Media

Hearst admits magazine industry has ‘big job’ to change advertisers' perceptions

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By Natalie Mortimer | N/A

March 26, 2015 | 4 min read

The magazine industry has a “huge perception issue” when it comes to articulating the value of its channel to clients that is proving to be a "big job" to change, according to Hearst UK’s group commercial director Ella Dolphin.

Speaking at Advertising Week Europe today (26 March) alongside execs from Channel 4, Global Radio and News UK, Dolphin admitted that magazine media is partly to blame for the miss-understanding around the influence the medium has in today’s fragmented media space, but attributed this to the paradigm shift seen in publishing in recent years.

“We have a huge perception issue and I’ll take it on the chin for us publishers here and we’ll take some of the blame,” she said. “Over the last four or five years we’ve been through the biggest transition so we had to get our heads down and work on the engine.”

That work includes upskilling journalists to interpret data and analytics and training sales executives to operate across multiple platforms.

“We’ve been spending loads of time on the engine but we haven’t spent enough time on the bonnet, on the perception bit,” Dolphin continued. “So I kind of understand that agencies have missed the mark with magazine media.

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“Really with everything we’re been through we’re the new kids on the block. We are the ones people need to understand how we are operating… there is a big job for us to do, but we are all focussed on doing that now.”

On programmatic Abba Newbury, strategy director, News UK said that the industry as a whole is spending too much time focussing on programmatic and undervaluing traditional advertising media such as television, which has the ability to deliver both audience and context.

“Programmatic sounds sexy and new but what’s going to deliver are the fundamentals of media planning and they very much sit in boring media of TV, radio and newspaper channels,” she explained.

“I’m not saying it’s bad it’s just one way of looking at an audience. Every media schedule should have a balance of the two because what programmatic can’t do is deliver you that context it will just deliver you the eyeballs…unless it can do that it can only sit on the effective audience side of the business.”

Earlier this month Hearst Magazines co-launched a new marketing agency, dubbed Magnetic, to help advertisers get the best return from magazine media.

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