Case Studies

A Big U.S. Magazine Segments Its Readership

The Problem

Hay Research International, working as a partner with another North American research organization (Twenty-Ten Inc.), was handed an unusual assignment. Were the three million subscribers to this highly popular magazine all reading the magazine for the same reasons? Or, over the years, had the magazine attracted substantially different groups of readers?

The magazine's research department were sure it was the latter and wanted this to be confirmed. At stake was the ability of the magazine to continue to attract and hold new readers in an increasingly on-line world. The magazine's costly direct mail campaigns would have to be reworked. What was communicated to subscribers and prospects would have to be right on the mark.

The Solution

The client had no shortage of ideas about the magazine's readership and how their motivations and interests might differ. To accommodate all these, a 30 minute survey was devised to be executed on-line among both subscribers and prospects. Every possible area which might differentiate groups of readers was identified, including selected lifestyle areas, media questions, motivations for interest in the magazine, interest in specific content areas, pricing questions and many more.

In the final analysis, discrete groups of subscribers emerged through extensive clustering procedures. These groups differed fundamentally in terms of their relationship and interest in the magazine. But, interestingly, they also differed in terms of their life-situations. Crisp, life-like profiles capturing their fundamental motivations and differences were developed by Hay Research International working with Twenty-Ten based on the research. These profiles served as the basis for the unique approaches eventually devised by the magazine's agency to reach these unique segments.


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