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Sales for all brands were consistently higher among the exposed group vs. the unexposed (control) group throughout the duration of the campaign



website advertising and those which had not (the matched control group). For all ten brands, there was a sales increase attributable to the magazine website advertising. The sales uplifts ranged from 1 per cent to 22 per cent, and the average was an impressive 8 per cent rise in sales among those exposed to the websites advertising, compared with the unexposed control group. The average return on investment (ROI) of the ten digital campaigns was US$5.31 of sales per $1 of advertising investment – a handsome result.


Meredith Test (exposed) Control (unexposed)

Sales trend analysis based on average of 31 brands Source: Meredith Executive Summary June 2014, Meredith/Nielsen, USA, 2014

to reach a target audience of women. The study segmented the total audience into groups according to their exposure or non-exposure to the various combinations of websites and print magazines. In other respects the compared groups were carefully matched. Recall of the online advertisement was much higher (more than double) among those who had seen it exclusively on magazine websites than among those who had seen it exclusively on non-magazine websites. Similarly, brand recognition was much higher (again more than double) when seen on magazine websites. Not only that, recall and brand recognition of the print magazine advertisement was much higher among the magazine website visitors than among visitors to non-magazine websites. There is evidence of a multiplier effect: the print and web platforms of magazine media working together to create a larger effect than either on its own. When exposure to magazine websites was combined with exposure to print magazines, the recall and brand recognition associated with magazine websites were higher (54 per cent and 53 per cent respectively) than when the magazine websites were not accompanied by exposure to print (44 per cent and 41 per cent). The visitors to magazine websites

were more likely to generate word of mouth communication than the visitors to the non-magazine websites. The project also examined attitudes

to websites. Attitudes were far more positive on magazine publishers’ websites than on websites from other sources, in terms of the advertising they carry. Among consumers who visited magazine

websites, high proportions thought the advertising on them is relevant to them, is (therefore) usually more interesting than advertising on other websites, and is more trustworthy than advertising on other types of website. The results echo the same

well-established characteristics of print magazines: they are chosen by readers and, therefore, highly relevant and interesting, and also trustworthy. Again echoing the print titles, many visitors to magazine websites thought that the editorial content and the advertising were complementary. It makes sense, therefore, that a high proportion of magazine website visitors thought these websites are a good place for brands to advertise and that brands advertised there tend to be easier to remember. It is striking how much more positive were the attitudes to magazine websites among their visitors than the attitudes to non- magazine websites visitors. For example, the score for relevance was three times greater for magazine websites (among their visitors) than for other types of website (among their visitors). For all of the other attitude statements the scores were also between twice and three times as great for magazine websites as for the other types of website. It is evident that magazine websites are being perceived in ways which are similar to print magazines, in terms of relevance, interest, trust and so on, and that these attitudes carry over to the advertising, to the benefit of the advertisers. The positive values so strongly associated with the print titles are rubbing off onto their associated websites.

Ads on magazine websites These conclusions have been reinforced by work in the USA through the Meredith Sales Guarantee project. It quantifies the impact of magazine media advertising investment on actual brand sales, by using Nielsen’s HomeScan consumer panel to examine week- by-week sales of each product before, during and after the campaign periods. Ten of the campaigns examined in 2013 and 2014 appeared exclusively in Meredith Corporation’s branded websites. Households were classified into those which had been exposed to the magazine

Ads in print magazines: 10 per cent sales uplift The results were just as impressive for Meredith’s print magazines. In the period up to 2014 the Meredith Sales Guarantee has covered 31 brands using Meredith’s print magazines only. As with the digital campaigns, the print campaigns compare consumers exposed to the print advertising with a control group matched in every measurable way except for not having been exposed to the advertising. The Nielsen HomeScan panel measures actual week-by-week sales among both groups. An average uplift in sales of 10 per cent

was achieved across the 31 brands. Moreover for all 31 brands there was a sales increase attributable to the magazine advertising. The increases ranged from 2 per cent to 36 per cent for individual brands. Figure two illustrates the overall results, using sales trends data based on the average of the 31 brands. In the 12 months before the magazine campaign starts, sales among the


Magazine websites are being perceived in ways which are similar to print magazines, in terms of relevance, interest and trust.

exposed ‘test’ group closely match sales among the control group, but as soon as the magazine campaign launches, the two lines diverge. Those seeing the magazine ads record higher sales than those who do not, for every month of the campaign. For each brand Nielsen calculated the return on investment (ROI) for the magazine advertising. ROI was defined as the incremental (gross) sales generated per advertising dollar. The average ROI across the 31 brands was a very healthy $7.54 for every dollar spent on advertising in magazines.

Influencers making other media work harder Magazines multiply their effects by generating responses in other forms of media too. There has long been research showing how TV

issue 84_2014 | Magazine World |15


$ sales per analysis household

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