Tackling the journal advertising challenge

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Integrating journal ads into a media schedule was a challenge before professional media entered a period of contraction. With ad budgets shrinking and use of new channels growing, what are the keys to integration?

Kate Korczykowski,
Senior account manager,

The keys to journal integration are simple. Once you craft the message that will resonate with your target audience, it's time to make sure you're using the correct media vehicles. Whether journals, targeted media, digital media or convention media, it's critical to understand the hearts and minds of your prescribers, and especially where they are accessing information. Journals themselves have continued to be the top source of info for physicians, but as budgets tighten, and schedules constrict, it becomes critical to know which are those most favored by your target physicians. After that, you need only determine the reach and frequency warranted by your product's lifecycle stage needs and the competitive landscape, to ensure the right level of journal integration into your media schedule.

Jackie Hill,
VP, director of media strategy,
Euro RSCG Life Media

The key to integrating journals is to keep it simple. At a minimum, the leading news, clinical and official society publication should be included to maximize audience reach across channels. Luckily, research offerings today are more granular than ever before in the professional healthcare media space. For example, Kantar Media Professional Health studies 20 physician segments and breaks out their preferred journal reading format. There is no denying that reliance on digital sources has reached critical mass among medical professionals. Always be sure to leverage any print ads by embedding video and live links into digital editions and take advantage of vertical search to target endemically on the journal's companion website whenever available.

Lisa Healy,
Media director,
Regan Campbell Ward • McCann

2009 was one of the most challenging and interesting years for journal promotion. Challenging, because journals were unused early in the year, and interesting because of the sudden resurgence in journal promotion in the fourth quarter. The key to physician promotion is to reach them at multiple points during their work-flow. Journal promotion is still cited by physicians as the most important source for information. Fortunately, our clients recognize the importance of journals, but the question becomes: What is the ideal budget for different media channels? Since no study provides this information, it is important to consider the role of each channel in reaching physicians at different points in their work and free time, and opportunities do exist to capture info that can inform future promotional mix.

Richard Anderson,
Chairman and CEO,
Promotional Economics Institute

The integration of professional journal advertising (PJA) into the structure of any campaign requires an understanding of the role of various promotional modalities.  As a starting point, each modality, within a campaign, either creates or converts instability in the marketplace. At the next level, we start to deal with the conversion concept and how this process creates growth dynamics. If the sequential and/or parallel processes involved in this process are not understood, one will never structure a truly efficient, effective and/or optimally structured promo campaign. PJA fits within a campaign by being an effective and efficient convertor of instability. DTC is an outstanding creator of instability. 

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