While most of the marketing world’s attention seems to be focused on digital media, print media continues to deliver outstanding results. Or so the print media outlets tell us - with no other ways to measure, marketers have no way to know that these claims are true.

Meanwhile, marketing managers and advertising buyers are held up by their results - prove that you’re delivering quality leads and sales or else you can wave goodbye to your budget. Inevitably, this leads to a forensic and scientific approach to Marketing and a requirement for everything to be measurable and attributable.

As brands crowd into the digital marketplace in search of measurable ROI, the most forward thinking marketers are reevaluating traditional channels, and discovering that they could actually deliver them a better result (even direct mail is seeing a revival). Moreover, new research shows that they’re definitely on to something…


German research firm GfK evaluated the performance of multiple media channels for ROI, and found overwhelming evidence for the efficacy of print adverts; they believed this was because “the internal pacing of print ads enables confrontation at a suitable moment, as the person has found time to read the newspaper, they are paying attention and have time to take in advertising messages presented to them.” Inflight magazines in particular provide the perfect engagement moment for advertisers: the reader is shut inside a plane with quiet time to read, think and evaluate. It provides an ideal setting to reach and influence an audience that is considering their next purchase decision or planning their next travel adventure.


As the graph above illustrates, magazines deliver outstanding performance. With a return of 130%, magazine advertisements produce the highest ROI of all media channels. The magazines used in this GfK study delivered a modest but targeted reach. Because of that the performance was strong, but the drawback for marketers is that the scope and reach of most magazines is limited. Inflight magazines have a much wider reach than news-stand titles – so advertisers will get all of the benefits of magazine advertising but to a huge audience. This year alone, over 670 million passengers will be flying with our airline partners. GfK highlights that “Just like newsprint, internal pacing of magazines is a factor of success. Besides this, magazines give advertisers the opportunity to target sharply and to choose a suitable Umfeld [German media planning expression for the editorial content around an advertisement] for their ads.”


Independent data has shown how print advertising offers the most bang for your buck when it comes to advertising spend. But this doesn't necessarily help you to prove ROI to your boss. Many of our advertisers have found innovative ways to measure the impact of their investment, here’s a couple you might consider:
  1. Include an exclusive reader offer with a unique code or web address to track conversions. With onboard wi-fi, many passengers are now in a position to act immediately on your call to action. Some advertisers have covered all bases by including pull out and keep inserts
  2. Encourage social media engagement - Whisky Blender ran a fab campaign encouraging readers to take a selfie with a #whiskybeard and share through social media.

With all of these innovative engagement ideas for print, measuring ROI on your advertising spend is not such a pipe dream for Marketers. Those that have invested have been amply rewarded, particularly where they've chosen the titles with the environment, reach and impact to deliver.

We challenge you to measure the ROI on advertising in inflight magazines - you won’t be disappointed.