An article in the Wall Street Journal discusses luxury brands’ digital transformation, an industry typically known for high-quality, high-glossy magazine ads. In “Magazine Ads Go Out of Fashion” (Appeared in print on June 10, 2017), Matthew Dalton highlights the transition of luxury brands’ advertising model from print magazines to digital. Gone are the days of Vogue, Marie Claire, or Glamour being filled with glossy advertisements for luxury products. Luxury brands like Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton are seeing the benefits of allocating part of their budget to digital advertisements and social media.
So, what are these benefits? A luxury brand advertising in a fashion magazine appears to make a lot of sense. Readers tend to be affluent and fashion forward, the same target customer as luxury brands. The advertisements are being seen in a respectable, well-known publication that raises the brand awareness. So, why would marketers opt to put less money into this type of print advertising? Here are some thoughts:
- Track Customers – With print advertisements, brands can only assume they are talking to the right people. Reach and demographics shown in media kits for print magazines can only be so accurate. With digital advertisements, luxury brands can be specific who the advertisements reach, track their behavior, and ultimately, gain a clearer understanding of marketing attribution. With tools like CP’s Perfect Pixel, brands can track customer behavior from clicking on a digital ad to a branded website; allowing brands access to rich customer intelligence.
- Understand Customers – By tracking customers across digital platforms, and seeing the full customer journey from clicking on an ad, browsing the website, to making a purchase, advertisers and marketers gain insight about their customers and how they interact with the brand. The amount of data that marketers can collect by using digital ads and combining AdTech and MarTech isn’t something that any print advertisement can offer.
- Personalize Ads – Print magazines offer a one-size-fits-all approach to advertising, but brands can be more targeted when it comes to digital advertisements. Using customer data collected from online and offline sources, brands can personalize digital ads based on what customers have previously purchased, and what offer or creative will encourage them to purchase again. This level of personalization, when done correctly, can make customers feel like they have a 1:1 relationship with the brand, which will encourage them to continue the relationship.
- Make the Marketing Budget Go Farther – The price of placing a full-page print ad in Glamour is approximately $18,000. The price of placing a 30-second advertisement on Glamour’s tablet app is approximately $1,900. For $16,000 less, brands will be able to track customer engagement, marketing attribution, and get a clearer picture of ROI. Since digital ads can be targeted to customers who previously showed an interest in the brand, the ROI is likely to be higher than the blanket approach of a print advertisement.
Going digital and upping one’s investment in digital ads help brands become more data-driven, and make decisions based off what they know about their individual customers, not the aggregate print magazine readers. By combining MarTech and AdTech in this way, marketers can attribute their sales to various parts of the marketing journey, and allocate their marketing dollars in a way to positively impact the ROI.
There are still benefits to advertising in print magazines. Brand awareness, high-quality photos, and the feeling of seeing your brand in print cannot be underestimated. I recommend an approach that combines the legacy of print advertising with the knowledge and data of digital.