Best Practice

Making the most of magazines

In a world of media fragmentation, magazines present the most fragmented media option. Although there are general titles with huge, sometimes global, circulations, magazines above all present the opportunity for focus on specific target groups, and their interests and enthusiasms. Over the past 20 years, in most developed markets, the number of titles has grown rapidly (10), while total circulations have mostly also grown, though less rapidly. It is only in terms of their share of the media adspend market that magazines have largely failed to shine (17).

Since the arrival of commercial TV, magazines have typically been seen as a 'support' medium (36, 37), or as a vehicle for niche brands sold to tightly-targeted audiences. This has limited their importance for most major consumer brands, and much of the magazine publishers' research effort for the last 15 years has been devoted to trying to change this.