AUGUST 18, 2014

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Purchase Decisions
Social Influence and Print Remain Important to Purchase Decisions

A recent Ipsos MediaCT study examined social influence and sources of influence in consumer decisions. The study found that social feedback, through word of mouth or social media was highly important to purchase decision making. 82% of those surveyed agreed that they decided to purchase or not purchase a particular brand or product based on something a friend or family member told them. While word of mouth is a top influencer in many product categories, Ipsos also found that print media is highly relied upon for ideas and inspiration when shopping in key categories that include: 

  • Automotive: 1. Recommendations from friends/family, 2. Browsing in showrooms/dealerships, 3. Print publications
  • Travel: 1. Websites/Internet, 2. Recommendations from friends/family, 3. Print publications
  • Home Design/Décor: 1. Browsing/window shopping in retail stores, 2. Print publications, 3. Browsing/window shopping in design centers or showhouses
So what?

Print media remains an important source of ideas and inspiration in key consumer product categories. Furthermore, since the affluent and influential are most likely to be print media readers, the medium's importance is amplified through social dynamics. Those influencers and affluents are often using information they have gathered in magazines to make recommendations within their social circles.

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AOL: Insights on Programmatic Buying

Procter & Gamble made news earlier this year when it was reported that the company set a goal of buying 70-75% of its digital media programmatically by the end of the year. Programmatic has been in the headlines regularly since that point and was again last week, when AOL Platforms released results from a survey of 175 of its clients (director level or higher) from U.S. brands, agencies and media companies regarding their attitudes and behaviors toward the ad type. AOL's survey found that display is the most common medium for programmatic buying: 84% of brands and agencies have purchased display programmatically. The majority also report purchasing mobile (60%) and digital video (58%) programmatically. Furthermore, more than half of brands and agencies plan to increase their programmatic spend in each of those channels in the next six months. With programmatic still relatively new, there remains somewhat of a difference of opinion regarding the benefits of the technology. For instance, brand and agency executives are more likely than publishers to point to economic efficiency as one of its benefits, while publishers are more likely to list control as an advantage.


So what?

Advertisers' increased focus on programmatic coincides with an increased focus on audiences rather than inventory. Something Condé Nast anticipated when it developed the Catalyst tool. Catalyst allows for audience buys across multiple brands based on consumer data segments. As more clients build new efficiencies into their media planning, it is necessary for publishers to understand brands and agencies' perceived strengths and concerns regarding these new technologies and market their tools accordingly.

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What Is the Most Effective Placement for Magazine Ads?

According to a new study from GfK, magazine ads adjacent to any cover page (front, inside front, inside back, or back cover) are most likely to attract a reader’s attention, followed by ads adjacent to the table of contents. Several product categories were especially successful when adjacent to any cover: apparel, food and beverage, confectionary and snacks, ready-to-wear and bridal wear, and household furnishing. There were several categories, like pets, personal hygiene & health, and medicines where the ads next to TOC performed better than those next to any cover. Ads adjacent to edit performed better than ads adjacent to other ads, but not as well as those adjacent to any cover or TOC. The better performance of the latter can be explained, at least partially, by two things. First, most of them are in the front of the book, which tends to perform better. Second, many of the ads adjacent to any cover or TOC were endemic to the publication.


So what?

The study’s findings, while not surprising, aid in the positioning conversation between advertisers, agencies, and publishers, and can help guide the decision-making process around the placement of various ads in the book.

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Publishers and Advertisers Need to Align on Mobile Advertising Measurement

Advertiser adoption of mobile advertising has been rapid, as it allows marketers to reach consumers anytime, anywhere. Nielsen interviewed advertisers, agencies and media providers about their mobile advertising activities, and found that more than one in five advertisers will increase their mobile brand spending by more than 20% this year. Most advertisers use mobile as an integrated marketing tactic in conjunction with online and offline media, but the addition of mobile to the mix takes its toll on these other media, since new mobile funds will mostly come at the expense of online and offline budgets. The main challenge that advertisers are facing is the inability to measure the effectiveness of their mobile efforts and prove ROI like they do with other media. There is a misalignment between advertisers, who want to know the audience reach of their mobile campaigns and the resulting brand lift, and publishers, who still focus their reporting on ad impressions and click-through rates. Settling on an agreed-upon set of relevant metrics can go a long way in translating the enthusiasm about mobile advertising into greater adoption and more willingness to spend.

So what?

Content consumption is increasingly happening on mobile devices, and publishers need to be able to monetize it. To do so, they must encourage advertisers to spend on mobile campaigns by helping them understand their effectiveness and ROI. Condé Nast is currently working on several initiatives that would allow us to provide advertisers with greater insight into the audience their campaigns reach.

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Quick Takes
Demonstrating Potential High Demand for iPhone 6, 35% of Existing iPhone Users Plan to Upgrade in Next 6 Months

Source: comScore
Snapchat Now Third Most Popular Social Media App Among Millennials

Source: comScore
Netflix Has Caught Up to HBO in Subscription Revenue

Source: Business Insider, Statista, Time Warner, Netflix
Three of Five U.S. Households Now Have Two or Fewer People

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Wall Street Journal
Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 |

Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights