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Media Intelligence : 2008 Intelligence
magazines Magazines – A closer connection Helen Kingsmill, Executive Director*,Magazine PublishersAssociation tells MT+Swhy magazines connect with consumers. What do the changes in cross media ownership laws and the ongoing consolidation in the industry mean for advertisers? While large media groups own some of Australia’s major consumer magazine publishing companies, the magazine businesses are not subject to the legislation that encourages a diversity of ownership of daily press and free-to-air television and radio. It’s true that with recent company mergers there are now fewer major publishing companies in Australia, but what is of importance to advertisers is the strength of the magazine brands and that hasn’t changed. If anything, the new company structures off er advertisers other cross-platform tie-ins with the magazine brands and new opportunities to leverage the close relationships magazines have with their readers. If the bigger publishers are successful in attracting ad budgets out of other media into magazines then all publishers can potentially benefit in the long run. What does it mean for smaller magazine publishers? The spirit of competition in the magazine industry is steeped in the fact that magazines have no regulatory barriers to entry. Australia has a large number of independent publishers who compete successfully against larger publishers. The industry continually attracts entrepreneurial publishers who successfully launch titles in a variety of categories, both niche and mass market. How are agencies responding to the ongoing changes? Agencies and their clients have had to adjust to wide-ranging changes in the media landscape, largely because of the growth of new digital communication platforms. In a rapidly fragmenting media market, advertisers are seeking the closest possible connections with consumers. Magazines, because of their unique and close relationship with their readers, are ideally placed to provide advertisers with the most receptive environment for getting their message across to a very ‘media savvy’audience. Today’s advertiser is no longer seeking a single solution to media selection – the strategic role of magazines in the new media environment is highlighted by the fact that consumers don’t avoid ads in magazines like they do in other media – they welcome them! What do media buyers and planners need to knowabout magazines going forward? Firstly, that the publishers are continually investing in their magazine brands to make them the most powerful communication environments for advertisers. They are also increasing investment in their creative services departments to put together the most impactful marketing ideas and business solutions to meet advertisers’objectives. Last year MPA launched a new online resource for agencies and advertisers at www. magazinesgetcloser.com.au which contains an extensive database of downloadable research studies that support the close connections magazines enjoy with their readers and the medium’s eff ectiveness in delivering return-on- investment and return-on-objectives for advertisers. magazinesgetcloser.com.au supports the new trade marketing campaign from MPA, which follows feedback from media agencies that advertisers are seeking the closest contact points with consumers, as well as trusted advertising environments that off er high receptivity. Coinciding with the campaign launch, MPA released the fi ndings of a major new research study into media usage that reveals marketers get closer to consumers through magazines because people are more welcoming of ads in magazines and fi nd them more appealing and relevant than in other media. * At the time of print Helen Kingsmill had stepped down from her role at MPA however this interview took place during her capacity as ED.