Let the data do the talk­ing

The Works - - CONTENTS - Mark Hol­lands CEO, The News­pa­per Works

FOR a pub­li­ca­tion all about the data, we made a small but ironic er­ror in our first edi­tion of The Works – we hope­lessly un­der­es­ti­mated our print run.

De­mand for our new quar­terly au­di­ence re­port far out­stripped the ini­tial 500 copies we had ini­tially planned, and we had to make some ur­gent calls to our dig­i­tal print cen­tre to make sure 2,000 copies rolled off the Canon ma­chine. Such is the power of print. This sec­ond is­sue is an­chored in data from a new prod­uct en­hance­ment within the au­di­ence survey, emma.

Some 20,000 re­spon­dents have con­trib­uted to the En­gage­ment survey – the world’s largest – to il­lus­trate how read­ers lit­er­ally en­gage with their favourite pub­li­ca­tions.

A sim­i­lar ini­tia­tive has been un­der­taken in Scan­di­navia but no one has ever pro­duced an En­gage­ment metric as com­pre­hen­sive in sam­ple size or ti­tle cov­er­age, em­brac­ing 189 news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines.

This new survey fo­cuses on reader at­ti­tudes and be­hav­iour with in­di­vid­ual pub­li­ca­tions, en­hanc­ing the tra­di­tional data around cir­cu­la­tion and read­er­ship num­bers. It re­veals whether a re­spon­dent bought or bor­rowed the ti­tle plus what mo­ti­vated them to read it, how they felt when they read it and the types of ac­tions they took as a re­sult of read­ing it.

It puts into con­trast the rather more dis­tracted be­hav­iour around so­cial me­dia and a plethora of web sites that do not embrace qual­ity con­tent yet find them­selves fi­nanced with pro­gram­mat­i­cally traded ads.

The emma En­gage­ment num­bers do not her­ald a new era for the work prac­tices of me­dia buy­ers, but they should be pro­found for the sales teams of news­pa­per pub­lish­ers be­cause their com­mer­cial nar­ra­tive is now far beyond size of au­di­ence.

Mar­keters, too, should be reap­prais­ing news­pa­per and print me­dia in gen­eral and ask­ing them­selves what type of en­gage­ment they re­ceive from other me­dia.

The re­sults of the En­gage­ment survey vary be­tween ti­tles but they support the wis­dom of some of our most re­spected me­dia ex­ec­u­tives on the buy­side of the in­dus­try.

Thought lead­ers such as John Steed­man, of Group M, Aegis’s Luke Lit­tle­field, and John Sin­tras of SMV Group, say the demise of news­pa­per me­dia has been and con­tin­ues to be “over-sold”, and ad­ver­tis­ers need to re­assess based on the data.

The new En­gage­ment survey sup­ports their united belief that news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines still have much to of­fer their com­mer­cial part­ners.

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