I was talking to an advertising prospect the other day who boasted he was too busy to read the magazines he advertised in, and instead just flicked through to make sure his ad was there and see if his competitors were in there. I asked him if he wasn’t reading it himself, how did he know if anyone else was reading it?

It’s one thing to be getting the magazine to the right people – and an audit can confirm that – but circulation is only half the picture, the other piece of the puzzle is reader engagement. You need to know that of all the magazines those readers are getting, is this one they are actually taking out of the plastic wrap and reading?

Here are a few ways to try and measure how engaged readers are with a magazine:

  • Talk to your customers – do they know the magazine, ask if them if they read it
  • Ask the publisher for any reader survey data they have that answers these questions
  • Read it yourself, if you find it interesting and relevant chances are your customers will , conversely if you don’t, they may not either
  • Look closely at the content, are there original and independent articles, or is it all just advertorial supplied by the advertisers?
  • Does the magazine have contribution from recognised industry leaders and experts?

In the end, if you don’t read the magazine yourself, maybe nobody else does either.

Do you read the magazines you advertise in?