Has Our Love Affair With Magazines Ended?


Has Our Love Affair With Magazines Ended?

Name a women’s magazine in Australia and it is likely to be facing declining readership. Australian Women’s Weekly, Elle, Home Beautiful, Cosmopolitan, even Frankie magazine are all in decline. And let’s not forget that Cleo magazine is no longer with us. Mums are voting with their wallets and abandoning print magazines in droves.

So why aren’t mums buying magazines anymore?

1. Free content is everywhere

The rise of social media and content driven marketing means that mums can access content all over the internet. Their favourite parenting groups effectively curate her content delivery and it is all free. As a result, she no longer sees value in paying for magazines.

“Why pay for content I can get for free”

“I can get it on Facebook or Insta”

2. Advertising Overload

Mums control more than 80% of all consumer spending making them a very powerful consumer segment and highly attractive to advertisers. Mums are overwhelmed by the amount of advertising they receive each day. Whilst she is subject to some advertising in social media there is significantly less advertising she needs to go through to get to the magazine content.

“Magazines are full of ads.”

“Too much advertising for things I can’t afford”

3. Time Poor

What little spare time mums have is now sucked up by social media. According to the latest Sensis Social Media report Australians are using social media for four more hours a week than they did a year ago. Additionally, the demands of being a parent are increasing. There is continued pressure on the household income and many mums are juggling work, childcare and extracurricular activities. To sit down and read a magazine plays to mum feeling incredibly guilty about all the other things she could or should be doing.

“I don’t have the spare time I used to”

“I only buy them (magazines) when I go on holidays”

4. Lack of Quality Content

Mums don’t care for the gossip mongering, poor body image displayed by models used and the fake news they feel is communicated in many magazines. It is far from her reality and depicts a life she does not aspire to either. She finds celebrity endorsements a particular turn off in advertising and the print magazines are full of them.

“Mums don’t want pretty pictures. They want to be inspired and empowered.”

“Magazines are filled with lies.”

5. Changing Interests & reduced household income

Mums interests shift after having kids and magazines aren’t catering for her changing interests. Research shows that mums are less interested in keeping up with designer clothes collections and comfort and fit become increasingly important. Additionally, they are facing greater pressure on her household income as one parent moves to working in a reduced capacity for a period of time.

“When I’m budgeting it’s the first thing to go.”

“Where would I ever wear this stuff now?”

What does it mean for your marketing spend?

In short, mums are spending their short bursts of free time online. If you haven’t already, it’s time to reconsider your advertising spend. Look to invest your marketing spend primarily into digital where businesses are seeing greater returns on their investment.

If you do choose to advertise in print magazines be highly selective. The free editions of the Coles Magazine and Woolworth’s Fresh magazine have more than double the readership of any of the paid magazines according to 2016 Roy Morgan research data. They are the magazine industry’s shining lights. There is are also many successful highly niched magazines available. If looking at advertising in these I’d also ask about what digital support they can offer as integrated advertising delivers a better result.

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