Getting a better view
Having all the numbers laid out in front of them is “enormously useful” for advertisers and agencies, Baker says, because, at a glance, they will be able to see the overall audience potential for a magazine media brand and categories.
“As a planning tool it will enable a richer view of magazine media potential and as a result, the opportunity for innovative campaign development along with some previously out of sight blue water for marketers.”
As an example, when Bauer Media faced the challenge of encouraging women to purchase Anchor Milk as their everyday milk, its online platforms provided the perfect springboard and it over delivered on the campaign’s KPIs by 388 percent. It also reached 856,000 print readers.
Fashion Quarterly, Next and Woman’s Day participated in the campaign, which saw a fashion photo shoot combined with the message that Anchor Milk is the newest beauty product for hair.
A media-wide movement
As well as following in America’s footsteps, the launch of a local Magazine 360 Metric reflects changes to other media that have also shifted focus from traditional platforms to the big picture of audience behaviour and engagement.
Last year, Recorded Music New Zealand added on-demand streams into the equation to measure the music charts, after previously relying solely on the number of sales made.
Given music charts exist to reflect music consumption in New Zealand, Recorded Music chief executive Damian Vaughn toldStopPress the charts now provide a total view of what Kiwi consumers are listening to.
Measures now take into consideration on-demand platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music, as well as downloading via iTunes, and purchasing CDs and vinyl.
TV has also seen a move to consolidate its online and linear audiences as advertisers have become comfortable buying audiences, rather than time slots.
However, that’s not to say the Magazine 360 Metric will see all measured categories come together in one number. Context is king. And last year, Baker told StopPress that reading a magazine is very different to browsing a website, and he doesn’t believe the two experiences should be conflated into a single audience-based metric.
He said it would be tantamount to commoditising the magazine audience and would detract from the value that comes in the shape of a reader willing to pay for something (and, in many cases, a reader willing to take the time to fully digest their favourite magazines, without interruption).
While the Magazine 360 Metric measures followers, Ferguson says Your Home and Garden puts its focus on engagement, looking at local reach, shares, comments, reactions, clicks to the site and time spent on the site by those visiting from Facebook.
“On these metrics, we stack up really well,” she says, because home owners, interior designers and real estate agents tend to share the links.
Nielsen’s CMI service offers qualitative data on the audiences of specific media brands, particularly in print. And, online, looking at deeper engagement such as likes, comments and shares does the same thing – and can also help overcome the issue of bots, which, according to FiveThirtyEight, make up 56 percent of all traffic for larger websites and up to 80 percent of all traffic for the ‘mom-and-pop blogs’ out there.
Speaking beyond magazines, Baker says qualitative data is woefully lacking. He says it would allow for an understanding of how audiences engage with digital content and how it influences behaviour, and magazine media publishers, by the nature of their content and the connection they have with their audiences, have an opportunity to lead this.