In 50-ish Words

What is the value of magazine brands?


Yesterday a number of us attended the Magnetic Spark 2016 conference. Here we encountered a number of talks and panels around the role of magazine brands within the modern day media marketplace. Kicking off the event was Nick Southgate, the IPA’s Behavioural Economics consultant. Southgate echoed Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow, talking about question substitution – when a question is too difficult to answer (e.g. should I buy this 2nd hand car) we substitute it with an easier one (e.g. do I trust this person?). This is the sweet spot for magazine brands and their content.

Magazines are experts in their fields, in comparison to a blogger, they arguably have a lot more to lose if their content or recommendations are sub-par. This results in consumers putting an increased level of trust in magazine brands, their credibility when it comes to passion points are unrivalled. As pointed out by Lorraine Candy, the editor-in-chief of British Elle, people’s passions define them. And here lies the purpose for magazines in their printed form. If people are passionate about a subject, they want to feel it, touch it, own it, they want it to have physicality.

From a media agency perspective, this should serve as a reminder. As cited in Campaign last week, the behaviours and media consumption of agency and marketing professionals is vastly different to that of the general population. The fact that our time spent with traditional press and TV is significantly lower than the national average is a prime example. As agencies we must break out of our ‘media bubble’ and ensure that we are not ‘printist’, with magazine brands so trusted and valued in the minds of consumers, there is a clear place for them alongside a more modern media mix.