Subscribers still hooked on print

JUNE 2010

A NEW poll confirms that magazine subscribers are still holding on to their printed magazines.

News of the demise of print has been disproved again, according to the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council in the US.

The consumer poll is part of the association’s ‘precision promotion’ campaign which continues to investigate the impact of data-driven customer engagements on loyalty, advocacy and bottom line business growth.

The research focused on understanding customer experience demands in the magazine publishing environment, and according to the 1000+ consumers polled in an online survey, the attraction of print is as strong as ever.

While consumers are not yet ready to join the e-reader revolution, the CMO study found that they are open to change in the form of ‘more relevant and targeted, personalised advertising engagements’.

The survey reveals 67 per cent of respondents feel e-readers have their place, but prefer holding a magazine and 87 per cent say they will continue to favour print magazine subscriptions.

While marketers scramble to leverage new platforms like the iPad and other digital readers, consumers are wondering if the advertising will be more intrusion than experience.

Only 41 per cent said they would respond to personalised magazine advertising delivered via a digital reader, versus 63 per cent who would opt in for the next step on engagement through a printed subscription.

“The magazine publishing industry isn’t lacking in readers or consumer supporters,” says Liz Miller, vice president of programs and operations of the CMO Council.

“Consumers view magazines as part of an overall experience, likely rooted in leisure and relaxation. The advertising within print publications is viewed as part of that experience, similar to the commercials during the Super Bowl.

“What is telling is that regardless of channel, consumers are demanding a more personalised engagement, not necessarily a more digital one, when it comes to their leisure time publications.”

Of those surveyed, 92 per cent of magazine subscribers receive their magazines in a printed format. When asked about delivery channel preference, 90 per cent indicated they prefer the printed publication to the e-reader or online version, although 24 per cent predicted they will eventually migrate to digital delivery.

By leveraging loyalty, publishing can be positively transformed as publishers can retain and build loyalty and advocacy among their readership.

Through precision marketing, marketers can achieve measurable, quality engagements with consumers who will be more ‘onside’ if they are given what they want, via the channel they most appreciate.

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