Mindshare and PPA study tackles magazine econometrics

Magazines show a higher average ROI than any other media channels according to research carried out by Mindshare and the PPA and revealed at the Science Museum this morning.

Magazines: Mindshare and PPA publish study
Magazines: Mindshare and PPA publish study

The study, Magonomics, was carried out by Mindshare UK's Business Planning Unit, using its own data and data provided by marketing, analytics and research company Ohal.

It was commissioned to examine the role of print magazine brands in both driving bonding between advertisers and consumers and influencing, cost efficiently, their purchase behaviour.

Mindshare analysed econometric data from 77 campaigns with advertising spend of up to £6m to reveal return on investment (ROI) figures that seek to quantify magazine advertising’s "often-underestimated" contribution to driving sales.

The main findings include:

  • A correlation between printed magazine investment and high bonding scores (which, according to the PPA, is the most critical influencer of purchase behaviour);
  • In the campaigns analysed, magazines showed a higher average ROI than any other media channel involved, including television, internet and newspapers;
  • A series of diminishing return curve and media reallocation analyses show a consistent overall increase in sales when magazine media are deployed at higher spend levels (but within the same overall budget);
  • For the brands included, magazine budgets had to be at least doubled before magazine ROI dropped to the same level as television.

Mindshare also discovered that the gains made by reallocating budget to magazines were far greater than the losses from the host medium.

Although the results varied for each campaign, it emerged that magazine spend for the brands reviewed can be doubled before the ROI drops to the same level as TV, providing an indication that there is room in spend allocations for magazines to continue delivering high ROI.

Jim Jarrett, business director, intelligence at Mindshare UK, said: "The PPA commissioned us to analyse the performance of magazines in the media mix and we’ve deliberately examined two key areas to really understand the power and impact of magazines.

"Firstly, our Magonomics research has viewed magazines separately to newspapers to highlight the different function they play to traditional print within a media campaign.  

"Secondly, we examined magazines' measurement in econometrics to assess performance over time, taking into consideration that magazines do not deliver their entire audience in one ‘easy to pinpoint’ moment. In exploring how magazines are treated in econometrics, we are able to demonstrate that correctly distributing magazine audiences over time leads to an uplift of 19% in magazine ROI."

Marius Cloete, head of research at PPA, said: "Our work with Mindshare and Ohal has conclusively shown just how powerful, and frequently underestimated, magazines' ability are not only to get consumers closer to brands, but to make a substantial contribution to an advertiser’s bottom line when deployed and measured appropriately."

The PPA also recently released the results of its TAP report, which drew on both on the PPA's own online market research and on a large selection of international studies.