Local Interactive Strategies

Where ad dollars are growing

Sometimes the bad news contains some positive patterns worth digging for.

Advertising Age magazine (subscription required) reported earlier this month that U.S. magazine ad pages were down 3.1 percent for the first half of 2008. The usual culprits hitting all media were blamed: declines in ad spending by auto companies, financial, real estate, etc.

You have to read through the list of losers to get the gainers. But check out these titles showing double-digit increases over 2007:   Cooking with Paula Deen, Every Day with Rachael Ray,  Relish, Cookie, Parents, Fast Company, Body & Soul, In Touch Weekly, OK Weekly, Southern Accents, Veranda, Spin, Technology Review, and Working Mother.

(Pop quiz. Which title had nearly 50% growth from 2007? Answer at the end)

See any patterns? Let’s toss out Fast Company and Technology Review for this exercise. What I see are some clear patterns of publications targeting hard-to-reach audiences, and drawing advertisers who are finding it harder and harder to reach them. The audiences:

Young moms: Cookie, Parents, Working Mother.
Food-conscious women: Cooking with Paula Deen, Every Day with Rachel Ray, Body&Soul, Relish.
High-end home design fanciers: Southern Accents, Veranda.
Young people obsessed with celebrities: OK Weekly, Spin, In Touch Weekly

The point is, there is advertising money out there for those who can draw the right audiences.

How many publishers, both online and in print, continue to make incremental changes in their products, rather than identifying a valuable unserved audience and going after it?

It’s like what Willie Sutton said when asked why he robbed banks: “Because that’s where the money is.”

(Answer: Cookie – targeting hip, stylish moms — up 49.5 percent this year vs 07)


July 27, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment