Quantitative Data is a way to specifically measure readership figures and totals instead of
specific opinions, and this is usually achieved by surveys and polls instead of questionnaires
and surveys which ask for more detailed answers.
Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) – An industry body that offers estimates for both print and
film media. For a fee they will devise an estimate for the total viewer count of a product or
National Readership Survey (NRS) – A company that is more tailored for the print media
industry, and uses socio-economic breakdowns estimate a total circulation and reader total
for a print product.
Quantitative Data is useful for getting a rough estimate of figures for viewership but is
unsuitable for acquiring more complex and detailed information about audiences.
PBM can use quantitative data to estimate readership and viewing figures for publications.
This can then be used to adjust magazine content and advertising accordingly based on what
is popular and what isn’t.
Qualitative Data is a much more detailed field of research and mainly
deals with the audience opinions and thoughts on a specific product.
Questionnaires are very useful for getting detailed opinions from
They are cheap to produce and distribute and do not require as much
effort as organizing an interview or other method. However, because
they are usually distributed in the mail or other forms of delivery
there is sometimes no way to regulate what answers are given,
therefore the interviewers may receive joke or bland answers that
will not contribute towards the research.
Qualitative Data – Cont.
Focus Groups: A group of people are chosen to review the product under free conditions, and
they are asked to provide their thoughts on the product.
Interviews: A one-on-one session where the interviewee will be asked a series of questions
about what they like and dislike about the product, which will then go into more detail.
Qualitative Data is overall extremely useful for gathering detailed information about the
feelings and opinions towards the product in question, with independent thought and
discussion encouraged with respondents.
On the other hand it offers no figures relating to the popularity of the product itself, which is
what quantitative research is suited for.
Using interviews or questionnaires, PB media can work out what their audience feels about
their publications or products. With either of these methods, they present questions that ask
for detailed opinions instead of check boxes that would solely be for a viewer count.
Audience profiles are a very apt way for media producers to gather more detailed
and accurate information about their audience. They give information which is
broken down into categories that define who they are.
This is a good method to find out the products audience but also makes it easier to
decide what advertising brands to feature on their product.
Although audience profiling is useful for asking the general opinion of the biggest
social groups, it does not cover all groups.
The upper class is deemed as to small of a group to be classified in general
Audience profiles could be useful to PBM as they allow a basic but broad insight into
the different social groups and what they as a group enjoy and participate in. PBM
could acquire a valuable insight into its chosen target audience by looking at
audience profiles and then some more specific details.
This is an example of
audience profiling done for
the British music magazine,
Q. As you can see the profile
created here shows the
median age of readers and
their gender. It also shows
various other statistics
including the mass of their
audience in ABC1 and the
readership of it (the amount of
people who buy it).
Age is an important factor when classifying audiences as people of similar ages
usually tend to have similar likes and dislikes, therefore buy the same product so the
producers have to make the said product more suitable for their target audience.
For example, those in their twenties are more likely to live at home or rent than
people in their thirties.
This factors into SES by giving an estimate of income and occupation because it is
proven that younger people up to their twenties and slightly above will still be living
PBM can use age research to market their products, by using content that relates to
certain age groups. For example, a younger age group like young children would
most likely not be interested in business and finance, whereas as a middle-old aged
group might find this appealing. The same goes for vice versa, where middle aged
people probably would not find appeal in bright, cartoonish children's magazines.
Socioeconomic Status is a term that defines the measure of a person’s economic (financial) and social position, which is
based on income, occupation and education.
This is based on research that has suggested that a higher education leads to a larger income and a better/more stable
SES is used by several survey companies to estimate readership of magazines and newspapers by breaking down the
core demographics and sorting them via the three categories, which allows them to work out the largest markets for
that specific product.
For example, using SES to work out the market of the Daily Mail found that it’s most common market was the middle
class, which took around a 64% share of the Daily Mail’s entire readership.
In general, SES is extremely useful for studying the core parts of the product’s viewership but most of the data is vague
and does not offer much in way of detail, making this a good basis of audience research.
PBM, if making a magazine, would be able to use SES to appeal more specifically to its target audience. Looking at
aspects such as education and income could help suit the magazine, such as lowering or raising the cost, and carefully
choosing the language used. Magazines targeted at a lower income audience would be cheaper and use more basic
language, whereas a high income, educated audience would see a more expensive magazine using lots of bigger,
complex words and sentences.
Psychographics is a term that defines the study of the audience’s personality, lifestyle, beliefs
and attitudes. This information is grouped into 7 distinct categories that each describe a certain
This way of grouping can be extremely useful for studying the audience of a product as the
information collected and grouped allows for marketers to target them specifically by adhering to
their tastes, beliefs and and opinions.
If PBM were to create a magazine, psychographics would be very useful in determining what
appeals to their target audience specifically. As well as the magazine’s content, it is also very
useful for advertisers and marketers, as they can use psychographics to find out what the
audience truly enjoys and tailor their products as such.
This method of study is a good way to specifically appeal to a certain audience because it
collects information that describes them as people – what they like, dislike, believe in, don’t
believe in – and a magazine will be able to adapt it’s content to specifically match these tastes.
Unfortunately this usually means that any other audiences will be alienated thanks to this content.
For example, if a publisher tried tailoring to an audience that enjoys sport a lot, people who don’t
play sport would not find the content appealing and would likely not make a purchase.
There are 7 mains psychographic categories.
The aspirer is materialistic and strives to be better in some way,
and could be described as a dreamer. Aspirers tend to be very
focused on their personal appearance and beauty, so naturally
they may be drawn to health/fashion magazines such as Vogue
PBM could appeal to aspirers by taking advantage of their
materialistic tendencies and market a fashion/clothing mag to
Using personal characteristics to make generalizations about a group of
people and how they re defined
Men and women tend to have different interests so finding out the genders
of the majority of the audience will help the producers decide what things
to feature and advertise in the said product.
Gender profiling is very vague, also occasionally males or females prefer
some things aimed at the opposite sex and gender profiling doesn’t take
that into consideration.
PBM could find gender profiling particularly useful as it allows publishers
to get a generalization of each gender and then basing their publication
around those traits. Some examples for males might be harsher language
and colours, whereas women might prefer softer, smooth language and
Mainstream or Niche?
Mainstream is the common current thought of the majority; this usually includes all popular and
Products aiming at those mainstream are trying to attract a large audience, whereas products
aiming at niche are targeting a smaller audience whom have very particular interests, but as it’s a
smaller category, producers try to capture a majority of the niche.
The producers of niche products, i.e. magazines are guaranteed a profit but a very small one
compared mainstream magazines. For example, Model Railroader, a magazine solely aimed at
those who are interested in model railway.
Although, magazine such as Heat and OK! are mainstream, they only focus on targeting a select
set of people, those who are interested in the lives of celebrities whereas newspapers, like The
Sun, do write about celebrities but also about real life and real, important news stories.
PBM can use the mainstream and niche genres to market its magazine. If they are aiming for a
much wider audience, they would go for a subject that is either broad, easily accessible and
relatable. Common mainstream themes would be news, music, and video games. If PBM were
aiming for a niche market, they could choose a more obscure or less accessible interest, like
modeling or tabletop gaming. Niche genres tend to be small in size but very passionate.
Geodemographics is a study that involves data from the National Census. A common belief
is that people living in the same neighbourhood will often share the same lifestyle, beliefs
Using this information marketers can aim to target specific areas that hold similar traits.
This means that a well-aimed product can bring in a wide audience from this area.
Using geodemographics can also be helpful in accessing other data, such as the wealth of
people in the area, which can then factor into Socioeconomic Study.
Geodemographics is useful for acquiring information about a large area of people and their
general interests which can help with appealing to them, but the information is not detailed,
and there may be clashes in the kinds of interests and beliefs in a certain group of people.
PBM could use geodemographics data to specifically market a product to a certain are of
people. An example of this might be a publication of a local hobby, landmark, or area. To
be a bit more general, they could market a hobby magazine that has a large number of
followers in the area, with the idea that copies will be sold because many people share that