Written by: Nicole Curry
The strategic and investigative research analysis of data on the psychographics, demographics, media consumption habits, likes, and dislikes of any brand’s target audience is a fundamental process in media planning. To create an ideal print media plan, one must understand who exactly their audience is by identifying what they spend their time doing, their values/beliefs/attitudes, and what they are truly passionate about. Fortunately with the ability to conduct primary research on these specific groups and the simplicity of using databases like MRI, we as marketers and advertisers are able to establish consumer insights, which help us in figuring out which actual print publications are best to choose while selecting outlets for advertisements.
Over my past four years here at Marist College as an advertising major and psychology minor, I have been choosing target audiences and media. However, it sparked my interest when I realized that I have only been using actual databases my junior and senior year here. The first two years were about making assumptions and coming up with educated reasonings behind who our target audience was for projects, what their media consumption would be, and why. This was important in understanding the actual psychology behind segmented groups.
However, actually compiling data that is statistically accurate is honestly so much more fascinating, and 1000% more crucial in this entire process. Sometimes things are not as you believe them to be, especially in the advertising world. People are unique- who they choose to be and what they choose to do may surprise us.
Our group learned that this week when we were conducting our own print media plan for Rossi’s. Our target audience had three different groups: business people in NY, nearby mothers, and Hudson Valley college students. Though they are three completely different groups of people, they all have the same types of personality characteristics, passions, and human qualities that give them the same associations- some which include love for great food, a liking for travel and culture, and a need to satisfy their happiness and the happiness of those close to them. The hardest part of our print plan was finding actual print publications that are used by these groups.
Using the Standard Rate & Data Service available to us along with our previous research from using MRI and NielsenWire we came to the conclusion that we would need various publications for each subgroup mainly because of the gender, age, and income differences, though they all had similar characteristics as mentioned before. We ended up choosing two for each group, making 6 in total.
Through consumer research and media data we came to the conclusion that for our business people in NY target we would use Hudson Valley Magazine and NY Magazine especially from it’s close proximity and it’s almost 50/50 male/female ratio with higher levels of HHI and median age of 50-55 between the two. The actual content of these magazines fit these targets as well- thus letting us believe these two were the perfect pair for our first target.
Our second target, mothers, was just as exciting to research the publications for. We ended up choosing Parents Magazine and Food Network Magazine. We didn’t want to be stereotypical, but these were cliches in the sense that our assumptions were right. The median age of 40 and 55-65K HHI was just what we were looking for along with a high amount of users with over 13 million subscribers between the two.
The most interesting part of this whole week’s work was that we figured out that our target audience subgroup of college students are not reading newspapers or magazines. The youngest median age of print publication readers that we could find whose readers also fit the qualities and characteristics of our audience included Sports Illustrated and Seventeen Magazine. It was extremely interesting because the median age for Seventeen Magazine is actually 28 and also something else that struck us as out of the ordinary was that 3.8 million women read Sports Illustrated.
This all leads back to the importance of consumer research and creating insights off of this data analysis. Things are not always as they seem in the advertising world and it is not enough to just make assumptions. These assumptions can throw off your entire plan, which will then put you in a situation where you are buying spots and using outlets that are not even connected to your target audience. Therefore, it is crucial to make strategic decisions based on statistics and dedicated research.
Group 3: Nicole Curry, Marissa Kelly, Jessica Schicke