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Attention Pays: Optimising for Profit

Attention Pays

Attention Pays: the case for taking printed magazine investment levels back to those seen in 2015 to optimise for profit.

By Anna Sampson, Strategy & Insight Director

                                                   [ download Attention Pays deck here ]

At the start of the year Magnetic launched ‘Pay Attention’. This work demonstrated that magazines deliver quality attention at exceptional value, by cleverly combining attention data with CPT data by media channel. this started to raise the question are we under-estimating the opportunity that printed magazines present?

With this in mind we were keen to understand optimum levels of investment for printed magazines. Whilst it’s always better to do individual studies by brand, we wanted to provide the market with some useful guiding principles.

With this new study ‘Attention Pays: optimising for profit’ our aim was to address 3 key questions:

  • What is the gap in printed magazines investment across the market?
  • What are optimum levels of investment into magazines for advertisers?
  • How well do printed magazine perform on profit ROI?

To answer these questions we turned to Benchmarketing, an expert in this type of work. They conducted a meta study using their database which contains 1000’s of campaigns. For our study they compared 125 campaigns that used printed magazines with similar campaigns that didn’t. This database is made up of client research studies specifically measuring profit ROI, exactly the kind of data you need if you want to understand optimisation. 

Benchmarketing have revealed that the conservative estimate on the levels of magazines under-investment by the market is £220million. If advertisers were to collectively re-deploy this money into magazines, they would see their campaign profit ROI optimised. This translates into advertisers spending 5% of the budget in magazines, which would take printed magazine investment levels back to those seen in 2015.

This isn’t about increasing overall adspend, instead it’s about rebalancing the media mix, diverting some money back into magazines. Previous work has found magazine investment to be highly effective in the mix. ‘Bridging the long and short term’ divide found magazines to be particularly strong at delivering customer acquisition effects, this is because of the type of targeting opportunities they present. It also demonstrated that magazines worked well in combination with TV and Digital. Whilst TV works well to achieve your overall campaign reach, digital your immediate acquisition targets, if you neglect significant magazine investment, you miss out on driving consideration to the specific segments that will help your brand grow.

Overall, we found across all categories researched there is a case for rebalancing the media mix, at an aggregate level magazine investment levels are currently not at optimum. A deep dive into finance and beauty reveals an interesting and contrasting story.

Generally speaking, beauty brands are already big supporters of magazines, 42% of beauty brands already invest in the channel, investing on average 240k a year. This study confirmed what many of these advertisers already know, magazines really deliver when it comes to profit ROI for beauty brands. Magazines are the number one for channel profit ROI for beauty brands, followed by the AV channels of cinema, digital video and TV. With these stand out results in beauty it’s no surprise to learn that if you aren’t currently investing in magazines there is a very big opportunity to optimise your campaign profit ROI. If you simply started using magazine you would quickly get to a 96% improvement in campaign profit ROI. A 5% re-deployment of media funds into magazines would result in a whopping 164% improvement in campaign profit ROI.

Finance advertisers don’t typically invest in magazine, only 22% do and on average they invest at low levels of 120k a year. Finance brands are more likely to invest in TV, digital and outdoor. However, ‘Attention Pays’ found magazines to be a top 3 performer when it comes to channel profit ROI, alongside digital and newspapers. If you are a finance brand who currently doesn’t invest in magazines you could see on average a 32% improvement in campaign profit ROI if you simply started to spend in that channel. Invest at optimum levels of 6% of your budget and you can tap into campaign profit ROI improvements of 68%. Magazines aren’t an obvious choice for finance brands. However, magazines are increasingly offering highly relevant opportunities for finance advertisers, especially those who see the benefits of finance messaging in a lifestyle context.

There is a strong case for pursuing the marginal gains that can be achieved by rebalancing the media mix. Small changes can make a really big difference. In a competitive media landscape where every pound count there is an opportunity to optimise campaign profit ROI, by investing 5% into printed magazines.