Magazine Advertising Improves A Balanced Marketing Mix

Magazine Advertising Improves A Balanced Marketing Mix

Magazine Publishers of America and Media Marketing Assessment (MMA) recently released a study to meet the accountability challenge posed by advertisers and their agencies. This study quantifies the incremental sales impact of magazine advertising in relation to other elements in the marketing mix. The study analyzed 186 brands across 13 different product categories over a combined seven-year period, from 1994 through 2000. The brands included represent more than $9 billion in total marketing spending during the period measured, more than $3 billion in advertising spending, and more than $500 million specifically allocated to the magazine medium. The topline findings of the study demonstrate the power of a balanced marketing mix, and of magazines’ ability within that mix to improve return on marketing investment.

The study determined that those brands that spent a higher percent of their marketing budgets on advertising, as evidenced by their media spending, received a higher return on their overall marketing investment.

Overall Marketing Effectiveness

least effective brandsmost effective brands
Media Spending (TV, magazines, radio)25%49%
Non-Media Spending (trade promotion, FSI)75%51%

Behind trade promotion, magazine advertising was more effective than any other element in the marketing mix. Among media, magazines were approximately 40% more effective than TV, and 60% more effective than radio.

Overall Effectiveness of Marketing Elements


The study grouped brands according to the percent of magazines in their overall marketing mix to determine the impact of magazine advertising on trade promotion effectiveness. Those brands with a higher percent of spending allocated to magazines, trade promotion is more effective.

By analyzing the weekly flighting of magazines and TV at the brand level, MMA created three different approaches to advertising flighting. The overall effectiveness of both magazines and TV - and the individual effectiveness of each medium - was the highest when there was substantial overlap in weekly scheduling.

By comparing brands with common media mixes, the report found that for those brands with a higher percent of magazines in the media mix, total media effectiveness was substantially higher.

0.1 Average Media Effectiveness MIX


3.4 Average Media Effectiveness MIX


Finally, in an analysis to determine how quickly magazine and TV advertising work to generate incremental sales, MMA reports that, upon exposure, the immediacy of the sales impact of magazine and television advertising over time is similar.

You can find out more here.

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