High engagement levels with advertisements forming an important part of the overall experience

Even in today’s digital age and especially with Singapore’s highly connected society giving consumers easy access to Internet content, avid magazine readers in the country are still loyal to buy and read physical copies of magazines. A recent study by GfK revealed that over a fifth of respondents surveyed read a magazine from cover to cover, while one in two read more than half of the content; with an average of 49 minutes spent during each read.

SPH Magazines collaborated with leading global market research firm GfK to conduct a study on ad effectiveness. Using GfK’s proprietary magazine advertising tracking tool, StarchMetrix, over 3,500 readers were interviewed to assess and evaluate the power of print advertising and its effects on readers’ behavior.

“The study shows that reading a magazine can be a highly engaging activity, with consumers giving a significant amount of time and attention on its content,” commented Lee Risk, APAC Commercial Director for Media at GfK. “And that is not all, as our findings reflect that a considerable number of these people who are already reading the physical magazine go online to its website for more information.”

During this GfK StarchMetrix study, over 870 advertisements were measured for their effectiveness across 10 popular women magazine titles. Double-page spread advertisements garner more attention from readers over single-page ads, with 64 percent saying they remember such ads as opposed to 55 percent for single page ads, and 72 percent of this group taking it one step further by following up with an action.

Meanwhile, results of the study also confirmed that premium advertising positions do indeed attract more attention and drive higher disposition to purchase. A high level of 8 in 10 respondents said they do recall advertisements on the inside front cover as well as back cover; making these pages the most prominent ad pages that attract the highest level of readers’ attention in magazines.

“Advertisements form an important part of the overall magazine reading experience, with over 60 percent of those surveyed finding articles and ads in magazines a valuable source of new information,” highlighted Risk. “In fact, magazines which come with special format such as gifts, samples, booklets and special folds tend to be able to attract readers’ attention more and increase the likelihood of being picked up.”

GfK StarchMetrix provides the industry with greater understanding on the type of engagement and involvement the readers have with the print ads. The key advantage of StarchMetrix is the ability to compare and benchmark print ads across a number of different criteria, such as their position, size/color or details in different publications. With this analysis, GfK will be able to deliver new insights to increase ad effectiveness and return of investment (ROI) measurement to the industry and help to strengthen the value of magazine ads between advertisers and potential consumers.

“The insights from this GfK study clearly show us how the readers of local women’s magazines are responding to advertising messages and allow us to shape our content to create advertising options that appeal,” said Maureen Wee, Managing Director for Fashion and Beauty at SPH Magazines. “This is important in order for us to continue working towards being constantly relevant to their needs,” she concluded.