New research from Affinity confirms that magazine ads with URLs are more likely to drive readers to advertiser websites overall, as well as across a range of genres. Even if "drive to web" is not the goal of the advertising campaign, including a URL to boost web visits is a benefit most advertisers will appreciate, says the report.
The VISTA research is based on an analysis of 833 ads in seven different magazines representing six distinct magazine genres:
Magazine Ads Driving Readers To Websites (Index)
Ads Without Web Address (Index 100)
Ads With Web Address Included (Index)
Source: Vista/MPA, July 2009
The research from VISTA reinforces earlier work. Marketing Evolution aggregated nine studies that had quantifiable data on web visits to examine how magazine ads contributed to building web traffic. Findings showed that when the URL was included in the magazine advertising creative the percentage change in website visits tripled (from two to six points):
Percent Visiting Brand Website
No URL included
Source: MarketingEvolution/MPA, July 2009
Both pieces of research underscore the importance of accountability for magazine advertising creative. A number of initiatives have shown that creative quality is the most important factor in affecting advertising results, although media engagement also plays a role.
To strengthen marketers' "drive to web" efforts, Magazine Publishers of America has complied independent research that documents how various online and offline media influence consumers' online behavior, including:
The research includes both third-party surveys from the American Advertising Federation (AAF), BigResearch (for the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association), Mediamark Research, Inc., and the Online Publishers Association, as well as a new quantitative analysis from the research and consulting firm Marketing Evolution, that shows the impact of magazines in affecting web visits, examining results throughout the purchase funnel.
Overall conclusions of the compiled data:
In addition, conclusions from quantitative analysis:
And, from an earlier study from the AAF:
Effectiveness of Media at Driving Consumers to the Web
Out of Home
Source: ICOM, American Advertising Federation (AAF) 2006, July 2009
Finally, in support of the trend to Interactive marketing spending, a recent Forrester report, US Interactive Marketing Spend, 2009 to 2014, shows the expected growth:
Interactive Marketing Ad Spending ($ in Millions)
% of total ad spend
Source: Forrester US Interactive Ad Models, 4/09 & 10/08, July 2009