How can the Publishing Industry get their Mojo back- Highlights from Magazine Day
The annual Magazine day produced by the Ad Club of Toronto was held on Friday December 2 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. Jane Francisco, Editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping was the guest speaker and she talked about the issues facing the industry and here are the takeaways from this event including conversations with ad agency media planners.
Reader demand for the print version of magazine is still strong, but it has not coincided with advertiser demand that is falling (as we all know)
Talking with the agency folks at the event the reason for this is not the agencies, who are big supporters of magazines, but advertiser attitudes towards magazine. The Ad tech community is going client direct and telling them that print is dead and they believe it, plus the cost of digital ads on some ad networks are as low as $2CPM as they are dumping ad inventory on the market due to oversupply. These two issues need to be addressed by the industry.
Another fact that was learned from the agencies, the major publishers are not publishers anymore but communications or printing companies as their major focus. This has resulted in the lack of passion for the brands that as resulted in cutbacks in staff and printing quality that make it even less attractive, as the quality of the product is diminishing in their eyes. So this makes it a hard sell for the agencies to convince advertisers to buy magazines. It is time to get rid of the beancounters and put publishers in charge again to bring that passion back to grow the business again.
Knowing these facts how can the industry get their mojo back. Jane said that they have to make their brands stronger as there are a lot good brands out there. The MPA in the USA are using a Persuasion Index to demonstrate the Ad effectiveness of magazine ads versus online ads and other media.
We need to look at the effectiveness of the creative formats to compete with the digital competitors as digital ads are low price and low quality options that advertisers are gravitating to (they like to buy at Walmart, not Holt Renfrew, is a good joke to use). The MPA is also offering a money back guarantee program
that they are offering advertisers in the USA. You can get more information on the persuasion metrics at this link
The industry needs to sell their content better and show how targeted magazines are for the desired audience. This is easier for B2B brands, but for consumer magazines perhaps they should have an editorial calendar like B2B magazines so agencies can sell the product better was one idea bounced off the ad agency folk and was told that they liked it. And a little more passion will help too and not the defeatist attitude that is percolating in the industry. It is time to change it up and try new things and stop mimicking the digital competition. The industry needs to forge their own path as an industry and compete harder not retreat.
The Ad Club also recognize the Media Planner/Buyer of the year, Tomothy Harris, Strategy Supervisor at Starcom Mediavest Group and the Magazine Salesperson of the year Deidre Marinelli, Sr. National Account Excecutive at St Joseph Media. David Hamiltion was awarded the 2016 Merit Award Recipient for his 30 years of dedication to the magazine industry in Canada. Some of the proceeds of the event are given to NABs
that support out of work people in the ad community.