For media professionals, a The Wall Street Journal’s Media/Marketing page on January 15 was about as uplifting as listening to The Cure while awaiting sentencing, with the jury foreman being a kid you stole lunch money from in 5th grade. Here were the headlines of its top two articles: "Newspapers Move to Outsource Foreign Coverage" and "Magazine Ads Evaporated in 2008, Faster as Months Went On."
Here were some not-so-fun facts about magazine ads:
- In 2008, fourth quarter magazine advertising plunged 17% compared to a year earlier
- 2008 also saw drops in the first three quarters (6.4%, 8.2% and 12.9%, respectively)
- Automakers bought 24% fewer magazine ad pages during 2008
But let’s also not forget there is an upside to all this; it may be advantageous for your business in terms of magazine advertising. If your competitors are not advertising and you are, you’ll get the most possible bang for your buck. So if you’re waiting to strike while the iron is hot, now is likely the right time.
In fact, this article from Wisconsin-based InBusiness Magazine sums it up quite aptly:
Since 1949, there have been many studies of the effects of advertising spending during recessions, and most studies have come to a similar conclusion: advertisers win business from those who don’t advertise (duh!), and advertiser sales and market share grow at a dramatically faster rate than non-advertisers for the next 3-5 years.
In one study, the advertisers sales growth was 14 times greater than non-advertisers. Holy competitive advantage, Batman!
(Truth be told, Batman has never needed to advertise, as far as we know. Although, come to think of it, he may need to take some serious PR measures following his outburst at a photography director that went public last week.)