Mediamark Research Inc.


  Summer 2002     



 In This Issue

Magazine Watch: MRI Spring 2002 release shows magazine readership increase.
Product Portfolio: New features in MRI+ make magazine planning easier and faster.


Accumulation - A Tool for Better Print Planning: by Cynthia Evans

Behind the Numbers:

More men than ever before are responsible for household shopping.

New and Noteworthy:

Wave 47 adds new product categories and attitudinal questions.

Welcome to our new e-look. Look for future issues of The Source in your e-mail in-box.


 Magazine Watch


Ad Pages May be Down, but Magazines Increase Readers

While consumer magazines battle competitive media for scarce advertising dollars, readership remained strong over the past year. MRI’s Spring 2002 Study shows a total audience gain of two percent, across the 206 consumer titles reported in both MRI’s Spring '01 and Spring '02 Study. Of these titles, more than half (59 percent) increased their readership year-to-year, while 41 percent lost readers.

To read more, go to:

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   Product Portfolio
MRI+ Enhancements: Smart, Fast Decision-Making

Magazine planning just got easier thanks to the latest release of MRI+. Mediamark’s magazine planning system now offers more information and easier navigation to help planners, buyers, and publishers make smarter magazine decisions.

The latest MRI+ release supports multiple and savable lists to make working with multiple account/brand schedules easier.
Subscriber studies
More than 100 magazine subscriber studies are now available in MRI+, with new studies being added each week. A new Comparative Reports feature which lets clients create side-by-side analyses of subscriber studies for selected magazines will be available in June.
This new feature is a joint effort of Mediamark Research and Starcom Advertising. Only authorized agency MRI+ clients will be able to use these proprietary subscriber studies.

More than just your basic ABCs
The new MRI+ includes additional data, such as an expanded ABC Publisher’s Statement (pink sheet). In addition to the basic information from the front page, expanded subscription data, geographic distribution, and historical trend data are now available through MRI+.

Prototype audience data
Estimated audience data for non-measured magazines based on validated subscriber studies and MRI syndicated data are being gathered for inclusion in MRI+. The information will be integrated into MRI+ as it is received from publishers. Users will be able to see:

  • Individual magazine reports provided in the ‘Gateway’ data area of those magazines with prototype data.
  • Comparative reports providing standard demographics for a selected list of magazines.

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Added Plus:

What You Get is More Than What You See

We’re improving the magazine planning process both on the screen and behind the scenes. While the latest release includes enhanced data and improved navigation, our back office operations continue to follow a multi-layered system of checks and balances to ensure data integrity. The MRI+ team monitors industry publications to ensure that MRI+ brings you the most current information.
Accumulation - A Tool for Better Print Planning
By Cynthia Evans, S.V.P., Director of Print and Outdoor Research, Mediaedge: CIA

If I ran a magazine ad in a March publication, why did a customer come to the counter asking for my product in mid-February? Why did another customer come in five months later, with the same March issue pointing to the same ad?

Because Accumulation “drivers,” such as place of reading and age composition, are included in MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer, accumulation curves can be refreshed twice yearly.

This happens because magazine audience accumulation patterns -- the speed with which magazines build their audiences for advertising purposes -- vary since many magazines are circulated well before their actual issue date and others may not be read until well after publication. With the recently released accumulation study from Mediamark Research -- representing the first major update of print audience accumulation data since the 1970’s--magazines have a new tool to use when competing with other media for marketers’ budgets. And, understanding audience accumulation patterns, in general and by title, can enhance print planning and facilitate more effective plan execution.

Readership: Before and After

  • According to MRI’s accumulation study, reading begins up to 18 days prior to issue date. On average, across 194 publications examined by MRI, reading begins 12 days prior to the published issue date. For advertisers, this can have considerable ramifications if the purpose of the print ad is to drive customers to purchase a product that won’t be available in stores until a specific date, or to attend a promotion that will only be in effect for a specified period of time.
  • The average issue audience continues to accumulate beyond the date that publications become available. It took an average of approximately four to five months, across 194 reported titles, to accumulate 95 percent of the average issue audience.

Magazine Audience Accumulation Information Yields Better Plan Design and Evaluation

Accumulation numbers help us to be more sensitive to specific scheduling opportunities and maximize exposure during key selling periods. In addition, audience accumulation data can help distinguish between magazines that supply maintenance levels of message delivery (on-going) vs. quick sales/action response message delivery. And, by allocating print message delivery more precisely along a timeline, it can be correlated more closely to sales, or to a desired response such as phone-in, mail-in or store visit. This gives magazines a more even footing in their ongoing battle with electronic advertising media, which are measured more frequently.

Most important for magazines in the planning process is that the data can be used for the “time planning” of print as it is currently done for TV. One can now plan print for weekly reach goals as we do with TV.

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  Behind the Numbers

What's for Dinner?
Try Asking Dad
More Men Than Ever Claim Household Principal Shopper Title

If you don’t find Dad puttering in the shop or working in the yard, you might try looking for him in the grocery store.

More men are making shopping decisions today than ever before. Between 1985 and 2001, households in which the principal shopper is male almost doubled (from 13 percent to 24 percent), according to MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer. The principal shopper is defined as the adult in each household who does most of the shopping for household items, such as groceries and children’s clothing.

Women still represent the majority of those hanging the homemaker shingle, with more than three in four (76 percent) earning principal shopper status. But that’s down ten percentage points since 1985.

“The increase in the percentage of men who are principal shoppers creates opportunities and challenges for marketers,” says MRI President/CEO Kathi Love. “To be effective, advertising needs to consider this gender shift to reach men both in the message and the medium. For example, package goods marketers and other advertisers might consider expanding their campaigns beyond traditional CPG targets, such as Women 18-49.”

Women Also Changing The Gender Landscape

Homes in which the “Head of Household” is a woman increased to 36 percent in 2001, compared to 27 percent in 1985.

More women are now single parents; up from seven percent to nine percent since 1985, a 30 percent increase.

Women are increasingly focused on making a difference at work. In 2001, nearly three in five (56 percent) of working women considered their work a career as opposed to “just a job ,” compared 49 percent in 1985.

Source: MRI Spring 1985, MRI Spring 2001

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  New and Noteworthy
MRI Product Book Enhancements
The following updates are in the current fieldwork, Wave 47, Product Booklet.

New Product Categories

  • Mutual Funds
  • Flavored Alcoholic Beverages/Coolers

Revised/Improved Categories

  • DVD Players - added category brands
  • Securities - updated range for amount invested

Updated Brand Listings for:

  • Beer
  • Prescription Brands
  • Video Game systems
  • Pet Food
New Attitudinal and Lifestyle Questions:

Intent to Purchase: Determines the likelihood of a consumer making a key purchase, traveling or entering a new lifestage within the next 12 months.

Consumer Confidence:
Determines if consumers believe they’ll be better off financially one year from now, as well as their predictions on which direction the U.S. economy as a whole is headed.

Activities: Captures the hours per week consumers spend on 17 activities, including cooking, commuting, gardening and sleeping.

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The Source
Mediamark Research Inc.
A NOP World Company 

New York (212) 884-9200 • (800) 310-3305 • Chicago (312) 329-0901 • Los Angeles (323) 882-6247

Alain Tessier - Chairman
Kathi Love - President/CEO
Ian Jack - Exec. VP, COO
Julian Baim - Exec. VP, Chief Research Officer
Anne Marie Kelly - VP Marketing & Strategic Planning

Anne Drake - SVP, Advertiser/Agency Sales & Third Party Ventures
Mike Drankwalter - VP, Electronic Media
George Kronheimer  - VP, Magazine Sales
Scott Turner - SVP, Mid-West and Western Sales

Joanne Zornow  - Editor

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