Do all of your ad sales reps know how to sell print?
Many reps in our industry were hired because of their digital chops but find themselves selling print as well. Who’s guiding them on issues like deadlines, positioning, specifications, and how to create an effective web-and-magazine package? Do they know about high-impact units like gatefolds, inserts, and belly bands? Or how to present the magazine’s circulation and audience?