Technology companies increased their spending on magazines by 21.6% from Q1 2012, according to data released this week by the Publishers Information Bureau. The technology category includes hardware, software, devices (including mobile phones and other handsets) and telecom providers (i.e. AT&T), said a spokesperson for PIB.
Why has the technology industry — which last year reduced the number of ad pages purchased three out of four quarters — suddenly reversed direction, spending $215.9 million on magazines in the first three months of the year? It hasn’t. According to Jon Swallen, chief research officer of Kantar Media (which supplied the original data to PIB), the increase in spending — at least in the hardware/software division — is something of an anomaly, one that can be linked to a single advertiser: Microsoft.
“Microsoft launched significant campaigns in the first quarter for software products, particularly for Windows 8,” Swallen explained in a phone interview with Mashable. “The company also launched some campaigns for Office 365 … But the increase, it’s all Microsoft.”
Microsoft and its media-buying agency, Starcom, declined to comment on the spending figures.
The software giant isn’t alone in its actions. David Cooperstein, a Forrester Research analyst, pointed to advertisers such as Adobe, Samsung and BlackBerry, which coordinated a big marketing push for the launch of the BlackBerry Z10 phone in Q1.
“[Advertisers] have recognized that print still works,” Cooperstein said, adding that print is particularly effective for “creating an emotion” around a brand or complex piece of consumer technology. Cooperstein noted that these advertisers are going beyond Wired and other technology-focused magazines, buying pages in consumer-oriented titles they haven’t been in before.