Magazine readers a good source of word-of-mouth

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on July 5, 2007

A study by Ipsos Mori and Haymarket Consumer Media, in which responses from the general public were compared with those from magazine readers, reveals that the magazine readers are much more likely to be advocates.

Ipsos MORI undertook a study among a representative sample of the GB population, while Haymarket ran the same survey in a number of its leading consumer titles including Stuff.

A number of required analyses and measures were defined beforehand to investigate the extent to which magazine readers would recommend certain product categories within their social network, compared with their counterparts in the general population. Product areas included automotive, fashion, beauty and grooming, and technology. The findings provide figures and calculations resulting in a measure of advocacy that can be tracked over time.

Ideas explored
The study examined a number of ideas, including:

  • The propensity of readers to recommend and influence others in the relevant product categories compared to matched samples within the population as a whole: In the case of Stuff magazine, Stuff readers surveyed were 72% more likely to have made a recommendation regarding technology in the last 12 months compared to their counterparts in the general population.
  • The additional reach these readers represent through their recommendations and influence: Stuff readers recommend technology to an average of 5.7 other people compared to 2.5 among the comparable demographic in the GB population.
  • The success of readers in translating recommendation to action within their social networks: 83% of Stuff readers encouraged at least 1 person to act on their recommendation compared to only 45% of the comparable demographic in the GB population.
  • The magazine audience as a source of influencers: For the technology category, 81% of Stuff readers are influencers, an incidence more than twice that found within a matched sample in the population.

In summary, Stuff readers tended to have wider social networks, make recommendations to more people, and be more effective in converting recommendations into actions than a demographically-matched group within the population.

According to David Prasher, sales director for Haymarket Consumer Media, "We have always told advertisers that the readers of leading specialist magazines, like Stuff, are the most powerful advocates of their products and services. The effect of Word of Mouth has traditionally played a prominent part in our sales story to advertisers. However this survey offers proof of this and provides data which is invaluable to us in demonstrating the power of specialist magazines in communicating effectively to key target audiences."

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