Audience research dynamics

Audicence research dynamics

How to gather data the right way

Whether revamping an existing title or launching a new magazine getting to know your audience – and what they want – is crucial.

Yet more often than not publishers think they know what their readers want and spend a huge amount of their budget on research to prove it. However, data gathered during reader surveys is often flawed because the relevant key questions haven’t been asked.

By taking into account #audienceresearchdynamics when undertaking research publishers will be able to better determine their readers’ wish list. Therefore create content that people will buy.

So what are the dynamics?

It’s about designing research to focus on getting data that actually helps steer the content, design and consumption of the magazine. Too many surveys are advertiser driven as a result of tight budgets and completion incentives. Consequently publishers seek sponsorship from advertisers to facilitate fantastic prizes to encourage audience participation.

And this is where the problem emerges. . . Those advertisers become stakeholders. When that happens advertisers then may try to influence the questions asked or – worse still  –submit a few questions of their own. When this happens research takes on a different dynamic often resulting in a dilution of the survey findings.

Read my essential list below before starting your research.

Six essentials for effective surveys

  1. Content consumption: Find out when, where and how readers choose to access your content.
  2. Editorial design: Do readers prefer content as long, medium or scanable articles?
  3. Key reader-related interests: Aside from the magazine’s existing themes what other themes might interest your reader?
  4. Editorial pillars: Are these serving the audience’s needs?
  5. What do readers want? Ask for their recommendations
  6. Potential brand extensions: What extras might the audience be interested in?

Published by Mary Hogarth

With nearly 20 years industry experience in editorial, branding and publishing, Mary Hogarth is the consultant to call if you are thinking of setting up a new magazine or eNewsletter, relaunching a title or just need advice on best practice. Author of How To Launch A Magazine In This Digital Age, Mary's extensive experience and unique approach will help you transform your project into a viable and sustainable concept.

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