By: Caysey Welton
How do you help grow your print advertising business? Well, in Bauer Media’s case you commission a third-party research firm to confirm what you already believe—readers still love print. Bauer hired Equation Research last fall to survey its readers and learn more about their passions and how they engage with and consume content. The study polled more than 600 females, ages 18-64 who bought one or more magazines from Bauer or a competitor.
The study reveals a slew of insights that should, at the very least, raise an eyebrow for prospective advertising clients. More than three-quarters of respondents (84%) said they find themselves more engaged when reading a print magazine, versus consuming other forms of content, including online and on television.
Ian Scott, president of advertising sales at Bauer, suggests to min that the statistic is less surprising than what readers said about the ads within his magazines. More than half the respondents (55%) said they enjoy ads more in magazines, compared to reading or viewing similar content on TV. What’s more, nearly as many (53%) readers of First for Women and Woman’s World said that the advertising was an important part of why they read said magazines. Further, three out of four readers of Life & Style and In Touch suggest the ads featured are products they are interested in. Rolled up, the message is pretty clear: Bauer’s readers like print and print advertising. Scott echos this, saying, “It supports the idea that advertising matters in our magazine and people like it.” He goes on to say, “we outperformed our competitive segment by 152% with advertising being more valuable.”
It’s no secret that Bauer’s bread and butter has been newsstand sales. In fact, the company has been bullish in that arena by launching a pile of newsstand-driven titles over the past few years and announcing an aggressive SIPs strategy for 2017. What’s more, Bauer limits the number of ads in its magazines, but Scott says that doesn’t mean advertising isn’t hugely important, but he does emphasize that “it’s underpinned by our content.”
So besides providing a warm, fuzzy feeling to Bauer and its team of execs, what does this study really offer the company? Scott suggests it will be a powerful sales tool moving forward. “We just finished our national sales meeting and this was the crux of the meeting,” he says. “I will be going across the country in every market to present this research. That’s our focus over the next three months—to get this research out there to every client we can.”