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Think BR: Anatomy of Influence

A metric to demonstrate influence is critical as brands diverge across platforms, writes Abby Carvosso, managing director, Bauer Media lifestyle magazines.

Abby Carvosso, managing director, Bauer Media lifestyle magazines

Abby Carvosso, managing director, Bauer Media lifestyle magazines

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Consumers are at the centre of a fast moving, complex and diverse media storm which reflects the increasing complexity of their lives.

Our consumer studies demonstrate that magazine brands play a crucial role in filtering the white noise of the complex world that surrounds them.

But magazine brands are much more than just navigation tools; with a magazine brand you are buying into a world - a deeply personal world which can entertain, enrich, inform and inspire.

Up until now, the influence of magazine brands has never been fully measured, with agencies and advertisers still using traditional metrics such as circulation figures and readership surveys, rather than measuring the quality of the audience.

This is where we believe an influence metric comes into its own. As brands diverge across multiple platforms, demonstrating influence is becoming more and more critical, with traditional measurement methods not befitting the footprint and reach of media brands such as Heat or Grazia.

We recently held an event at the Soho Hotel to share a research project we commissioned - The Anatomy of Influence.

We partnered with Kantar Media and went on a journey to understand why certain magazine brands are influential.

We pulled apart and dissected what makes a magazine brand influential and what special ingredients are needed to make our brands better engaged with consumers and to ultimately drive consumer action.

The research, which interviewed over 2,500 consumers, looked at a wide range of magazine brands (Bauer titles and its competitors) across a number of core categories including celebrity, parenting, men’s lifestyle, music and film. Importantly, the research considered both editorial and advertising influence and spanned across the magazine’s print and online versions.

The influence metric is built around three key components of the magazine consumer – the Head, the Heart and the Hand – making up the Anatomy of Influence.

Head: The behavioural attributes towards brand usage and consumption across platforms creating two measures around engagement and intensity

Heart: The attitudes about and feelings towards magazine brands with two clear measures around anticipation and connection

Hand: When brands are strong on both these ‘head’ & ‘heart’ attributes, there is also a relationship with the hand - driving action and recommendation from the consumer

Using these six predictors, we were able to create an Anatomy of Influence score for each magazine brand.

We gave the score a range from 0 to 100 so that it’s transparent and intuitive to understand. Some of the results can be seen here:

We’re now embarking on a conversation with our agency and advertiser customers around the role of the AOI and how it can live alongside traditional measurements.

The question of what is influence and how brands can harness it to drive action is ongoing with research projects such as the Anatomy of Influence just the start of the debate.

But with the support and backing of the wider media industry, we could be in a position in the not too distant future where we can give advertisers and agencies the holy grail of a new metric that understands and benchmarks the influence of a multi-platform media brand.

Abby Carvosso, managing director, Bauer Media lifestyle magazines

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