Now you see me, now you don’t! does ad positioning matter?

In the last year, the print industry has spent a significant amount of time talking about ways to measure the value of a reader. Unlike TV, consumer magazine planning and buying uses two currencies. Syndicated research is used to optimize reach potential and audited circulation statements to guarantee issue delivery. The challenge with using the existing currencies is that they do not provide us with the granularity that is needed to quantify how receptive, involved or engaged the consumer is with the medium and more importantly the commercial messages that appear within. The audit statements only provide a measurement of issue delivery or newsstand placement and for readership we have issue exposure rather than ad exposure. Recent attempts to estimate the valued reader indirectly have included using aspects of the new ABC statements and the syndicated qualitative variables to augment the current measurements. For example, arguments have been made to use the average price paid as a surrogate for reader “valueâ€? – the theory being that the more one spends on a subscription, the more “committedâ€? one is to the publication. However the value of a magazine’s subscriptions can not be determined by price alone. The value of the average price paid only quantifies the economics of the circulation not the value of the reader.

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