Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Love and Remembrance

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Love and Remembrance

Article excerpt

Byline: JOE MANDESE

Readers who really love their magazines and spend time poring over the editorial also pay more attention to the ads in them - and are probably more likely to buy. That is an idea that makes sense intuitively and has been the basis of publisher sales pitches for decades. But advertisers always want proof, so a bunch of publishers came up with a measure they think can convince advertisers.

The Involvement Alliance, a group of eight magazines - Reader's Digest, Smithsonian, The Family Handyman, FamilyFun, National Geographic, Golf Digest, Country Living, and Guideposts - spent more than a year and a big chunk of research dollars trying to convince advertisers and agencies that consumers who are deeply engaged with the magazines they read are also more involved with the ads they carry. In other words, if they are really reading the articles, they are also paying more attention to the ads than casual readers - and are more apt to buy the products.

The Alliance's study surveyed 1,353 readers of at least one of the March or April issues of Reader's Digest, Better Homes and Gardens, National Geographic, People, and/or TV Guide. The results, released last month, showed that the most involved readers had recall levels up to three times as high as those of average readers (see chart). While not an absolute indicator of an intention to purchase, recall is a key metric for measuring the effectiveness of ad campaigns.

The new data has at least made an impression on a few Madison Avenue research executives. "A good first step," says Hank Bernstein, director of consumer insights at Starcom MediaVest Group. "They demonstrated a correlation between the involvement index and ad recall."

The study, which was conducted by Knowledge Networks, finds that loyalty, duration, and preference are the key barometers of involvement. …

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