Sunday, January 27, 2008

Print Inserts Pass TV Ads As Important Influence in Purchase Decisions

Print Inserts Pass TV Ads As Important Influence in Purchase Decisions
Based on research findings released by Vertis Communications, twenty-seven percent of adults indicated they look for information in advertising inserts as part of making a purchase decision. That's up from 19% ten years ago. Television advertising is no longer the main influencer in purchasing decisions, according to Vertis. TV ads are now the main influencer for 8% of consumers, compared to 22% in 1998.

Other research findings indicate that women have become more involved in the decision making process for purchasing home electronics products. In 1998 about 69% of women 18 to 24 participated in such decisions, but as of this year 91% report being part of the process, says Vertis.

The report, Vertis' Customer Focus: Decade of Data study revealed that for adult men 18 and older, TV advertising is no longer the main influencer in their purchasing decisions, down 8 percent from 1998 to 22 percent.

Advertising inserts have grown to become the most influential medium for both adult men and all adults in America. Twenty-four percent of men and 27 percent of total adults indicated they turn to this medium when making a purchasing decision, compared to just 16 percent and 19 percent, respectively, 10 years ago.

Scott Marden, director, marketing research for Vertis Communications, says " . . .Americans' use of new media, entertainment and information vehicles have become increasingly more fragmented... "

Looking deeper into the study, young adults have drifted away from personal interaction when choosing leisure activities. Since 1998, the number of young adults participating in team sports has decreased from 19 percent to 13 percent, while the amount of time spent with computers has drastically increased, from 8 percent to 21 percent in the same 10 years.

Additionally, the number of young adults going out to the movies has decreased from 13 percent in 1998 to just 3 percent in 2008, while the number of adolescents staying home to watch television or rent videos has increased from 24 in percent in 1998 to 32 percent in 2008.

Marden continued, "...tracking trends in leisure preferences and media activities arms marketers with an acute awareness of where and when this important consumer group can be reached."

The Customer Focus: Decade of Data study, which surveyed 3,000 consumers via telephone, further revealed the following:

· In 2008, 91 percent of women ages 18-24 report they are a part of the process, with cell phones, desktop computers and digital cameras being some of the most popular purchases for this age group

· 68 percent of women age 50 and older now have access to the Internet, up from 30 percent in 1998

· In the past 10 years, the percentage of women ages 25-34 who are single or living with their significant others has increased from 30 percent in 1998 to 38 percent in 2008

· In 2004, 31 percent of adults indicated they entered a store without any prior research; this number is down to 17 percent in 2008. Prior to entering a store in 2008, the study indicates approximately 57 percent of adults will look through advertising circulars, 50 percent will conduct research on the Internet, and 38 percent will utilize catalogs to retrieve additional information

· In today's current crises in the housing and gas markets, 40 percent of Americans indicated they're less likely to make purchases over $100 in the coming year, 24 percent more than after 9/11

· Adults are shifting their vacation agendas in 2008 to include fewer trips via automobile, decreasing 5 percent since 1998, while fewer adults are planning to take a vacation in 2008, down from 70 percent 10 years ago to 67 percent today.

· 40 percent in 1998 to 43 percent in the new year

In men's magazines, a question of size

BoSacks Speaks Out;

I'm not the first nor the last to say it, but as we all know, it's not the size, but the magic it performs that counts. This is as true for magazines as anything else. The discussion below of alternate, smaller-sized magazines is neither new nor all that adventurous. The magazines will work very well for some readers and not so well for others. At best they are a stop-gap performance. The sizes that are now being discussed for these travel-sized magazines are pretty much the same size as the Sony e-reader and the Amazon Kindle. So, is the magazine industry laying the ground work for size acceptance with this new introduction or is it just my imagination? OK, I guess it's just my imagination.

"An optimist will tell you the glass is half-full; the pessimist, half-empty; and the engineer will tell you the glass is twice the size it needs to be"
- Unknown

In men's magazines, a question of size
Britain's FHM will introduce a travel-size edition
By Heidi Dawley

In men's magazines, the eternal question is whether size does in fact matter, and in Britain, where competition among men's titles has been especially fierce, it's a question that's being asked more and more.

FHM thinks it may have the answer.

This spring, the monthly title is set to launch a smaller version that it hopes will help attract readers on the go.

This idea of what's called a travel-size edition is not new. It's been a popular tactic in the women's market for some years now. FHM will be one of the few major men's titles to give it a go.

Media buyers think it might well attract new readers. "The travel format has certainly seemed to work in the women's sector. A number of magazines have brought it out," says Steve Goodman, managing director, print trading at GroupM. "So for FHM to try it is a very sensible move."

For FHM, as well as its brethren, the last few years have not been stellar. The magazine sold an average of 311,590 copies a month in the first six months of 2007, according to ABC figures. That was down 25.9 percent on the same six months in 2006 and way down from the 750,000 copies it sold monthly not so many years ago.
Among the problems facing FHM and the other monthlies was the flush of men's weeklies launched in recent years, mostly downmarket publications. That led the monthlies to chase downmarket in an effort to hold onto their readers, and not with success. "They were tarnished with that," says Mark Gallagher, press director at Manning Gottlieb OMD.

But the monthlies have also been hurt by the internet, which comes as no surprise.
So in 2007, FHM brought in a new editor Anthony Noguera, who had been head of Emap's men's magazine portfolio, to help bolster FHM's fortunes. Noguera oversaw a redesign that came out in August.

"FHM is very different from how it was a few months ago. It is less in that downmarket sphere that it was pulled into to compete with the others," says Gallagher.

The decision to bring out a travel edition, which will be published in select markets alongside the larger edition, is likely to be another part of that effort to help create distance from the others in the market, believes Gallagher.

FHM has not yet said how big the travel edition will be. The regular edition is 12 inches by about 8 ¾ inches.

The travel edition is likely to be similar in size to other travel editions in the glossy monthly market. For instance, Glamour, the magazine credited with bringing this size to the market, is 8 ¾" tall and just over 6 ½" wide.

FHM has said that the travel edition will be a scaled-down version of the regular edition, having the same content and page layouts. It will retail for the same price as the full-size edition -- $7.60 an issue.

The travel size first really took off in Britain in 2000 when Glamour launched into the market. The magazine chose what it called the "handbag size" when it launched.

Glamour flew off the newsstands, overtaking Cosmopolitan to become the No. 1 women's glossy just about 18 months after launch.
Not surprisingly, others followed suit, launching travel editions alongside their regular-sized editions in commuter markets.

A number of publications continue to publish at least part of their circulation in this format, including Marie Claire and Elle, which implies that the publishers believe it to be successful, although it hasn't resulted in huge upward spikes in circulation.

How it does for men's titles is an open question. One title that tried it was James Brown's Jack magazine. It launched in that size, but later abandoned it and has since folded.